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Magdalena

Czechoslovakia, 1971. A woman cannot shake the demons of her horrific past as they come back to haunt her and threaten to destroy the life she’s tirelessly trying to build.

  • Michael Lazovsky
    Director
  • Michael Lazovsky
    Writer
  • Max Hersh
    Writer
  • Pablo Zamorano
    Producer
  • Yuky Shen
    Producer
  • Susan Angelo
    Key Cast
  • Enrico Silva
    Cinematographer
  • Simon Gao
    Production Designer
  • Joe King
    Editor
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama
  • Runtime:
    24 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 7, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    60,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes - American Film Institute
Director Biography - Michael Lazovsky

Michael Lazovsky is a Latino-Jewish director and writer who graduated as a directing fellow at the American Film Institute. His recently completed AFI thesis film, Magdalena, was just selected for the 2022 annual CAA Moebius showcase. His latest short film, “Home for the Holidays”, is a horror-comedy starring actor Bill Moseley and is currently in post-production. The short film is being developed into a feature.

Michael grew up in Los Angeles and spent the majority of his childhood building haunted houses and watching more horror films than anyone should. He works within the genre, using it to externalize fears and internal struggles to tell deep, character-driven stories.

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Director Statement

In 1925, Magdalena was born in the small village of Oslany, Czechoslovakia. At the age of 14, her entire family was brutally executed for being Jewish. Magdalena was sent to Auschwitz and became a human experiment to the infamous Dr. Mengele. She was tortured with painful procedures, such as radiation therapy, which was done with the malicious intent to sterilize her.

Magdalena was my grandmother. After the war, Magdalena married my grandfather, Ladislau Lazovsky. She was determined to leave her horrific past behind and lead a normal life. And by some miracle, Magdalena was able to have a child; my dad. My existence, hanging on this thin thread of a failed Nazi experiment, has always haunted me.

Magdalena continued to face Antisemitism and health issues years after her freedom. It was a period when Holocaust survivors in Czechoslovakia would struggle with PTSD and suicide. It is this rarely spoken of, post-war period that I intend to shine a light on: HER WAR AFTER THE WAR.

I am here because of my grandmothers relentless perseverance and strength to live. It is my honor to tell her story and approach this subject matter with a unique angle and fresh voice that will speak to a new generation. An angle that dives deep into her mental health and uses horror to externalize her dark, internal headspace to fully place the audience in her shoes.