Escape From History


Polish-Ukraine border, 1943. Two Jewish men lead the impossible escape of 400 prisoners from Sobibor, a Nazi extermination camp– killing 20 SS guards in their wake. Through never-before-seen 1980s interviews with the two heroes and those they saved, Escape From History unveils this remarkable story and traces the challenges of rebuilding life in Ukraine after the war. Years later, their descendants struggle with this trauma as they endure the horror of the current war on Ukraine.

Phase of Support: Development

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Piet de Blaauw

Piet de Blaauw - Director

Piet de Blaauw was born in 1969 in Friesland, a northern province in the Netherlands. After secondary school, he attended the School of Journalism in Utrecht. As part of this education, he spent a year in Denmark specializing in European Politics. On top of this, he finished university with a degree in international relations. In the late 90s, he worked as a freelance Scandinavia correspondent in Copenhagen for Dutch newspapers, tv stations, and radio for four years. After returning to the Netherlands, Piet switched to TV reporting, working for leading current affairs programs. He specialized in foreign reporting in countries such as Afghanistan, Indonesia, and Iraq. In recent years, Piet has specialized in documentary filmmaking as an independent director, specializing in foreign affairs, politics, and history.

Jan Pieter Tuinstra

Jan Pieter Tuinstra - Director

Jan Pieter Tuinstra was born in 1971 in a small village in the North of the Netherlands. After secondary school, he attended the Academy of Fine Arts St. Joost in the city of Breda. In 1995, he graduated as director at the audio-visual department. His graduation film was awarded as the best student production at the Dutch Filmfestival in 1995. Ever since, he has worked as a documentary filmmaker and D.O.P, mainly assigned by public broadcasters. Tuinstra lives with his family in Amsterdam. His work falls within the range of artistic documentary making and journalistic driven storytelling. Throughout the years, Tuinstra has developed a special preference for historical themes in combination with a high social impact. His vogue dance film Otherland (2018) that provides an inside view in the LGBTQ+ community was awarded multiple times as best short doc at festivals around the world.

Femke Wolting

Femke Wolting - Producer

Emmy Award-winner Femke Wolting is, together with Bruno Felix, the founder of Amsterdam and LA based studio Submarine, an independent film, television, and transmedia production company, spanning features, documentaries, and animation. Under Wolting, the prolific production house has been behind Amazon Prime’s break-out animated series Undone from Bojack Horseman show runners Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg and has won the international Emmy for the critically acclaimed documentary Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World in 2019. Femke has produced a number of other highly acclaimed documentaries, including the Emmy Award-winning feature Last Hijack, Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams’ documentary American Jail for CNN and the BBC, and the Netflix Original Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press that premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2017.

Project logline and bios courtesy of the grantees.