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  • Austrian Cultural Forum New York 11 East 52nd Street New York, NY, 10022 United States (map)

In the framework of our current exhibition "ERICH LESSING. ANDREW MEZVINSKY. THE JEWISH MUSEUM ON 52nd STREET" the ACFNY presents two films, "ÜBER. LEBEN/ALIVE" by Josh Josimovic and "The Spectre Of Memory – An Animated History in 3D" by Claudia Kunin.


TV documentary
with Mitzi Fleischer, Leo Josimovic, Edmund Rosenblum, Thelma Jacobs-Rosenblum
Austria/Germany 2014
Duration: 45 min

ALIVE narrates the eventful lives of Viennese Mitzi Fleischer, née Miriam Rosenblum, born in 1917, and my father, Leo Josimovic, born in 1932. The lives of these two people had taken a different course: Mitzi had to leave Vienna after Hitler’s annexation of Austria and, following quite an odyssey, eventually arrived in America, where she has lived ever since. My father opened his own radio shop back in 1955 in what used to be the Russian sector of Vienna, where he works to this day. As fate would have it, Mitzi met my father in Vienna when the Jewish Welcome Service invited her over. Arriving in the city full of distrust, she visited her old home in the second district, where she met Leo. A book my father had found decades ago during reconstruction works in his shop came into play and got the ball rolling. It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship for bothof them.


Since 1979, Viennese filmmaker Josh Josimovic has worked as a freelance photographer and since 1998 as director/d.o.p. in the film industry. He mainly produced commercials and pop promos for artists such as Falco, Gianna Nannini, Bruce Springsteen, Sarah Brightman, Udo Lindenberg and m.m. Westernhagen. His recent works were awarded several prizes and nominations for example at advertising film festivals in the U.S., South Africa, Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria. In 2008 his first feature film collaboration was with the German movie Hysteria. Additionally he started the research and preproduction of the documentary Über Leben / aLive (which had the former production title „Mitzi“). Moreover he established a new partnership with the Lang Gallery Vienna regarding international representation of contemporary artists in Vienna (Austria).

The production of ALIVE was devided in three parts: the first part was recorded in New York City in 2009. The second and third part as well as the off-line editing took place in Vienna from 2010 through 2011. The documentary was re-edited and finalized in collaboration with Pirates ‘N Paradise, as co-producer, in Berlin. In 2014 ALIVE premiered at the Viennale Film Festival and in 2015 was awarded with a silver medal at the New York Film Festival.



Duration: 23min

The film, “Spectre Of Memory” is an animated film that has been pieced together from the fabric of my mother’s past to tell the story of how she survived as a Jew in occupied Austria during WWII, met and fell in love with my father, an American soldier, and emigrated to America as a war bride. Although I had heard some of what my mother had been through during World War II, mostly those days were not discussed in our household. As a child, I instinctively knew it was my job to make her happy, so I refrained from asking questions about her past. Later, I was too busy in pursuit of my own career as a photographer. By the time I was curious, she was deep in the throes of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. It wasn’t until my mother’s passing that I started on the trail of unraveling my mother’s history.

After a 45 year absence, I returned to Austria to research and seek out the few remaining relatives living there. Through discoveries made in public archives available in Salzburg and Vienna and a treasure trove of information that my mother’s Aunt had carefully saved, I as able to puzzle out much of her compelling story. The photographs and letters from the family archive have been cut and montaged together, layered then stitched together digitally, made 3D and animated to tell her story. It is my attempt to re-animate the people that made my life possible.


Internationally acclaimed for her work addressing the intersection of memory, history, and spirit, Claudia Kunin creates 3-D photographic montages. Her most recent work transposes these stills into moving imagery, reanimating her family’s journey from war-torn Europe to America.

For her 3D animated short “Spectre of Memory," she received the prize for Best Experimental Film at the 2014 BeFilm Festival in New York. She also received the Ray Zone Award for Innovation, as well as taking 2nd place overall in the 2014 Los Angeles 3D Film Festival. Her art has been extensively published, as well as receiving numerous awards. Previous exhibitions at various prestigious institutions include the Annenberg Space for Photography, the Museum of Photographic Arts, and the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

Ms. Kunin’s work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, the Getty Research Institute, and the Museum of Photographic Arts. Her archive will be housed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History Photographic Collection.