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The Optimists (at IU Woodburn Hall Theater)

Presented by: Ryder Film Series

Where: IU Woodburn Hall Theater

General Admission - Advance: $8.00

General Admission - Day of Show: $10.00

Advance Pass to All Films: $16.00

Day of Pass to All Films: $20.00


No showtimes available.


The Optimists is part of the film series Survival & Memory: What Decent People Do In Times of Crisis, which focuses on the films of Jacky Comforty. The Ryder Film Series is screening three of his films: In the Shadow of Memory, The Optimists, and Balkan Jazz. Mr. Comforty will host discussions after some of the screenings.


About the Film
The Optimist PhotoHow were 50,000 Bulgarian Jews saved from the Holocaust despite the intense efforts of their government to deport them? The Optimists tells the dramatic story of how people of all ethnic backgrounds and religions secured the safety of their Jewish neighbors at the eleventh hour.

“The Optimists is a wonderful film. The title refers not only to a Bulgarian jazz band, but to how the audience feels after watching such a moving testament to human decency.” – Annette Insdorf, author of Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust


About the director Jacky Comforty:
Jacky Comforty has created documentary films and videos in the United States, Germany, Israel, and Bulgaria. He commands a range of genres, from documentaries to comedies. Over the last 30 years, Jacky Comforty has specialized in two main subjects. His work has been groundbreaking in the fields of Inclusive Education and Holocaust Studies. He is particularly known for his work on the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews from the Holocaust. He is known for the effective, sensitive, interviewing techniques he has developed for oral histories and other projects requiring on-camera discussions that are genuine, meaningful, and in-depth.


Doors will open 30 minutes before the film screening. The film will run 1 hour and 22 minutes. Tickets will be sold at the door if still available (cash only).

*There are multiple screenings of this film. The following screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the director:

Friday April 21, 8pm at IU Woodburn Hall Theater
Friday, April 28, 8pm at IU Woodburn Hall Theater

The Venue

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1100 East 7th St

The Woodburn Hall Theater (WH 101) is at 1100 East 7th St on the Indiana University campus, next to the Lilly Library. If you are standing in the middle of the Showalter Fountain, facing the IU Auditorium, the Lilly Library would be immediately to your right and Woodburn Hall would be next to the Lilly, just to its right. But please don’t make a habit of standing in the middle of Showalter Fountain.

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The Promoter

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The Ryder Film Series brings independent film screenings to Bloomington throughout the year, hosting screenings across the community.

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