Rian Brown, Associate Producer

Raise the Roof is a feature documentary film about the Handshouse Studio Gwozdziec Reconstruction Making/History: The Wooden Synagogue Replication Project that took place from 2005-2015 involving hundreds of students and scholars from around the world.  Handshouse Studio and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute collaborated to replicate the 17th century Gwozdziec Synagogue roof and painted ceiling, to be the centerpiece of the Core Exhibition of Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland that opened in 2014. The project was a unique opportunity for students from many disciplines to work in 12 workshops located in 8 cities throughout Poland involving 58 professionals and 238 students from 26 American and 12 Polish universities. The film illustrates the Handshouse Studio educational model of ‘learn by doing’ and  how they rebuilt this extraordinary example of Jewish/Polish art and architectural history.

In 2006, and 2009, I  sponsored  Lost Historic Wall Painting Workshops at Oberlin College during Winter Terms. In 2011, I brought a group of students on the 2011 Making History: Wooden Synagogue Replication Project Summer Travel Program in Wroclaw, Poland. The students participated in all aspects of the historic painting: reviewing the archival documentation of the original Gwozdziec ceiling, preparing the panels with traditional gesso, tracing the images onto the panels and finally painting them with traditional distemper paints made of pigments and rabbit skin glue.  

In summer 2011 , I assembled a crew in Poland and we began the first stages of video documentation used in the film that became Raise the Roof produced by Trillium Studios.

FOR MORE INFO:      http://www.polishsynagogue.com/ 

IN THE NEWS at OBERLIN COLLEGE   http://news.oberlin.edu/articles/healing-painful-past/

Film Festivals 2015:

  • Berlin Jewish Film Festival , May 17, 2015
  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 26, 2015
  •  Festival du Cinema Jueu de Barcelona, May 17, 2015
  •  San Diego Jewish Film Festival, August 23, 2015
  •  Warsaw Jewish Film Festival, November 11, 2015
  • Tuscan Festival of Films, October 8, 2015
  •  Cleveland Jewish Film Festival, October 11, 2015