Published April 25, 2013
NEW YORK – Emily Harrold’s Tribeca Film Festival movie began as a school project.
Now, two years later, she is 22 and the youngest filmmaker to have a movie screening at the prestigious festival.
“I was really, really shocked and very excited when I got a call from the [Tribeca Film Festival] programmer in February that they wanted the film,” she told FOX 411. “I was intimidated at first just because Tribeca is such a wonderful festival, and there’s so much talent. Being the baby, it is intimidated. But it’s also really exciting.”
Her 18-minute documentary, “Reporting on The Times: The NY Times and The Holocaust,” investigates why the New York Times, a Jewish-owned newspaper, published few front page stories about the Holocaust while it was happening.
She said she came up with the idea to make the short film after the United States’ knowledge of the Holocaust was discussed in one of her undergraduate classes at New York University.
“In the class the professor mentioned the U.S. government knew about concentration camps,” she said. “I had always been under the impression that no one knew about [that] until after World War II was over.”
She then came across a book, “Buried by the Times,” which inspired her to make a movie about the newspaper.
“It’s a part of the story that I never learned, and I am finding a lot of people have not learned, and I thought it was something that needed to be told,” she said.
It seems festival organizers agree with her sentiment. Harrold’s film is currently being shown simultaneously at the Nashville Film Festival and at Tribeca.
She said so far at Tribeca, the movie has been successful.
“We’ve had two screenings both of which have been completely sold out.”
The short movie features sit-down interviews with various historians, professors and even a Holocaust survivor, who all discuss the newspaper’s lack of coverage of the events. The film also features newspaper clippings, showing the brief stories published by the Times about the events in Europe.
Harrold said while making the movie she reached out to the New York Times in hopes of including the newspaper’s take on the coverage in her film.
“I reached out to their press office a couple times at the beginning and got a ‘we’ll get back to you’ and I never heard anything,” she said.
Still, Harrold feels the documentary did not suffer from the lack of comment from the Times.
“I feel like I know what they would have said: ‘We didn’t report this. It was a mistake. We regret it, and we are aiming to do a better job now,’” she surmised.
At the end of the film, Harrold included a 1996 statement from the Times, in which the paper admits there were flaws in its Holocaust coverage.
“The Times has long been criticized for grossly underplaying the Holocaust while it was taking place,” the statement read. “Clippings from the paper show that the criticism is valid.”
A rep for the New York Times, who has not viewed the film, told FOX 411 the newspaper "did fail in the way it covered the Holocaust and we have not shied away from that fact."