The Rumi Forum presented Desperate Hours Film Screening and Discussion: An Evening with the Director Victoria Barrett.

Victoria Barrett’s award-winning documentary depicts the little-known narrative of Turkish citizens, Muslim and Christian alike, who worked to save Jews from Hitler’s concentration camps. Following the screening, Ms. Barrett will answer questions and discuss the documentary. There is no charge for this event.

Victoria Barrett has 20 years experience in the entertainment industry as a producer, director, writer and actor.Ms. Barrett’s most recent production is Desperate Hours, which tells the little known story of Turkey’s rescue of thousands of Jews facing certain death during the Holocaust. Turkish diplomats put their lives at risk to save Jews being shipped to concentration camps, and as Germany began excluding Jews from university and professional positions, Turkey welcomed them. The film also explores how Archbishop Angelo Roncalli, Apostolic Delegate in Istanbul during the war, who later became Pope John XXIII, worked with future leaders of Israel in rescue. Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council which issued Nostra Aetate. Desperate Hours reveals these stories of Muslims, Christians and Jews co-operating in saving lives during the Holocaust.

Ms. Barrett is director, producer and co-executive producer of Desperate Hours. The film was shot in Super 16mm in five countries: Israel, Turkey, Italy, Austria and the United States. Desperate Hours premiered at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C and was the Grand Jury Winner and Audience Award Winner at the DC Independent Film Festival. Ms. Barrett was also recognized for Creative Excellence as Director of Desperate Hours at the International Film and Video Festival in CA. Recently, Bnai Birth Canada created The Global Excellence in the Arts Award specifically for Ms. Barrett. This award will now be presented annually to an international artist. The film aired on NY Mountain Lake PBS and WV PBS in 2004 and will be presented for national distribution on PBS. Desperate Hours has also been broadcast in Europe and the Middle East, including Israel Channel One and CNN-Turk.

Ms. Barrett is currently finishing The Forgotten Holy Land, which she produced, co-wrote and hosted. This documentary tells the history of Christianity in ancient Asia Minor and other parts of modern Turkey. The Forgotten Holy Land was shot in Super 16mm in 15 locations throughout Turkey in a challenging schedule of five weeks. Locales included remote areas in the east such as Mt. Ararat, the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, Ephesus and Istanbul.

Ms. Barrett has also begun pre-production on “The Guilt of the Innocent” a documentary on Pope John XXIII and his rescue of Jews during the Holocaust as well as his transformation of Catholic teachings towards Jews and the ripple effects until the present day. As an actor, her films include starring roles in Russian Roulette, Three Kinds of Heat, America 2000 and Over the Brooklyn Bridge. She was a guest star on the hit television program Cheers. Ms. Barrett has written numerous travel and news articles that include a piece on Istanbul for the New York Times. She has also written a series of articles on Russia, beginning with her eye-witness account of the coup in 1991 in the then Soviet Union, and the many social and economic reforms that followed.

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