When a high-end design firm presents its plans to reimagine the gift shop at The Anne Frank House, the company’s overt appeals to Generation Z sparks a darkly comic debate about collective trauma, the Holocaust and tote bags. THE ANNE FRANK GIFT SHOP, which stars Ari Graynor and Abbott Elementary’s Chris Perfetti among other notable actors, imagines a meeting between the Anne Frank House and the New York design firm they’ve hired to help them appeal to young people. The idea for the film grew out of a disturbing study that revealed two-thirds of young Americans couldn’t tell you how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Eleven percent of respondents somehow believe Jews “caused” the Holocaust. The film aims to combat that with humor, disarming young people before making its emotional appeal: We have to keep telling this story again and again and again or it will happen again. Journalist turned filmmaker Mickey Rapkin joins us to talk about the thrill of making the Oscar® shortlist for Live-Action Short (in a category with the likes of Almodovar, Wes Anderson and Alfonso Cuaron), how his a dark comedy has suddenly become very timely and striking the right balance of irreverent humor and the jarring reality of Anne Frank’s actual life story.
About the filmmaker – A journalist and creative thinker, Mickey Rapkin, whose first book of nonfiction, PITCH PERFECT, inspired the film franchise about a cappella singing. For the last decade he has contributed compelling feature stories to award-winning magazines while writing captivating content for brands and developing projects for film and TV. He’s currently co-hosting the Forbes interview series, CEREAL ENTREPRENEUR, with Method co-founder Eric Ryan. Rapkin has a feature in development at TriStar inspired by The Chainsmokers’s global hit song PARIS, to be produced by the band’s production company Kick the Habit and Entertainment 360. He previously sold a series to Apple with John Wells and Warner Bros. based on Stephen McCauley’s novel MY EX-LIFE. His original horror feature pitch, KILLER CHOIR, sold to MRC with Scooter Braun’s SB Projects and Entertainment 360 producing. In 2023, he wrote and directed a short film called THE ANNE FRANK GIFT SHOP. Rapkin’s writing on entertainment, lifestyle and travel has appeared in GQ, the New York Times, ELLE, Town & Country, Bon Appetit, Esquire and many others.
“Featuring darkly funny and ultimately moving turns by a strong cast including Ari Graynor and Chris Perfetti and comedian Mary Beth Barone as a stone-faced Gen Z influencer, ‘The Anne Frank Gift Shop’ provides a poignant meta-commentary on our continually robust Anne Frank discourse.” – Sarah Seltzer, GQ