On 30 March 2020, the Anne Frank House and Every Media launched The Anne Frank video diary, a new way to introduce young people worldwide to Anne Frank’s life story. The Anne Frank video diary consists of fifteen episodes and can be viewed in over 60 countries on YouTube.
The video series is in Dutch and was initially subtitled in German, English, Portuguese, and Spanish. French, Hebrew, Japanese, and Russian were added later. The series got many views; in nine months, the counter reached 4.9 million views for the series and 770,000 views for the educational videos.
Anne films herself
The Anne Frank video diary starts following Anne Frank on 29 March 1944. At that point, she is 14 years old and has been living in hiding for over a year and a half, together with her parents Otto and Edith, sister Margot, Auguste and Hermann van Pels, their son Peter, and Fritz Pfeffer. Anne films herself and the events in the Secret Annex, looks back on the time before they went into hiding, talks about the war, and shares her deepest thoughts and feelings. The video diary ends on 4 August 1944, the day on which Anne and the seven other people from the Secret Annex, as well as two of their non-Jewish helpers, were arrested.
‘I’m excited about this video diary. By replacing the diary with a camera, young people can easily imagine being in the situation back then, when Anne Frank lived. The idea took some getting used to, but I think it’s a good idea to transfer Anne Frank’s story to these modern times.’
The fifteen episodes of the video diary are accompanied by seven educational videos that emphasise the fact that the video diary is based on a true story, and that deal with themes such as discrimination, scapegoating, making choices, and freedom. The educational videos are also available in five different languages. Teachers can use the Anne Frank video diary and combine it with the educational videos and other lesson materials.
Personal and poignant
Ronald Leopold, executive director of the Anne Frank House: ‘The Anne Frank video diary is one-on-one, personal and poignant. Unlike the films about Anne Frank in which Anne is played by older actresses and which take an outside perspective, young Luna uses her camera to invite the viewers to connect with Anne, the girl, in a direct way. I hope that many young people will be moved by the video diary and that they will learn about Anne Frank’s life story and start to think about antisemitism and discrimination today. I also hope that the video diary will encourage young people to read Anne’s diary, her beautifully written diary letters, for themselves.’
The Anne Frank video diary received rave reviews from press and audiences worldwide.
‘I was watching this just before my online class, and my eyes welled up. This girl brings out the beauty in the darkest times. So, just now I was asked if I was doing all right and I immediately recommended this series to my English teacher!’
The Anne Frank video diary won two Lovie AwardsLovie Awards: a silver jury award and the people’s vote in the category Video: Entertainment and Sports. The jury announced the winners on 19 November 2020. ‘Together we can keep Anne’s story alive,’ leading actress Luna Cruz Perez said at the Lovie Awards virtual award ceremony.
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