A scene from Andrew Jacobs’ “Four Seasons Lodge.” Image courtesy of Rainlake Productions.”Four Seasons Lodge”
Based on a series of stories he wrote in The New York Times in 2005, reporter Andrew Jacobs replaces his pen and pad for a video camera to further explore this community of Holocaust survivors who for decades have traveled to the Catskills of New York to relax, rejoice and remember.

“I felt I didn’t do it justice,” says Jacobs as to why he’s making the doc, noting he’d stumbled across the community at the tail end of his series. “And I just felt it was an extraordinary community, not only because they are all Holocaust survivors but their parties were astounding. They dressed up in formal wear and made these lavish meals.”

But Jacobs had never made a film before, though he admits to being an obsessive videographer since he was a kid. So his friend got him in touch with legendary documentarian Albert Maysles. “We just proposed that he come on board during a pitch session and he was immediately enthused,” Jacobs says. Maysles came on as an executive producer and shares cinematography credit with Andrew Federman, Avi Kastoriano and Justin Schein.

Shot in the summer of 2006 on DV, the doc takes a verite look at the community, highlighting the joke telling, free living and candid discussions shared with one another. “It’s a different type of Holocaust film,” Jacobs explains. “It’s not a sit down interview, tell your story about the train to Auschwitz. That’s one thing we wanted to convey in that these people are self selected. There are a lot of survivors who don’t talk about [the Holocaust] and they do and they are drawn to each other because of that, they are able to deal with their past by verbalizing it.”

World premiering in competition at Silverdocs this month, Jacobs also is hoping to create an educational program from the film that can be used in schools to teach about the Holocaust, tolerance issues and aging. Edited by Kim Connell and Aaron Soffin, producers are Jacobs and Matthew Lavine. Along with Maysles, the film’s executive producer is Kelly Sheehan.

[For more information, please visit the film’s website.]