THE ANNE FRANK GIFT SHOP to Run at the Monica Film Center Followed by Engagement at the Milky Way Restaurant

Journalist and screenwriter Mickey Rapkin’s directorial debut tells a darkly comedic tale about a high-end design firm rebranding the gift shop at The Anne Frank House.

By: Sep. 19, 2023

THE ANNE FRANK GIFT SHOP to Run at the Monica Film Center Followed by Engagement at the Milky Way Restaurant


Is there a wrong way to talk about the Holocaust?

That is the question at the heart of THE ANNE FRANK GIFT SHOP, a new award-winning dark comedy from Reboot Studios and writer Mickey Rapkin (Pitch Perfect) about anti-Semitism that packs a vital and timely message. When a high-end design firm presents its plans to reimagine the gift shop at The Anne Frank House, the company's overt appeal to Generation Z sparks a debate about collective trauma, the Holocaust and tote bags.

The short film marks the directorial debut of writer Rapkin (Pitch Perfect), former senior editor at GQ and author of Theater Geek. Rapkin partnered with Reboot Studios, the production arm of the Jewish arts and culture nonprofit Reboot, to create the thought provoking comedy that won the Film Movement Award for Best Narrative Short at the 2023 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

The film will present its Academy Award qualifying run daily through September 21 at the Monica Film Center in Santa Monica as part of the Shorts by the Sea Vol. 5. Find out more and get tickets Click Here. The Milky Way in Los Angeles will also host an exclusive curated dinner October 24 with a special screening and a moderated conversation with Rapkin.

The film premiered earlier this summer at the LA Shorts Film Festival and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, where it won the Festival's Film Movement Award for Best Narrative Short. The Anne Frank Gift Shop is also the recipient of a 2023 Completion Grant from the Jewish Film Institute.

The premise for the film is comedic and there are plenty of jokes, but this film grew out of a very real challenge -- shocking levels of ignorance about the greatest crime of the 20th century. There has never been a more necessary time for the Holocaust story to be told with a fresh perspective. THE ANNE FRANK GIFT SHOP cast includes Ari Graynor (FX's Mrs. America), Chris Perfetti (Abbott Elementary), Kate Burton (Tony nominee for Hedda Gabler), Jason Butler Harner (Ozark), comedian Mary Beth Barone and Josh Meyers (Mad TV).

According to a recent study by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims, two-thirds of young adults in the U.S. couldn't tell you that six million Jews died in the Holocaust. Some 11 percent of respondents somehow believed Jews caused the Holocaust. It wasn't just happening in the United States either; the Claims Conference uncovered similar results in Canada, France, and Austria.

We are living in strange times. Anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise and fascism is somehow making a comeback. How do you reach a generation that has access to tragedy in their pockets? Should the Anne Frank House have its own Instagrammable moment? Should there be a place to take a selfie with Anne? What is even appropriate anymore?

THE ANNE FRANK GIFT SHOP takes aim at a very real problem -- a generation with little awareness of the Holocaust -- and attempts to solve it with humor by meeting this audience where they live. This irreverent short plays like an episode of Succession meets a breakout room at McKinsey Consulting. But the laughs soon give way to the film's essential message. As one of the characters says, "We need to tell this story again and again and again -- every which way we can -- or it will happen again."

Reboot Studios funds and develops Jewish content across theater, television, film, podcasts, music and publishing, empowering storytellers to transform society through a Jewish lens.



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From This Author - Michael Major

Michael Major is a Connecticut native and a graduate of Marist College.After starting out running social media for a theatre company, his love of pop culture led him to intern at TigerBeat Media. Afte... Michael Major">(read more about this author)