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Virtual Reality Film Experience: A Promise Kept

Richard and Jill Chaifetz Family Virtual Reality Gallery
Ongoing Exhibition

As the Holocaust Survivor population dwindles, Illinois Holocaust Museum recognizes the urgent need to use technologies that will preserve Survivor stories in ways that will engage audiences well into the future. Our Virtual Reality Film Experiences will revolutionize the fields of Holocaust memory and education, providing critical content to share the stories and teach the lessons of the Holocaust in the most impactful way for generations to come. Viewers will gain knowledge of Holocaust history and understand the dangers of silence and indifference and the power of one’s words and actions to transform individual and community trajectories. The experiences also will build the capacity for empathy – necessary for standing up against injustice.

These visceral experiences started with the Abe and Ida Cooper Survivor Stories Experience and are now continuing with A Promise Kept.

Having been accepted to the 2021 SXSW Film Festival for its world premiere, as well as being an official selection for the 2021 Nashville Film FestivalA Promise Kept combines storytelling and cutting edge VR technology that allows audiences’ to journey back with Survivor, Fritzie Fritzshall, to the grounds of her grandparent’s home, to the arrival ramp, crematorium, barracks, and latrines of Auschwitz.

Fritzie survived for months inside one of the Nazi’s most notorious camps. Working as a slave laborer in a nearby factory, Fritzie was imprisoned with 599 other women.  Each night the women would share with Fritzie a precious crumb of their bread in the hope that the youngest among them might survive to tell the world what had happened to them. In turn, Fritzie promised that if she survived, she would tell their story. 

Filmed on location in Poland and Ukraine, A Promise Kept utilizes immersive cinematography, animation, photogrammetry, and 360 sound to not only share Fritzie’s darkest memories but the sparks of humanity that allowed her and others to survive. It is a story that will captivate, move, and inspire you, ensuring Fritzie’s promise is kept for generations to come. 

A Promise Kept was created and produced by world-renowned human rights center, Illinois Holocaust Museum; award-winning digital entertainment companies eyelash.ai. and 30 Ninjas, award-winning documentary filmmakers Ken Winikur of Winikur Productions and Ariel Efron; Gallagher & Associates, and The Farm 51. It features an original soundtrack by Emmy Award-winning studio Silver Sound.

Lead Sponsors: Northern Trust,  Lillian & Larry Goodman Foundations

Supporting Sponsors: Richard and Jill Chaifetz Family, John W. & Jeanne M. Rowe

We look forward to opening our Richard and Jill Chaifetz Family Virtual Reality Gallery, located in the Museum, and sharing this and other VR films with Museum visitors post-pandemic.

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