Museum of Tolerance Film Award for Iron Cross

British writer-director Joshua Newton’s thriller “Iron Cross” was honored Sunday night in Los Angeles with one of two awards given by the Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival (MOTIFF).

At a gala awards reception at the Museum with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder of the Museum and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Joshua Newton and Kevin Farr were honored with the Festival’s special Remembrance Award for “Iron Cross.”

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And Clint Eastwood was honored for his body of work “encouraging tolerance, justice and human rights.”

Written and directed by Joshua Newton, who also produced it with Kevin Farr for Calibra Pictures, the Holocaust theme film stars Roy Scheider in his last performance and Alexander Newton as the young version of Scheider’s character.

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When he first saw “Iron Cross” earlier this year, Rabbi Hier called it “the most important film since ‘Schindler’s List.'”

In accepting the film’s Remembrance Award Sunday night, Joshua Newton observed, “We remember not only the millions who died as a result of intolerance, we also remember the great late actor Roy Scheider. And I remember my late father, Bruno Newton, a Holocaust survivor whose life inspired the story in ‘Iron Cross.'”

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“We are gratified,” Kevin Farr added, “that you’ve recognized ‘Iron Cross’ with this Remembrance Award because the film’s message is that we can never forget the Holocaust.”

“Iron Cross” will be screened Th., Nov. 18 as the Closing Night film at the Festival and will be released worldwide next spring.

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The MOTIFF awards came on the heels of “Iron Cross’s” success in late September at the Boston Film Festival where Joshua Newton received the Festival’s Visionary Filmmaker Award and his 18-year old son Alexander Newton was voted Best Young Actor.

In “Iron Cross” Scheider plays Joseph, a retired New York police officer and Holocaust survivor who travels to Nuremberg after his wife’s death to reconcile with his son. Their reunion is quickly overshadowed by Joseph’s insistence that living in the upstairs apartment under a false name is the now aging SS Commander who murdered Joseph’s entire family during World War II.

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Haunted by that memory for most of his life, Joseph now draws his reluctant son into a plan to exact justice and vengeance.

The international films screened by MOTIFF from Nov. 13-18 all focus on human rights issues past and present. Along with classic films advancing the Museum’s mission of building tolerance, the Festival offers moviegoers six days of education, understanding and culture.

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The Museum of Tolerance, which is the educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, was founded in 1993 and hosts about 300,000 visitors annually.

It challenges visitors to confront bigotry and racism and to understand the Holocaust in historic and contemporary contexts.

Following the Museum’s success in Los Angeles, the Wiesenthal Center opened its Museum of Tolerance New York in midtown Manhattan.

In the above picture: “Iron Cross” writer-producer-director Joshua Newton (left) and producer Kevin Farr (right) with Clint Eastwood at the Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival in Los Angeles.

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Rakesh Raman