Closing Night: Big Sonia screening with Joe’s Violin


Big Sonia HR Pic 2Philadelphia Premiere
Monday, May 8
7:30 PM
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Director: Todd Soliday and Leah Warshawski
Genre: Documentary
Country: USA
Year: 2016
Running Time: 93 min
Language: English

Sponsored by: Joseph and Marie Field

Tickets now on sale at the Kimmel Center Box Office or you may purchase tickets HERE!

A mere four foot eight inches tall, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski cannot help but leave an immense impression on everyone she meets. From her loyal customers at the tailor shop to the high school students, church groups, and prisoners whose lives have been so remarkably transformed by hearing her story, Kansas City’s last remaining Holocaust survivor is a force to be reckoned with. Spending the entirety of her teenage years shuttled between concentration camps, Sonia is no stranger to adversity. Her experiences during the war were horrifying and reprehensible, a nightmare Sonia is unable to rid from her memory. Yet, with all of the pain she still carries inside, Sonia’s outlook on life is anything but “doom and gloom.” With her wild fashion sense and larger-than-life persona, Sonia, along with her daughter Regina, are committed to inspiring others with a powerful message of hope.

This award-winning, poignant documentary by husband and wife filmmaking team Todd Soliday and Leah Warshawski (Sonia’s granddaughter) artfully integrates animations inspired by Sonia’s own drawings and revelatory interviews with her family and friends.

This Academy Award-nominated documentary short directed by Kahane Cooperman tells how a Holocaust survivor’s donation of his violin transforms the life of a young aspiring musician.

Special Guests: Todd Soliday and Leah Warshawski, Directors of Big Sonia; Kahane Cooperman, Director of Joe’s Violin; Peter Kenney, Executive Producer of Joe’s Violin; Brianna Perez and Kokoe Tanaka-Suwan, Stars of Joe’s Violin.

Film Trailer: 

Official Selection: Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Charlotte Jewish Film Festival, DOC NYC, Hartford Jewish Film Festival, Miami Jewish Film Festival, Napa Valley Film Festival, Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, Seattle Jewish Film Festival, and Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival

Awards: Audience Award for Favorite Documentary Film, Napa Valley Film Festival, Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature, Napa Valley Film Festival

Subjects: Breaking cycles of hate, empowerment, Holocaust education, Holocaust survivor, perseverance, resilience, second and third generation Children of Holocaust survivors,

For Fans of: Documentaries, family stories, Holocaust education, inspirational women, stories of human resilience, The Lady in Number 6 (short film featured in PJFF34)

Community Partners

Arcadia University Media and Communication Department

Holocaust Remembrance Education Program Jewish War Veterans Post 697

La Salle University Communication Department

Temple University Film & Media Arts Program