HEROES—A Gala Celebration of the Chesapeake Film Festival on August 3, 2019

On Saturday, August 3, 2019, the Chesapeake Film Festival celebrates “Heroes” at a fundraising gala at the Talbot Country Club in Easton, Maryland.

Honorees include four stellar filmmakers: Catherine Wyler, Aviva Kempner and Easton’s Holly and Paul Fine.  In addition to these distinguished filmmakers, the gala will honor the heroes of their films in the Chesapeake Film Festival (Oct. 3-10) and heroes in our community. Stay tuned for the announcement of the community heroes! 

Catherine Wyler, daughter of the legendary director William Wyler, pays tribute to her father and the airmen of WWII in The Cold Blue. The film, directed by Erik Nelson, is constructed from digitally-enhanced footage captured by Wyler and his cameramen on the B-17 bomber, the Memphis Belle, during missions over Germany in 1943. The documentary succeeds Memphis Belle, a feature film Catherine produced for Warner Bros. in 1990. Her other credits include Directed by William Wyler and Witness to Hope: The Life of Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II. Catherine was a Senior Vice President at Columbia Pictures, Director of Cultural and Children’s Programming at PBS, and played a key role at the National Endowment for the Arts in the creation of The Sundance Institute and other media organizations.

Aviva Kempner’s 2019 film, The Spy Behind Home Plate tells the real story of Moe Berg, major league baseball player turned spy during WWII. Once again focusing on a little-known Jewish hero, Aviva follows Berg from the streets of Newark to major league baseball to his secret life of spying for the OSS during WWII.  A child of a Holocaust survivor, Aviva was born in Berlin after WWII. Her family history inspired her to produce her first documentary, Partisans of Vilna, a gripping story of Jewish resistance to the Nazis.  Later films include Peabody Award-winning The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, the first Jewish baseball star in the Major Leagues; Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg about Gertrude Berg, who received the first Best Actress Emmy in history; and Rosenwald, about businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald who partnered with Booker T. Washington to build 5,000 schools for African American communities in the Jim Crow south.

With 40 years of experience, four Peabody Awards, over 80 Emmys Awards and the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, Holly and Paul Fine are among the most respected producers/directors of television documentaries. The Easton couple had a long and illustrious career with 60 Minutes and a special relationship with fearsome newsman Mike Wallace.  They will share stories about Wallace following the festival screening of a documentary about Wallace that premiered at Sundance this year. In addition to their work with 60 Minutes, Holly and Paul produced many TV specials for CBS, including In the Killing Fields of America, and specials for 20/20, and Nightline at ABC.  Their son, Sean, and his wife Andrea earned two Academy Award nominations, and one Oscar for their documentary Inocente.

The gala will feature an award-winning three course meal with a signature dessert by celebrity chef Steve Konopelski of Turnbridge Point.

To request an invitation, please go to chesapeakefilmfestival.com and click on “Send a CFF Gala Invitation!”