Price Arana ’87 was on campus April 22 to host a 5:15 p.m. screening of her directorial film debut, “An Undeniable Voice,” in Milstein Hall’s Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium.
The film was followed by a Q&A with Arana and the film’s subject, Sam Harris. A reception and book signing of Harris’ “Sammy: Child Survivor of the Holocaust” followed.
“An Undeniable Voice” explores the story and journey of Harris, believed to be one of the youngest survivors of the Holocaust. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million children died in the Holocaust; of the approximately 130,000 who survived, the majority were girls. Harris arrived as a refugee in the United States in 1947 at age 12 and was later adopted by a Chicago family.
Actress, philanthropist and activist Sharon Stone, a friend of Arana’s, is the film’s producer. Arana co-directed and executive produced the film, which has won prizes at nine film festivals worldwide.
Arana learned of Harris’ story as she was growing up across the street across from Harris and his wife, Dede, in Northbrook, Illinois; their daughter, Julie, was Arana’s best friend. “They have always felt like family to me,” Arana said.
“People have been very excited to see this film,” Harris said. “[It] teaches the strength of the human being, and that positivity can lead to a better life. … It also teaches how one person can make a difference.”
“Our film is, unfortunately, as timely as ever,” Arana said. “We need to honor those who perished and never forget this atrocity. With hate crimes up nationwide, we must all be upstanders, not bystanders.”
Harris, who speaks regularly about the atrocities of genocide, helped establish and is president emeritus of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2014.
Arana, who majored in fine arts in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, is the founder of a Los Angeles-based advertising agency, The Press Cabinet, and is a founding member of The Exodus Institute in Washington, D.C., which advocates for solutions to forced migration worldwide.
“An Undeniable Voice” includes mature subject matter and graphic footage; viewer discretion is advised.
The event’s co-sponsors are AAP’s Department of Art, AAP Connect, Cornell Hillel and the Jewish Studies Program.
This story originally appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.