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Jul 14, 2015 1:38 PM ET

Archived: RED STAR: retrace their escape and lives from behind the Iron Curtain

iCrowdNewswire - Jul 14, 2015



RED STAR is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionize the way history is documented. With our access to living historical figures, Peter and Jana Kantor, our team will combine today’s cutting edge technology with traditional documentary filmmaking methods, to provide real-time interactive audience experience during production. During our intercontinental journey, our followers can log onto Periscope for up-to-the-moment dailies, insights, and opportunities to collaborate with cast and crew. It’s an exciting time to connect audiences with the subjects and filmmakers, and RED STAR will lead the charge. RED STAR is also a personal film. Director and Producer Michelle Kantor, the youngest daughter of the film’s subjects, is finally making her family’s dream of sharing their incredible history with a global audience a reality.  Previous iterations of this project include vintage home movies shot by the new immigrants when they reunited in New York in the late sixties. Stylistically speaking, RED STAR will combine observational, participatory, performative, and even experimental styles of filmmaking to reflect the different levels of consciousness of a person moving from oppression to liberation. Spanning half a century of one man’s life, this is not a simple talking heads documentary. RED STAR thoroughly immerses viewers into the mindset of a political prisoner, it shocks and suprises, and will will work closely with the Kantors to tell their subjective sides of the story in a thoroughly entertaining, engaging and visually gorgeous way.


Fifty years ago, Peter Kantor escaped Communist Czechoslovakia by scuba-diving the river into free Austria.  He left behind his wife, Jana, and son Richard, who fled after the Soviet Invasion of 1968. They later reunited in New York City. RED STAR is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to document these historical subjects before it’s too late. Part hybrid travelogue and part living history documentary, it will cross three countries and the former Iron Curtain on the 50th anniversary of this incredible journey.  Lead by Peter and Jana’s youngest daughter, Michelle, the RED STAR team is raising funds to take them back to retrace their escape and lives under Communism. 
With firsthand testimonials of the injustice and hardship of totalitarianism, RED STAR is history in the making. Our crew will travel from Prague to Bohemia (where Jana grew up), to Peter’s childhood home in Slovakia, and finally to Austria. Peter will take us to the exact locations of his river escape, where a white concrete monument now stands, riddled with bullet holes shot by Communist Border Patrol.  Hundreds of lives were lost attempting to escape here. The RED STAR crew will take a boat with Peter down the river, from Bratislava to Vienna, and re-live his memories of emerging from the water as a free man. We will hear about Jana’s traumatic interrogations by the Communist police, her unsuccessful attempts to escape with Richard, and the final hand of fate when Soviet tanks invaded Kosice to quash Czechoslovakian dissidents. Richard, then 4 years old, ran in front of the tanks wearing a G.I. Joe costume and toy machine gun sent to him by Peter from the United States. The tanks stopped in their tracks. Thousands fled at this time, when borders were less fortified, and they eventually reunited with Peter in New York City.
RED STAR is an incredibly rare and important documentary, about ordinary people who do extraordinary things. My mother and father’s stories of life under Communism are authentic voices that reflect an important moment of history. Now, they are especially relevant as we approach historical milestones. They also serve as potent reminders of current totalitarian regimes that threaten world peace. Using new technology, we will take our followers along for this incredible journey with us. We will Periscope during filming, allow for our follower’s input and questions to be asked, and create a truly unique, interactive documentary experience that integrates the today’s best technology with history’s most interesting subjects. 
THIS IS  THE FUTURE OF DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING… and you, our audience, are a part of it. 

Our two year plan includes a roll-out of educational and festival markets for 2016 -17

1. 6 mos. FESTIVALS – Sundance, Frameline, IFP, Telluride, SXSW, etc. (targeting documentary). 

2. 6-12 mos. EDUCATIONAL distribution and university speaker tour for Prague Spring 50th Anniversary. Targets are New Gate Films, WMM, Bullfrog, Orpheus, Educational Distribution NY, etc.  

3. 6 mos. :Theatres or Broadcast.  International Distribution.

4. Streaming: VOD, Netflix, iTunes.  Red Star is an interest piece for raising financing for the feature length narrative adaptation of the subject’s lives. 

Contact Information:

Michelle Kantor

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