Moriah: A Film Company Like No Other

The Simon Wiesenthal Center was a pioneer in creating Moriah Films, whose purpose is to continue to produce quality, award-winning documentaries on the epic events of the 20th and 21st centuries – events that shaped and redefined modern Jewish history.

In 1980, recognizing the impact of films, Rabbi Marvin Hier, the Center’s Founder and Dean assembled a team that began working on a documentary on the Holocaust. That film, Genocide, narrated by Elizabeth Taylor and Orson Welles, was the first documentary on the Holocaust to win an Academy Award®. Rabbi Hier became the first Rabbi to both win an Oscar® and be invited to be a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Genocide launched what became the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s film division, Moriah Films.

In 1997, Rabbi Hier and Richard Trank Writer/Director and Executive Producer of Moriah Films, won the Academy Award® for The Long Way Home, making it Rabbi Hier’s second Oscar®.

Two Academy Award Wins
Two of Moriah’s films have been the recipients of Academy Awards® for Best Documentary Feature.
In 1981, Genocide, narrated by Elizabeth Taylor and Orson Welles, was the first documentary on the Holocaust to receive an Academy Award® which The New York Times called “chilling and forceful” and Newsweek said was “unforgettable”.  Moriah’s 1998 Academy Award® winner, The Long Way Home, narrated by Morgan Freeman, was called “superb ... masterful ... offers epic dimension”, by Los Angeles Times while The New York Times wrote it was “staggeringly powerful”.   

Distinguished Narrators: A Who’s Who of Hollywood Talent

Moriah films have been narrated by some of the most talented and distinguished names in the entertainment industry, many of them Academy Award®- winners: Elizabeth Taylor, Orson Welles, George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Nicole Kidman, Dustin Hoffman, Sir Ben Kingsley, Whoopi Goldberg, Anne Bancroft, Michael York, Sir Patrick Stewart, Kevin Costner, Martin Landau, Miriam Margolyes, Brooke Shields, Christoph Waltz and others. These actors, have generously donated their talents to Moriah Films.

Involvement from Entertainment Industry Leaders

From its inception, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has had close ties to the entertainment industry starting with Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor in 1977, both of whom were Simon Wiesenthal Center Board Members.

Ongoing creative advice and interest for Moriah Films comes from some of the top leaders of the entertainment community including Jeffrey Katzenberg, Founder of WndrCo; Ron Meyer, Vice-Chairman of NBC Universal; and Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, all of whom are also members of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Board of Trustees.

The Wiesenthal Center also consults with some of its past honorees including Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, Co-Founders of Imagine Entertainment, Amy Pascal, past Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman and Chairman of the Motion Pictures Group, Jerry Bruckheimer, film and television producer and Jon Feltheimer, Chief Executive Officer of Lionsgate Entertainment.

State-of-the-Art in House Production Facility

Moriah Films’ in-house production facility features the latest and most cutting-edge film, video and sound editing systems currently available. Moriah’s state of the art film and video production studio includes three Avid Media Composer systems, a DaVinci Resolve color grading system and Digital Cinema Package (DCP) mastering system. This enables the production team to edit and produce a theatrical documentary entirely in-house, from start to finish, delivering a completed 4K master ready to be screened on the latest digital projection equipment in theaters around the world. Its sound studio has two of the latest ProTools editing systems allowing Moriah’s sound designers to not only record narration, but to also edit music, create sound effects and mix feature films and videos.

Partnership with US State Department

In partnership with the United States Department of State, three of Moriah’s films, have been subtitled into twelve languages. 
Walking With DestinyI Have Never Forgotten You and Against The Tide were selected by the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs/ Office of Holocaust Issues (EUR/OHI) to be screened throughout Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America to combat anti-Semitism, racism, hate and bigotry.

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