Award-winning film based on the true story of two heroic families: one risked their lives in the Holocaust, the other returned the favor five decades later

NEW YORK, May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Jewish Material Claims Conference Against Germany (Claims Conference), announced the winner of the Short film competition, great emerging filmmakers. First place goes to Sabina Vajraca, a Bosnian-American filmmaker influenced by her Muslim family’s experience in bosnia during WWII.

Gideon TaylorPresident of the Claims Conference, said, “The Claims Conference is pleased to offer a new generation of filmmakers the opportunity to bring the memory and lessons of the Holocaust to life. Film is an essential medium for telling the story of the Holocaust, and it’s an incredible opportunity to support these directors.”

This year’s winner, Sabina Vajracacrafted a gripping narrative based on a true story set during two wars in bosnia. His film, Sevap / Mitzvahtells the story of a Muslim family who save their Jewish friends when the Nazis invade Sarajevo only to return the favor fifty years later during the Bosnian War.

The film is based on the story of the Hardaga family, which was Muslim, and the Kavilio family, which was Jewish. When the Nazis reached Sarajevo during World War II, the Hardaga family took in the Kavilio family. Thanks to the heroism and humanity of the Hardaga family, the Kavilio family survived the Holocaust.

M/s. from Vajraca film and the Hardaga family are featured in the recently launched Claims Conference social media campaign, Don’t be a spectator. The Hardaga/Kavilio family story alone has garnered over 1.8 million views.

Sabina Vajraca responded to the announcement by saying, “I am deeply touched and very excited to be the recipient of this year’s Film Fellowship from the Claims Conference. What an honor to be selected from among what I can only imagine to be an incredible group of stories.”

Greg SchneiderExecutive Vice President of the Claims Conference, said: “We are thrilled to award Sabina Vajrača the top prize in the Claims Conference’s Emerging Filmmaker competition. Her film amplifies a story that inspires us all to move beyond social and political norms and reflect on our humanity. .”

More information about the 2021 competition can be found on the Claims Conference website: Applications are now open via June 6, 2022 for the 2022 Emerging Filmmaker Contest. More information and applications can be found at

For more information on the Claims Conference, please visit:

About the Disaster Conference: The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), a non-profit organization with offices in New York, Israel and Germany, provides material compensation to Holocaust survivors worldwide. Founded in 1951 by representatives of 23 major international Jewish organizations, the Claims Conference negotiates and disburses funds for individuals and organizations and demands the return of Jewish property stolen during the Holocaust. As a result of negotiations with the Claims Conference since 1952, the German government has paid over $90 billion in compensating people for suffering and loss resulting from Nazi persecution. In 2021, the Claims Conference distributed approximately $820 million in direct compensation to more than 210,000 survivors in 83 countries and awarded approximately $650 million in grants to more than 300 social service agencies around the world that provide vital services to Holocaust survivors, such as home care, food and medicine.


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