This week my fellow producer Steven Priovolos and I met with Sid Ganis, one of the most important people in Hollywood to share our new masterpiece of a script for our short film “No Man is an Island” that was recently completed by our writer, Mia Christou.
Sid– despite being one of the busiest people in Hollywood– read the script immediately and gave it a glowing recommendation, simultaneously expressing his deep and profound interest to support our efforts with this important project. Sid is a Greek Jew, whose family comes from Ioannina, in northwestern Greece, so he has an interest in this story.
Ironically– or rather, coincidentally, Ganis is connected to this project in more ways than one.
While we were in Greece in February 2013 visiting Zakynthos and interviewing survivors, we also visited the Jewish cemetery and saw almost a dozen tombstones bearing the name GANIS. Some were over a hundred years old, meaning that the family could have been there for generations.
In subsequent meetings with historians and people knowledgeable with the Jewish community in Greece, we learned that people in Ioannina were culturally and geographically closer to the Ionian islands than they were with Athens. This made sense why there were so many Ganis tombstones. Clearly, a branch of his ancient Romaniot Jewish family could have settled on Zakynthos.
One more amazing historical irony– and this one is almost too amazing to believe: While Steven researched the various history books and pored over pages and pages of interviews, one fact stood out the most. The rabbi on the island at the time of the Nazi occupation was named Isaac Ganis.
Connections like these go beyond the “coincidental” and now touch the unbelievable.
Please consider being a part of this historic project which will tell the story of the complete survival of the Greek Jewish community of Zakynthos during the Holocaust. We have launched an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign and are trying to build an army of supporters to raise the funds needed to produce the film and bring this important story to the public domain.