January 16, 2014

Kalamazoo, Michigan, January 16, 2014—The Fetzer Institute announces “Facing Fear” is an official nominee for the 86th Academy Awards® Best Documentary Short Subject.

Funded by the Fetzer Institute and produced and directed by Jason Cohen, “Facing Fear” captures the story of an ex-neo Nazi and the gay man he nearly beat to death, when decades later the two meet by chance. The 23-minute film documents their search to find forgiveness and redemption.

Gillian Gonda, a program officer at the Fetzer Institute notes, “It was our great fortune to come across the Museum of Tolerance and Matthew’s and Tim’s story, a powerful tale of forgiveness that is even more so given that started at the museum.”

The Fetzer Institute is working with the Museum of Tolerance to evaluate and expand “From Hate to Hope,” a regular presentation given by Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal, subjects of the documentary.

Fetzer Institute President and CEO Bob Boisture added, “We are humbled to have been part of this project and to work with people who model our mission of love and forgiveness every day. The film beautifully captures the complexity and depth of forgiveness.”

“When we set out to make this film, our goal with the Fetzer Institute was to tell this remarkable story in as honest a way as possible and let the viewers form their own opinions. We hoped to share the film with as wide an audience as possible, and this recognition—which was beyond our wildest dreams—will help us to achieve that end,” said filmmaker Jason Cohen.

Plans are underway for a local screening in advance of the Academy Award ceremony Sunday, March 2. Follow these links for a trailer and images for “Facing Fear,” and more information about the project.

The Fetzer Institute is a nonprofit, private operating foundation based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Established by broadcast pioneer John E. Fetzer (1901-1991), the Institute uses its philanthropic resources to create programs that foster awareness of the power that love and forgiveness can have in our world. For more information, visit www.fetzer.org