Joe's Violin

General Information

USA, 2016 | Documentary, 24 min.
Director: Kahane Cooperman
Producers: Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen











"When Music Restores Faith in Humanity" - Huffington Post


"How a Violin Forged a Tie Between a Holocaust Survivor and a Girl from the Bronx" - Jewish Forward


"A tale that plucks the heartstrings"- New York Post



In this award-winning documentary short, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor donates his violin of 70 years to a local instrument drive, changing the life of a 12-year-old school girl from America’s poorest congressional district, and unexpectedly, his own. Joe’s Violin poignantly illuminates how the power of music brings light in the darkest of times and how a small act can have a great impact connection people across generations and cultures.

Awards and Festivals



Oscar Nomination for Best Documentary Short Subject, 2017

Winner of the Golden Horseshoe Grand Prix, Asterfest Int'l Film Festival, Macedonia, 2017

Winner of the Best Short Documentary Film Award, Moscow Jewish Film Festival, Russia, 2017

Winner of Audience Award at the Milwaukee Film Festival, USA, 2016
Winner of Audience Award at the Montclair Film Festival, USA, 2016
Winner of Best Short at the Nantucket Film Festival, USA, 2016
Winner of Audience Award and Jury Award at Lighthouse International Film Festival, USA, 2016
Winner of Director’s Choice Award at Gold Coast International Film Festival, USA, 2016



AFI Docs Film Festival
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
Austin Jewish Film Festival
Berkshires International Film Festival
Beth Tzedec Calgary Jewish Film Festival
Big Eddy Film Festival
Camden International Film Festival
Columbus Jewish Film Festival
Crested Butte Film Festival
Desert Film Society
Docaviv International Film Festival
Gold Coast International Film Festival
Hamptons International Film Festival
INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE, Hot Docs Film Festival, Canada, 2016
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – IDFA
Lighthouse International Film Festival
Miami Jewish Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
Milwaukee Film Festival
Montclair Film Festival
Nantucket Film Festival
Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival
Rocky Mountain Women's Film Institute
San Diego Jewish Film Festival
San Francisco Film Society Doc Stories
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Traverse City Film Festival
WORLD PREMIERE, Tribeca Film Festival, USA, 2016
Tucson International Jewish Film Festival
Vienna Jewish Film Festival
Washington West Film Festival



Director: Kahane Cooperman
Producer: Kahane Cooperman & Raphaela Neihausen
Cinematographer: Bob Richman
Editor: Amira Dughri & Andrew Saunderson

Original Language: English

Subtitles: English



NBC4 New York piece on Joe's Violin
"Joe's Violin Show How Every Instrument Has a Story" - NY1
"Holocaust Survivor Gives the Gift of Music to Bronx Schoolgirl" - The Takeaway
"WQXR's Instrument Drive and the Film It Inspired" - The Brian Lehrer Show
"Joe's Violin: A holocaust survivor, a school girl and an unlikely friendship" - The Guardian
"Holocaust survivor’s violin plays on in hands of 13-year-old girl" - NY Post
"When Music Restores Faith in Humanity" - Huffington Post
"How a Violin Forged a Tie Between a Holocaust Survivor and a Girl from the Bronx" - Jewish Forward



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 "Inspirational filmmaking of the first order.” - Peter Debruge, Variety 

“Astounding and thoroughly inspirational.” - Peter Debruge, Variety 

"A soulful salute to a distinctly 21st-century phenomenon that's also an old-fashioned fairy tale come true.” - Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter 

"Thru You Princess is pure positivity.” - Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter

 “It's almost impossible not to be charmed by guileless, good-hearted Princess Shaw herself and her real-life Cinderella story.” - Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter 

“Compelling and inspiring.” - Steve Pond, The Wrap 

“One of the Toronto Film Festival’s wildest true stories.” - Steve Pond, The Wrap 

“Inspiring. An essential tale for the digital age.” (A-) - Eric Kohn, Indiewire

 “Touching. Offers an upbeat alternative to gloomier looks at identity in the digital age." - Eric Kohn, Indiewire 

“A total delight.” - Kase Wickman,

 "Thru You Princess would have all the Facebook likes if it popped up on BuzzFeed tomorrow.” - Matt Patches,

 “[Princess] Shaw is such a vibrant, authentic character, you can't help but root for her.” - Matt Patches,

 “Will actually make you feel good about humanity—and the Internet.” - Brian Raftery, Yahoo! Movies 

“A reminder that the porous borders of the web can yield not only great art, but also even greater empathy.” - Brian Raftery, Yahoo! Movies 

"It's easy to ‘Like' Thru You Princess—but it's even easier to love it.” - Brian Raftery, Yahoo! Movies

**** "Brilliant documentary. Completely fascinating." - Dwight Brown, The Huffington Post 

"Radiating with vivacity and affection for its subjects... A wonderful, uncommon sensation." - Sam Fragoso, 

"[A] joyously uplifting documentary.” - Linda Barnard, The Toronto Star 

“It’s nothing short of a triumph.” - Jordan Hoffman, The Times of Israel 

“Intelligent, original and enthralling.” - Neta Alexander, Haaretz 

**** - The Guardian 

“A lovely portrait of artists coming together to make one another shine.” - Norman Wilner, NOW Magazine 

"[An] emotional, cross-continental rollercoaster ride.” - Michael-Oliver Harding, DAZED 

“Brings renewed optimism in the WWW.” - Michael-Oliver Harding, VICE 

“A thrilling new remix on 'A Star is Born.’” - Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest 

“[A] wonderful film.” - Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

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