Video Portraits of Survival got its start as a class for UC Santa Barbara student filmmakers in 2005; their six short video portraits of Santa Barbara area residents who are survivors and refugees from the Holocaust comprise Volume One. The following year, Braun and his UCSB teaching partner, film scholar Janet Walker, made three videos of their own, which, with one more by Renée Bergan, comprise Vol. 2. These projects weave together emotional interviews and informal encounters to bring a poetic approach to the practices of testimonial documentary.
Both volumes premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Films from the project have screened at events and venues worldwide, including in Krakow, Poland, at the Legacy of the Holocaust Conference; Haifa, Israel at the Center for Humanistic Studies; in Oslo, Norway at the Center for Advanced Studies; at the State of North Caroline Holocaust Commemoration.
In 2013, Braun made five more brief pieces, built around single stories or accounts.
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