Filmmaker Spotlight:
‘Back to the Fatherland’ filmmakers Kat Rohrer and Gil Levanon

Leading up to the 28th Washington Jewish Film Festival, we asked our filmmakers a few questions about their featured films.
In this edition, Directors Kat Rohrer and Gil Levanon discuss Back to the Fatherland

What was a particular obstacle you faced while making this film? 

For us time was a big concern. Since half of our protagonists were between 86-95 years old. We had a hard time raising money for production at the beginning and were constantly worried we would lose one of our grandparents.


What do you want audiences to walk away with after screening your film?

We would love the audience to walk away with a new perspective on the third generation on both sides. We believe that dialogue between people from different/opposing backgrounds is essential and we hope that our film will spark that dialogue.


Filmmakers Kat Rohrer and Gil Levanon

Why do you think Washington, DC is a valuable location to screen your film?

As the political epicenter of the US, Washington is the home of policy makers and people who can shape the public discourse. We believe that in times like these, where we seem to listen less and less to people who don’t share our opinion, it is very important to facilitate a dialogue and we believe Washington is the right place for that dialogue.


What films or filmmakers have been the most influential to you?

The most influential filmmakers to us have been Robert Altmann, Aaron Sorkin in the fiction world and Alex Gibney, Errol Morris and the Heyman brothers. Films that have inspired us are Thin Blue Line, Making a Murderer, The green Prince.


Why are Jewish-interest films important today?

The Jewish community, all over the world, is so diverse and diversified that the voices coming out of that community are just as diverse. In a time of growing anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism we believe it is important to show a wide spectrum of voices to also educate non-Jews about this different points of view and invite people into this world.

Watch Back to the Fatherland during the 28th Washington Jewish Film Festival.

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