Thursday, October 30, 2014

2014 UK Jolson Festival

Jens made a solo trip to the 2014 UK Jolson Festival in Bromley, Greater London. As a representative for the entire team of AJ-Images, he gave a presentation on the recent journeys to Lithuania (where a memorial stone in honor of Al Jolson was unveiled) and to Malta.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Al Jolson in Malta

A real treat for Al Jolson fans! - The Malta section of the IAJS is headed by Vince Williams, who works tirelessly to promote Al Jolson and his works among the Jolson fans on Malta. He organizes and hosts the yearly Al Jolson Malta Gathering at the Royal British Legion in Malta's capital, Valletta, and the Christmas Buffet Lunch in the beautiful Waterfront Hotel in Sliema, a resort town and yacht harbor near the capital.

In addition to that, Vince Williams created and presented a special Jazz Singer Exhibition that was shown for two weeks at cinema and shopping center complex Galleria in Fgura, near his hometown. The Malta section of the IAJS also attends the celebrations on Remembrance Day and different masses.

As a representative for the AJ-Images team, Jens traveled to Malta for five days attending the Al Jolson Malta Gathering on October 12. Throughout the trip, Vince Williams was the perfect guide to all Jolson sites on Malta. This includes a memorial plaque for the 80th Anniversary of The Jazz Singer which is located in the beautiful Salini National Park.

To promote the IAJS, Jolson on Malta, and the documentary project of AJ-Images Vince Williams arranged three radio interviews, the first at BKR Radio 94.5FM, hosted by Toni Ellul, the second at Kottoner 98 FM, hosted by Joe Massa, and the third at Radio City 107.6 FM, hosted by Charles Zammit.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Al Jolson Memorial Stone in Lithuania

Al Jolson received a memorial stone at Jakovas Bunka's Litvak memorial park near Plateliai, a small village in the North West of Lithuania, Al Jolson's home country. Jakovas Bunka recently passed away and was considered the last Jew in the town of Plunge, close to Plateliai. Bunka's son Eugenijus, journalist, writer, and activist, is now leading the foundation.

Not too far away from Plateliai is Klaipeda, a major harbor which was the harbor Al Jolson along with his mother and siblings passed through on their way from Seredzius to Liverpool in 1894.

Jens and Wyman attended the inauguration to capture this amazing event for AJ-Images' upcoming Jolson documentary ON THE ROAD TO AL JOLSON.

This event is a huge step into the direction of Jolson finally being recognized and acknowledged in his home country after all of Jolson's work was made available to the public with the opening of the Vilnius Jewish Public Library on December 16th, 2011 - thanks to the efforts of AJ-Images and the help of the Int'l. Al Jolson Society, and of course Wyman Brent, the founder of the VJPL.

Here you can visit the website of the Jakovas Bunka Charity and Sponsorship Fund.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

2014 Al Jolson Festival in Baltimore, MD

Jens made a solo trip to the 64th Anniversay Jolson Festival in Baltimore, Maryland. He captured festival footage for the Jolson feature length documentary. The trip was extended to Washington, D.C., where Jens had a chance to film at the cemetery where Jolson's parents and sisters are interred.

With the amazing support of Jolson relative Francie Hess Kranzberg and her husband Josh, Jens managed to visit and document different synagogue sites associtated with Jolson's father (Ohev Sholom, Tifereth Israel Congregation) and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington to do archival research for our film ON THE ROAD TO AL JOLSON.