Anna Paquin: Double Globen Globe Nomination Reaction

December 17, 2009

anna-paquin-sookieAnna Paquin, who plays telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse in HBO’s True Blood, received two separate Golden Globe nominations this year.

Paquin received the nominations for her role as Sookie (for which she won the same award earlier this year) and for her part in the movie The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler. She is known for her performance in The Piano which earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1994, making her the second youngest winner in history at the age of 11. She is perhaps best known for her roles as Rogue in the X-Men movies and currently, as Sookie in the vampire series, True Blood. Anna, who hails from New Zealand, was apparently in bed when she received the news from her publicist. She quips,

“It was 5 in the morning. I was in bed. It was all very surprising. It’s not considered nice to wake people up at 6 in the morning. No one likes that […] But I emailed my family.”

It’s been a hectic period for Anna as shooting has started for True Blood. And as she reveals, although she’s flattered about the nominations, she’s also been preoccupied with the True Blood shoot,

“Honestly, our show just went back two weeks ago, so it’s been pretty hectic […] And, you know, Christmas is coming up and my family is coming into town. I’ve just sort of been focusing on that stuff. It came upon me quite suddenly […] It’s very flattering and a great honour. I’m very happy with what I have. If anything else comes of it, that’s wonderful, but it’s really wonderful already.”

Anna, the consummate actress, acknowledges the contrast between her role as Sookie and as Irena Sendler, the Polish social worker who was responsible for smuggling 2,500 Jewish children to safety during the World War 2. The movie, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, is based on Anna Mieszkowska’s book The Mother of the Holocaust Children. Anna Paquin explains,

“That’s what I love about acting. I could be a part of this amazing story about someone so young who could do so much. She was so brave and so strong and incredibly impressive. And then there’s Sookie, who is really flawed, but she really means well and she’s always kind of getting herself into trouble and ends up in these wildly bad situations that she can kind of get herself out of but always ends up needing to be rescued.”

When asked about the perceived snub True Blood received at the Emmys, Anna very generously replies,

“It was our first season […] I mean, come on! We’re still a brand new show. I think it’s amazing that we’re getting noticed and that people are watching it at all. I always say it takes a while for new shows to catch on so any attention people are paying to us is the cherry on top.”

As to where she keeps the statuette from last year, Anna wittily reveals,

“It’s sitting in a cabinet under my sink next to my Oscar.”


Picture credit: HBO Inc.


Anna Paquin’s Polish Premiere Of The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler

September 14, 2009

On July 31st, a gala premiere of The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler took place in Gdansk as part of the “Solidairty of Arts” festival.

The film was presented during the an official celebration for the 70th anniversary of the WWII outbreak in Gdansk. The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler is one of the most significant productions devoted to Polish history. The gala premiere was attended by Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski. During the first European screening, the cast and crew were also in attendance, including the director John Kent Harrison, music composer A.P. Kaczmarek and the actresses Anna Paquin, Marcia Gay Harden, Maja Ostaszewska and Danuta Stenka.

Originally, the project started as a Hallmark Hall of Fame television production based on the novel by Anna Mieszkowska titled, “Mother of the Holocaust Children.” The story centers around the life of Irena Sendler, a Polish woman who was responsible for saving children and getting them out of the Warsaw Jewish ghetto during WWII. The spokesperson for the Polish Film Institute, Anna Godzisz, told Film New Europe , “we found it impossible for a production concerning this great character to be realized without any Polish input. The Polish Film Institute did everything to support this project and allow it to appear not only in television, but also in cinemas.”

There was some battle for the film to appear on the big screen. Support was withdrawing from the project, which made it difficult to get the production finished. Fortunately, several companies and institutes, including the Polish Film Institute and Telekomunikacja Polska, provided missing funds so the project could continue and be viewed. It was believed to be crucial for the project to be in movie houses not just across the country, but around the world. The film is now one of the biggest Polish co-productions with a total budget over 38 million PLN. There were over 2,000 extras employed during the filming process. Props and costumes were imported from Poland, United Kingdom, and Czech Republic.

Anna Paquin, who played the lead part of Irena Sendler, attended the premiere along with her fiance Stephen Moyer. After the viewing, she pointed out how significant the project was.

“Before I got the proposal to play in this film, I had no idea about the existence of such a character as Irena Sendler, and she did save 2,500 human lives! I hope that thanks to this movie a lot more people will get to know about this wonderful woman.”

On American TV, more than 11 million viewers have seen The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler. The film was also very well received internationally. Most of viewers, no matter their location, were very moved after watching this powerful film as many know the story of the second World War.

The movie will officially open in Poland on September 18, 2009.






(Photo credit:  Hallmark Hall of Fame and


Anna Paquin: The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Video Interview

April 22, 2009

annanewvidclipAnna Paquin was interviewed by Matt Mitovich from TV Guide and discusses with him her role as Irena Sendler in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler and what she discovered while making the movie and what she wants people to take from the movie. Anna also briefly mentions what is going on in season two of True Blood in terms of what we can expect to see with Sookie‘s relationship with Sam. Anna Paquin‘s performance as Irena Sendler in The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler is already creating a buzz among some bloggers who feel that both the movie and her performance should be contenders for an Emmy in the categories of “Best Made For Television Movie” and “Best Actress in a Made For Television Movie/Mini-Series.” The CBS/Hallmark’s The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler averaged 9.82 million over its two-hour run when it premiered on Sunday, April 19, 2009, clearly indicating that the movie was well received and that an Emmy for both Anna and the movie are possible. Don’t forget The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler comes out on DVD in June available through Hallmark.



Anna Paquin’s The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler on DVD

April 20, 2009

irrunThe Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler premiered on CBS on Sunday, April 19, 2009 and showcased to huge audiences Anna Paquin‘s magnificent performance as Irena Sendler, the Polish Catholic social worker who risked her own life to save the lives of 2500 Jewish children to escape extermination in the Warsaw Ghettos during World War II.  The heart wrenching tale of Jewish mothers torn between giving away their children to an unknown fate and holding on to them and not knowing if they will survive the nightmare is a reminder of the atrocities that mankind is capable of inflicting upon one another and hopefully preventing from reoccurring ever again.  The movie demonstrated how Polish families and others put their own lives at risks to save the lives of the Jewish children who given a fate sealed to them by the Nazis of extermination.  The memories of World War II seems distant for many now but stories like The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler must never be forgotten and Anna Paquin‘s performance as the young determined woman to do whatever she could to save the lives of the children was memorable.  Miss Paquin unique ability to portray compassion for the children and “a heart of stone” that she had to maintain in order to carry on with her task and facing obstacles, brought the spirit of that time back to life before the audiences’ eyes and made one shake their heads at the horrific conditions.  The Hallmark Hall of Fame production of The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler with Anna Paquin‘s superb performance as Irena Sendler will be made available on DVD in June through Hallmark. This is one movie that everyone must see. To learn more about Irena Sendler you can visit and

(Photo credit: Hallmark Hall of Fame)


Anna Paquin and The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Movie Trailers

April 19, 2009

To coincide with the world television premiere of Anna Paquin‘s Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler on the CBS network on Sunday, April 19, 2009 9PM ET/8PM CT here are some of the movie clips. This is a “must see” movie that tells the story of one woman’s courage, determination and self -sacrifice to ensure the safety of 2500 Jewish children from extermination by the hands of the Nazis during World War II. Please tune in to watch this extraordinary movie and these unforgettable moments in history.

SOURCE: Hallmark Hall of Fame


Anna Paquin Talks About True Blood and Irena Sendler

April 19, 2009

annapaquintbAmy Amatangelo from the Boston Herald presents in her report Anna Paquin‘s work on the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler and discusses her work on Alan Ball hit HBO TV series True Blood and her successes. Here is her article in its entirety.

Anna Paquin feels humbled by her latest project.

The actress stars as Nobel Peace Prize nominee Irena Sendler, who risked her life to rescue Jewish children during World War II, in “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler,” tonight at 9 on WBZ (Ch. 4).

“She did an absolutely extraordinary thing, and she was so young and that’s intimidating,” Paquin said in a recent interview from Los Angeles. I was like, ‘I make movies and TV shows and she rescued 2,500 kids out of the Warsaw Ghetto.’ I wanted to do her justice and tell that story in a way that has integrity and truth,and also is not going to be fluffy or trivial. Ultimately, her story is one of hope.”

The 26-year-old made the movie last November between seasons of HBO’s supernatural drama “True Blood,” which returns June 14. She is grateful that her industry allows her to shift between portraying a young woman in Poland nearly 70 years ago and playing a telepathic waitress in modern-day Louisiana who happens to be in love with a vampire.

“I love to challenge myself,” Paquin said. “I love to do the exact opposite of what I’ve been doing. And also, it makes it more exciting to then go back to your other part. I have the kind of looks and the kind of face that I feel like I can blend into whatever scenario. It goes along with not exactly being modelesque in your looks. You’re more chameleonlike, and I love that.”

Paquin, who won an Academy Award when she was 11 for “The Piano,” received a Golden Globe in January for playing Sookie Stackhouse on “True Blood.”

“It was exciting and flattering, and all it really means is that you get to do more,” she said.

Her Oscar win in 1993 has become akin to folklore in her own mind.

“Of course I remember it, but not in any kind of overly visceral way anymore,” she said. “It’s obviously the one thing I’ve been asked about more than anything else in my entire life. I’ve sort of retold my version of what I remember, and how much of it becomes what I remember because that’s how I’ve told it. It’s a pretty incredible thing to happen to a little kid, and I have the career I have because of it and I’m very grateful.”

Paquin is dating Stephen Moyer, who plays vampire Bill Compton on “True Blood.”

“I have a very, very ridiculously perfect setup because usually the thing about acting and relationships is someone is on the other side of the planet,” she said. “So it’s an incredible luxury to get to spend your work time and your personal time with the person you want to be with all the time.”

SOURCE: The Freedom fighter: Anna Paquin balances HBO drama with inspirational ‘Courageous Heart’

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)


Anna Paquin portrays Irena Sendler in The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler

April 18, 2009

As reported by Naomi Pfefferman in The Jewish Journal the story of Irena Sendler is one of courage, determination and the ability of one person being able to change the lives of so many. Anna Paquin portrays Irena Sendler in the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler which makes its world premiere on Sunday, April 19, 2009 on the CBS network 9PM ET /8PM CT. Presented here in its entirety is Ms. Pfefferman report and interview with Anna Paquin and their overview of the movie and the impact that Irena Sendler made for so many.

annawindowAnna Paquin was 11 when she won an Oscar for her performance in “The Piano” and in her mid-20s when she took the 2009 Golden Globe for her leading role in HBO’s vampire series, “True Blood,” but as she locked up her bicycle on a funky stretch of Abbot Kinney Boulevard the other day, she looked like just another young woman from the neighborhood. “Thanks for schlepping down to Venice,” she said as a greeting.
In person, the 26-year-old Paquin is as cheery and down-to-earth — and at the same time as direct and determined — as her “True Blood” character, a telepathic waitress with a penchant for short shorts and the 173-year-old vampire Bill played by Stephen Moyer, who is also Paquin’s real-life boyfriend. On this day, the New Zealand native wore bicycle shorts, her blonde hair was in a ponytail and her face had no sign of makeup. She was both accessible and upbeat, despite the fact that she had gotten off work from the second season of “True Blood” at 4 a.m., slept a few hours, then had to bike to the interview, since she does not know how to drive.

“No worries,” she said of her schedule. “The rest of the world doesn’t run on vampire hours just because I do.” Paquin came to discuss her upcoming Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler,” in which she plays the titular Catholic Polish social worker who organized the rescue of some 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. The movie airs April 19 on CBS.

For 16 months, starting in 1942, Sendler — who was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize — organized fellow volunteers in the Polish underground to smuggle children out of the ghetto in sacks and suitcases, in packages and body bags, through sewers and subterranean passages. When the Gestapo arrested and tortured Sendler in 1943, she refused to divulge details of her operation, so they broke her legs and feet, leaving her permanently disabled.

The Hallmark film is not a sweeping saga of the Holocaust in the style of “The Pianist” or “Schindler’s List,” but rather a more intimate drama focused on what must have been Sendler’s most excruciating task: convincing terrified parents to relinquish their children to an uncertain fate.

Paquin says she was drawn to the project not only for the chance to play an inspiring heroine, but also because the part marks a milestone in her own career. “I feel like this is the first time I have ever really played an adult in a film, not just as far as the age indicated in the character description, but in terms of the world in which Irena was living, her interactions with others and the decisions she makes,” the actress said. “I loved not being allowed to act in any way like a child.”

The movie’s writer and director, John Kent Harrison, said Paquin was his first choice to play Sendler. “Irena was matter-of-fact, almost cold-hearted in her approach to asking parents to give up their children, because in those dire times there was no room for sentimentality,” he said by telephone. “And Anna has a toughness at her center, having started in the business so young. She’s been making movies since she was 9, and, at 26, she’s a veteran.”

annarunThe third and youngest child of school teachers, Paquin had no acting experience when, on a lark, she accompanied her older sister, Katya, to an audition for “The Piano.” Jane Campion’s lyrical screenplay revolved around a mute piano virtuoso, Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), who arrives in rural New Zealand as a mail-order bride in the 1850s with her daughter, Flora (Paquin), in tow. Initially, Paquin caught Campion’s attention because she resembled Hunter, but she won the part over some 5,000 other girls by delivering an intense reading from the script and proved mesmerizing as the precocious, ferocious Flora, who spins fanciful yarns about her dead father, spies on her mother’s illicit trysts and ultimately betrays Ada to her husband.

At the Oscars two years later, Paquin looked adorable in her blue dress and matching cap — as well as stunned — when Gene Hackman called her name as the winner of the best supporting actress category. The saucer-eyed little girl walked to the podium, which she barely was able to peer over, gulping and gasping for a full half minute before gaining her composure to thank Campion, et al. She literally stole the show from her category’s more seasoned competitors, including Winona Ryder (“The Age of Innocence”) and Emma Thompson (“In the Name of the Father”).

It was during that Oscar season that Paquin says she received her first introduction to the subject of the Holocaust, since 1993 was also the year that “Schindler’s List” swept the awards and won for best picture. “We hadn’t studied that period in history yet,” Paquin said of her elementary school in Wellington, New Zealand. “My parents did not allow me to see the movie, but they did explain what it was about.”

After Paquin became the second-youngest Academy Award-winner in history, the actress went on to work with Spielberg, playing the young Queen Isabella II in 1997’s “Amistad.” She has also portrayed troubled sirens in independent films such as “25th Hour” and “The Squid and the Whale” as well as, famously, Rogue in the three “X-Men” films. “True Blood” features similar themes of bias toward the “other,” and Paquin campaigned hard to convince series creator Alan Ball (“Six Feet Under”) to cast her as the telepathic Sookie Stackhouse. The frothy, sexy series operates in part as an allegory for gay rights, featuring vampires as creatures fighting to obtain the right to marry and to live among humans. Paquin has once again proven herself, playing Sookie’s emotions straight, without camping up the Southern or gothic aspects of the story.

annaandrebeccawindheimIn the pilot, Paquin’s character used a heavy chain as a weapon to save vampire Bill Compton from becoming a hate-crime statistic: “The show is fun and fluffy,” the actress said, “but there is also the idea of how we as a society assign a stricter and non-equitable set of rules to particular groups. It is also about how the process of trying to integrate into society as an outside group is messy and ugly, and many people aren’t as open-minded as they should be. In our show, these ideas are presented in this very amusing and fantasy level, but they are completely grounded in our world and how people really behave.

“I’m generally not drawn to projects that work only on a surface level,” she added. “And a topic that unfortunately always seems timely is prejudice. As a species we haven’t overcome it, obviously. It keeps on needing to be addressed, in different ways — in everything from light fantasy to serious drama.”

When her agent sent her Harrison’s screenplay of “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler,” she was on vacation with Moyer in London last October: “I read it in about an hour on his iPhone, just staring at the screen with my mouth open,” she recalled. “I couldn’t quite believe she was actually a real person. I was just absolutely fascinated and in awe at how someone so young could be so strong in such a terrifying period of time. And I said, ‘OK, where do I sign up?”

annathepianoHarrison sent Paquin a rough translation of Anna Mieszkowska’s “Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Story of Irena Sendler,” a biography that had been published only in Polish, German and Hebrew, but has not yet come out in English. She “rapidly tore through” it and spent the following two weeks watching movies and reading books on the period: “What I found most powerful and helpful was a book titled ‘Words to Outlive Us: Eyewitness Accounts From the Warsaw Ghetto,’ which is composed of journal and diary entries,” Paquin recalled. “I read about how guards would torture prisoners in front of others to scare them — really horrendous things like tying people up and letting dogs half-eat them; or the sort of ease with which people would be randomly shot. Those eyewitness accounts were as close as I could get to Irena’s world — and what came through strongly was just how absolutely terrified and out of control people felt.”

Sendler’s sympathy for the Jewish plight began when she was growing up in and around Warsaw. Her father was the only physician in their town of Otwock willing to treat Jewish patients during a typhoid epidemic; he himself caught the disease and died in 1917, when Irena was 7.

Sendler followed his heroic example after Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were sealed off from the rest of the city by 10-foot-high walls. In 1942, she gathered a network of fellow social workers and volunteers — all sympathetic Polish Catholics — and began her operation to save children under the auspices of Zegota, a code name for the Council for Aid to Jews, a program of the Polish government in exile. The social workers were mostly female, which proved helpful because a woman could more easily walk past officials holding the hand of a Jewish child as if he or she were her own, often through corridors of a courthouse leading out of the ghetto to the Aryan side of the city.

After the children were ensconced in temporary housing, they were drilled in Catholic songs and prayers, their black hair was bleached blond and some boys were dressed as girls to trick the Gestapo out of checking to see whether they had been circumcised. The lucky ones received Catholic papers and were placed in a convent, an orphanage or with other rescuers for the duration of the war.

One mother tearfully handed over her infant, Elzbieta Ficowska, who was drugged, placed in a box with a silver spoon and hidden in a truck hauling bricks out of the ghetto; the scene is recreated in the film. Because Sendler hoped to eventually reunite the children with their parents, she scribbled each one’s name and location on scraps of paper and placed the notes in jars which she buried under an apple tree in an associate’s yard in Warsaw.

annahboIn 1943, the owner of a laundry that served as a safe house betrayed Sendler under torture. On Oct. 20 of that year, Gestapo agents arrested Sendler, tortured her for three months in the infamous Pawiak Prison and then sentenced her to death. Just before her execution, however, an officer bribed by Zegota arranged for her name to appear on a list of prisoners who had already been executed. Sendler escaped, and until the end of the war she continued to help children while living in hiding. Twenty years later, she became one of the first “Righteous Gentiles” to be honored by Yad Vashem. She saved twice the number of Jews as Oskar Schindler, the inspiration for “Schindler’s List.”

In Poland, however, the anti-Semitic communist regime was unimpressed by Sendler’s wartime deeds. She remained in obscurity until 1999, when a group of Kansas high school students came across a short article on her in a 1994 issue of U.S. News & World Report and decided to turn her story into a history project. Because they assumed Sendler had died, the students contacted the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous to locate her grave. Instead they learned she was still living in Warsaw, though ailing and in a wheelchair. The students promptly wrote her a letter, and thus began a friendship that would lead to an interactive play “Life in a Jar,” which the students performed all over the world, making international headlines. They also eventually visited the elderly rescuer.

Harrison wasn’t so lucky; while writing his script in Warsaw last year, he had set up an interview with the 98-year-old social worker, but their meeting was canceled when Sendler was hospitalized with pneumonia; she died on May 12, 2008. Harrison attended the funeral at the Powazki cemetery and watched as Jewish community leaders, survivors, Polish ministers and the Israeli ambassador to Poland turned out to pay their last respects. A rabbi recited the Kaddish, Catholics chanted Christian prayers and Chopin’s “Funeral March” was played during the burial.

Back at the Venice café, Paquin put down her cup of coffee and looked shocked when asked whether actors seek roles in Holocaust-themed films in order to win awards, as charged by The New York Times last year. “That’s not what I find interesting about this kind of work. What is interesting is the chance to portray a strong, powerful woman, because there is such a dearth of such roles. Actresses often end up playing ‘the girlfriend’ or the sex object; I love getting to be a part of a story that has nothing to do with that,” she said.

Even so, when Paquin set off for the three-week shoot in Riga, Latvia, last winter, she did so with trepidation. “I spent the first week terrified that I wasn’t doing a good enough job, because how could you possibly feel [the pain and fear] enough,” she said. “But after a while you have to forgive yourself for not knowing what it’s like to be tortured, and just do the best you can.”

To play Sendler, Paquin at times accessed some of her own feelings about her sister’s recent surgery; the 30-year-old Katya has had three operations so far for a brain tumor.

“It’s that feeling of powerlessness, but at the same time having to buck up and be strong for somebody, because if you’re scared, it doesn’t even compare to how scared they are,” the actress said. To play Irena you don’t get to cry, you don’t get to show that you’re frightened. You have to be strong for the children and their parents, and I found that very empowering,” she said. For Irena, being frightened of her own death was not the worst thing in the world. Far worse was the dilemma of the parents trying to decide whether to stay with their children or let them go — an almost impossible choice.”

“The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler” airs Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 9PM ET/ 8PM CT on CBS.

SOURCE: The  A Righteous Role

(Photo credits:  Hallmark Hall of Fame, HBO Inc., and The


Anna Paquin: The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Fort Scott Premiere

April 18, 2009

Anna Paquin‘s performance in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, The Courageous Heat of Irena Sendler premiered in Fort Scott, Kansas on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at the Liberty Theatre. The Fort Scott Tribune was there for the special event and is presented here in entirety as reported by

isannaLocal VIPs assembled at Liberty Theatre for the world premiere of “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler.”

More than 400 people were in attendance to view the Hallmark Hall of Fame film. Attendees included Writer-Director John Kent Harrison, Executive Producers Brent Shields and Jeff Most, Hallmark CEO Don Hall with his wife, Adele, and other Hallmark representatives. Also attending were current and past members of the “Life in a Jar” project.

The Hallmark-produced film is based on the life of Irena Sendler, a social worker in the 1940s, who led an effort to smuggle more than 2,500 of Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto. The children were given new identities and placed with Polish families and in convents. Sendler kept a hidden record of their birth names and where they were placed buried in jars with the hope that they would someday be reunited with their own families.

“This was a film that had to be made,” Harrison said. Special attendee, Renata Zajdman was one of the 2,500 Jewish children rescued by Sendler. After the film she spoke of her experience with Sender. “Her goodness during a time of evil, effects how I view the world today,” Zajdman said. “She worked in a time when murder was legal and rescue was a crime.”

Sendler’s story also led to the creation of “Life in a Jar” in 1999 by a group of Uniontown High School students which has since become globally known. The project is a stage play designed by the students telling Sendler’s story. The play has been performed in the United States and around the world.

“It’s unbelievable … we love knowing that Irena’s story is being shared with the world,” Jessica Ripper, co-founder of “Life in a Jar“, said. “That was our whole goal from the very beginning.”

Renata Zajdman, left, and daughter Sharon make their way into Liberty Theatre on the red carpet for the world premiere of the Hallmark Hall of Fame film, "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler." Zajdman was one of the more than 2,500 Jewish children saved by Sendler during the Holocaust.

Renata Zajdman, left, and daughter Sharon make their way into Liberty Theatre on the red carpet for the world premiere of the Hallmark Hall of Fame film, "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler." Zajdman was one of the more than 2,500 Jewish children saved by Sendler during the Holocaust.

Norm Conard, Lowell Milken Center Director and co-founder of “Life in a Jar“, received a standing ovation as he was introduced following the film. Conard was the teacher of the students who created “Life in a Jar” as an extracurricular project that did not even receive a grade.

“All teachers aspire to make a difference in the lives of their students and see their students make a difference in the lives of others, but this is unusual, let’s face it,” Conard said. “Its to the credit of the great story of Irena Sendler, its to the credit of these young people.”

Ripper said Hallmark rarely premiers their films where the idea happened. She added the event is the first premier event in which the Halls personally attended.

“To know that (Hallmark) wanted to honor us by having this in Fort Scott is very touching for us,” Ripper said.

The network television premiere of the movie, staring Goran Visnijic, Marcia Gay Harden, and Anna Paquin as Sendler, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sunday, April 19, on CBS (KOAM, Ch. 7, locally).

For more information on Sendler, visit or contact the Lowel Milken Center at (620) 223-9991.

SOURCE: The Fort Scott Tribune: Fort Scott hosts ‘Sendler’ premiere

(Photo credit: Hallmark Hall of Fame and Michael Pommier/Tribune photo)


Anna Paquin Interviewed on the Billy Bush Radio Show

April 17, 2009

ireneaposter1Anna Paquin was interviewed on the Billy Bush Radio Show on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 and discussed with him her role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler which will broadcasts on Sunday, April 19, 2009 on CBS 9PM ET/8PM CT.  Also you will hear Anna mention her feeling regarding her win of a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama for her role of Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood and little tidbits about season two.  Many thanks to NBC Universal and to the Billy Bush Radio show for giving us permission to post the audio recording of  Anna Paquin‘s interview on  To play the audio recording click the button and the audio will start up at around the 10 second mark.


(Photo credit:  Hallmark Hall of Fame)


Anna Paquin: Talks with Travis Smiley about The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler

April 17, 2009

traviswithannaAnna Paquin is interviewed on the Travis Smiley Late Night Show where she sat down to discuss her portrayal of the Catholic social worker, Irena Sendler and her plight to save over 2500 Jewish children in the Warsaw Ghettos from extermination. The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler is a recount of one woman’s determination to fight back against the atrocities that she saw and make an impact on people’s lives. The Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation and CBS world premiere of The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler will broadcast on Sunday, April 19, 2009 9PM ET/ 8PM CT.


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