November 29 and December 1, 2012
Screening on German public TV channel Kiel TV
Our recently finished short film "Beautiful Dreamers" was screened twice at a local TV station here in Kiel. Take a look!
November 11, 2012
Jolson event at General Patton Museum in Palm Springs, California
Al Jolson will be honored at the General Patton Memorial Museum on Veterans Day (Nov. 11, 2012) with the issue of an Al Jolson stamp. The legendary singer Al Jolson (1886 –1950) was the first
star to entertain troops overseas during World War II. Almost as soon as Congress formalized a declaration of war in
response to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the singer dedicated himself to a new mission in life. With millions of American
soldiers being strung out in bases all over the world, and before the U.S.O. was formed, Jolson was on the phone to the War
and Navy Department brass demanding permission to go “anywhere in the world where there is an American serviceman who
wouldn’t mind listening to Sonny Boy or Mammy.”
He was the first star to perform at a GI base in World War II. He appeared before units in the steaming forests of Trinidad and Curacao, did four shows a day in the jungle outposts in Central America, covering a string of Naval bases. Then with a swift change of scene from the tropics to the Arctic, he flew to Alaska and performed up and down the Aleutian Islands.
When the Korean conflict started, Jolson insisted the White House clear the way for him to sing for the troops, and once again he would be the first to entertain the troops, leaving for the war zone the evening of September 11, 1950. A passionate trooper, he and his partner flew all over the Orient, giving 3 or 4 performances a day every day through September 21st, entertaining 26,000 service men and women. He took a break in San Francisco on October 23, and died that night of apparent exhaustion. On November 10, 1950, Al Jolson was posthumously awarded the U.S. Medal of Merit by President Harry Truman.
Richard Halpern, “Mr. Tin Pan Alley,” is a master of the music of the Jolson era and will perform during the Jolson event at General Patton Memorial Museum. (Text adapted from General Patton Memorial Museum).
For AJ-Images, Jens Reinke will cover the event for the upcoming Jolson documentary "On the Road to Al Jolson".
October 19-21, 2012
UK Jolson Festival 2012
Andrea and Wyman attended this year's Jolson Festival in Bromley, UK. They gave a presentation on the work of AJ-Images & The Vilnius Jewish Public Library on Saturday afternoon. They also interviewed Jolson biographer Michael Freedland. Once again, the organizers came up with an amazing UK Jolson weekend.
August 22, 2012:
Wedding of director Andrea Oberheiden and PR rep Wyman Brent
The projects of the Al Jolson documentary work of AJ-Images and the founding of the Vilnius Jewish Public Library
by Wyman Brent not only linked on a professional level but also merged on a personal one. Andrea and Wyman exchanged vows on the 22nd of August at
The Grove in Marion, South Carolina.
Since it was Al Jolson who brought the two together, the world's greatest entertainer was present at the ceremony in image, voice, and spirit. For more information, please check out their wedding page.
On their wedding trip to the USA, Andrea and Wyman also worked on the Jolson documentary and attended the Long Island Jolson Festival in New York on August 18th, 2012.
The Association of Jewish Libraries' 47th Annual Convention | June 17-20, 2012
We accompanied Wyman Brent on his trip to Los Angeles where he talked about the Vilnius Jewish Public Library at the 47th annual convention of the Association of Jewish Libraries. The footage will be used for both our major documentary projects: "On the Road to Al Jolson" and "Wyman Brent & The Vilnius Jewish Library".
Welcome, Wyman Brent!
We welcome Wyman Brent as our new team member! Wyman will function as our public relations officer for international affairs. Please check out our new contact data at: "Contact us".
AJ-Images.com Media Productions on the move!
Well, our website has stayed the same, but the people behind it have moved to a new location. Please check out our new contact data at: "Contact us".
AJ-Images.com once again in Lithuania
After having visited Al Jolson's homeland in the summer of 2010, we once again traveled to Lithuania. We were looking forward to seeing the country during the winter time as we attended the opening of the Vilnius Jewish Public Library on December 16, 2011. We were excited to see a huge collection of Jolson material on display and we even traveled to Lithuania with more material in our luggage. The opening of the Vilnius Jewish Library is not just a huge milestone in Jewish cultural history, but also a major step in bringing Al Jolson back to his country of origin.
October 20 - October 23, 2011: "Jolson trip" to Bromley, UK
Jens attended the Bromley Meeting (October 21-23) held by the IAJS. Jens gave a presentation about the work of Wyman Brent, founder of the Vilnius Jewish Public Library. The library opened a few weeks later on December 16, 2011 with an amazing Al Jolson collection on display. Thanks to all those who have donated! A big thanks to the Int'l. Al Jolson Society to make it happen.
Article in "The Jewish Quarterly":
"The Messiah of Vilnius"
Check out the article "The Messiah of Vilnius" in the current fall issue of the UK newspaper "The Jewish Quarterly"! It covers Wyman Brent's final success of opening the Vilnius Jewish Public Library in 2011, 70 years after the invasion of Lithuania by the Nazis. Al Jolson and AJ-Images are mentioned at the end of the article.
September 25 - October 6, 2011: "Jolson trip" to the USA
Jens went on our last Jolson trip to the USA before our graduation. He met with some veterans who saw Jolson perform on his USO tours, several Jolson relatives, as well as some other important interviewees such as Joe Franklin.
The trip led Jens to places in New York, New Jersey, Arizona, Connecticut, California, and Florida.
May 19-22, 2011: Jolson Festival in Philadelphia
Jens will make a short trip to the USA in May of 2011 in order to attend the Jolson Festival in Philadelphia held by the Int'l. Al Jolson Society. Jens will hold a presentation on our trip to Seredzius, Al Jolson's birthplace. He is looking forward to especially attending this Jolson Festival since the very first Jolson Festival we attended was being held in Philadelphia back in 2006 when we just had started to work on our Jolson project.
Lithuania, Here We Come
Our article in the 'Jolson Journal' of the Int'l. Al Jolson Society
Click on the PDF icon to read the new article about our 2010 trips to Lithuania and our work with the Vilnius Jewish Library!
New Radio Piece:
Wyman Brent and the Vilnius Jewish Library
Here you can listen to a radio piece aiming at German listeners who want to donate to the Vilnius Jewish Public Library. The language is English and German. Please click on the player below to listen in.
Because It's My Dream - Wyman Brent and the Vilnius Jewish Public Library
December 23, 2010 - January 28, 2011:
Wyman Brent, founder of the Vilnius Jewish Public Library, in Northern Germany again
Wyman Brent will be back in Germany! While we mainly focused on getting donations for the Vilnius Jewish Public Library during his first visit, we will now focus on publicity for both his library and our Jolson project.
Promo Video: Wyman Brent and the Vilnius Jewish Public Library
New documentary project: Wyman Brent and the Vilnius Jewish Library
We are happy to announce that the work on our Al Jolson project led us to another major film project we will be working on for the next years: Wyman Brent and the Vilnius Jewish Library. Check out the projects section in the menu for further information.
November 8 - December 2, 2010:
Wyman Brent, founder of the Vilnius Jewish Library, in Northern Germany
We are proud to be able to support the Vilnius Jewish Library, the first Jewish library in Lithuania since 1943, founded by Wyman Brent (a Gentile from California who now lives in Vilnius). Mr. Brent will spend 3 weeks with us in Northern Germany to attend the Kristallnacht ceremonies in Kiel and to meet with political, cultural, and educational officials in Kiel, Rendsburg, Hamburg, and Berlin.
Furthermore, it is planned to have a big Al Jolson event with us at the Vilnius Jewish Library after its grand opening in spring of 2011.
For more information about the Vilnius Jewish Library, please visit: vilniusjewishlibrary.wordpress.com
Mr. Brent is still looking for donations (books and DVDs by Jews and/or about Jews or Jewish topics).
His email: email@example.com
October 22-24, 2010: "Jolson trip" to England
Our short "Al Jolson entertaining American Troops" and our documentary "A Look at Al Jolson" will be screened at the Int'l. Al Jolson Society's Bromley Meeting which takes place on October 23-24. This year's event not only commemorates the 60th Anniversary of Al Jolson's passing but also the 60th Anniversary of the Int'l. Al Jolson Society itself.
We will also give a presentation about our recent trips to Seredzius, Al Jolson's birthplace.
October 6-10, 2010: Short "Jolson trip" to Lithuania
We made a short but exciting second trip to Al Jolson's home country! We had some important interviews on this trip,
and we also had the chance to take two of Al Jolson's relatives from the USA along with us, Jon and Francesca Hess. We also met Wyman Brent, founder of the Jewish Library in Vilnius, to which we donated some Jolson items for the collection.
The most exciting thing was the meeting with Jonas Pikoraitis, the mayor of Seredzius, and Ričardas Juška, governor of Jurbarkas, to discuss our idea of a potential Al Jolson plaque in his hometown. In that context, we were the subject on radio and TV, and in a local newspaper.
June 23 - July 14, 2010: Trip to Lithuania
We finally did our long planned trip to Al Jolson's home country! Besides filming the places of Al Jolson's childhood, we joined a Jewish American travel group on their way back in Eastern European history.
On the one hand, this trip was absolutely amazing; on the other hand, this trip was very demanding due to a sprained toe, several car accidents, an enormous heat (no air-con in our car, no air-con in any of our hotels), trouble with Polish police officers, and eventually a virus that really wore us out.
June 8-17, 2010: Short trip to Omaha, Nebraska
Time to move on, and another solo trip for Jens. We were asked to represent the Int'l. Al Jolson Society at the Korean War Veterans Reunion at the Air and Space Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.
We felt happy to be able to support the Int'l. Al Jolson Society's search for veterans who saw Jolson perform for American servicemen. Jens came back with some great interviews for our Jolson documentary, too!
May 20-24, 2010 -- CANCELED DUE TO ILLNESS
Jens will be on a solo trip again, due to Andrea's constitution. This time it's for a shooting trip to the Int'l. Al Jolson Society's Jolson Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
New Promotional Video: "What we do"
Promo Video to get a short glimpse of the work of German documentary filmmakers Andrea Oberheiden and Jens J. Reinke.
AJ-Images Magazine Promotional Video
Watch our AJ-Images Magazine promo video! If you are interested in film, theater, or literature, you might even like to become a contributing writer!
AJ-Images Education Promotional Video
AJ-Images Promotional Video for Jolson Fans!
Attention, Jolson friends! Here you can see what we have done so far, what's up next, and how you can participate!
November 12, 2009:
Our film short "Al Jolson entertaining American Troops" on German TV!
Kiel TV will broadcast our 14 min. film on Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 3.45 pm and again on Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 1.25 pm. If you click on the link, please scroll down to "Donnerstag" (= "Thursday").
November 6, 2009:
Radio segment "Al Jolson Overseas" on TopShelfOldies Internet Radio!
DJ Stu from TopShelfOldies (located in New Jersey) broadcasted "Al Jolson Overseas" during his show "The Pop Shoppe" as a special tribute to Veteran's Day. He also played another Jolson tune. Check it out!
November 5, 2009:
Radio segment "Al Jolson Overseas"
With Veteran's Day coming up, we created a 6 min. radio segment called "Al Jolson Overseas". It's an excerpt from our actual film "Al Jolson entertaining American Troops" featuring Jim Downs, a Korean War veteran who saw Jolson perform in Korea in 1950. Check it out!
New trailer to "Rudy Wissler's 15 Minutes"
As a teenager, singer and actor Rudy Wissler provided his voice for the young Al Jolson in the Academy Award winning biopic "The Jolson Story", produced by Columbia Pictures in 1946.
October 16-24, 2009: Trip to England
We were able to make a short trip to London in the middle of October. Due to Andrea's constitution, traveling back and forth (by car) took us more than a week. This experience will help us in regards of our last US trip which has to take place in spring of 2010.
We were in London because of John Lithgow's fabulous show "Stories by Heart" which he performed at the National Theatre. Jens had to make a solo trip to London on October 26th (via plane) because of additional shooting assignments.
September 2009: Trip to Lithuania - CANCELED DUE TO ILLNESS
We had to cancel our trip to Lithuania again. It, and our last huge US trip in connection with our Jolson film, will take place next year, due to Andrea's physical constitution.
July 10, 2009:
Premiere of "Al Jolson and The Jazz Singer"
Our recently completed documentary was screened at the movie theater Die Pumpe here in Kiel!
May 14-18, 2009:
Trip to England
Short trip to Aberdeen/ UK for an interview with actor Allan Stewart, star of the musical "Jolson & Company". A single trip for Jens, since Andrea's illness kept her from coming along.
New film: "Al Jolson entertaining American Troops"
Short documentary (14 min.) about Al Jolson's contributions during WW2 and the Korean War. Motive was a museum exhibition which did not include Jolson's support of American servicemen.
November 15, 2008:
"Al Jolson and The Jazz Singer": 1st Prize at Film Competition!
Our documentary has won the first prize at the film competition "Tiefenschärfe", held by the public TV channel KielTV.
Not only was it a wonderful delight for director Andrea Oberheiden, who regarded this as a present for her birthday, having taken place one day earlier. It also was a major suprise for both of us to be again among the winners of this film contest, since we already won with "A Look at Al Jolson" last year.
Below you can watch a video with excerpts from the broadcast as well as a video of the award ceremony.
|Offener Kanal Flensburg
Offener Kanal Kiel
October 29, 2008:
"Al Jolson and The Jazz Singer" at film festival in Lübeck, Germany!
Our documentary (85 min.) was screened at the 50th Nordische Filmtage Lübeck at the CineStar Filmpalast Stadthalle in Lübeck. With a click on the right image, you can see an excerpt from the event.
October 19, 2008:
Bromley Jolson Society Meeting
We were invited to the Jolson Society Meeting in Bromley (UK). Our documentary "Al Jolson and The Jazz Singer" was screened there (until a technical catastrophe). It was great having met a bunch of new 'Jolsonaires'!
September 2008: Trip to Berlin
We met German actor Hans-Werner Bussinger who had dubbed John Lithgow in the comedy series "3rd Rock from the Sun" and in "Cliffhanger". Bussinger's insights will be part of our planned documentary on John Lithgow. - Note: Hans-Werner Bussinger passed away on September 19, 2009.
July 22, 2008:
Commemorating the 1st anniversary of actor Ulrich Mühe's death
July 2008: Jolson on TopShelfOldies
In his July 4th program, "The Pop Shoppe", DJ Stu alias Stuart Weiss from New York featured some special tunes. Among them is not only a great Jolson song from 1913 (!), but also a funny tune sung by Tiny Tim from the 1970s, being perfectly in line with today's gas prices. Below you can listen to the tunes.
If you like music from the 40s to the 60s, tune in every Friday night at 7 p.m. EST: www.topshelfoldies.com
For requests contact DJ Stu at:
Our 6th and so far longest trip to the USA in connection with our Jolson film project took place from May 15th to June 23rd. We furthermore started with interviews for our project on John Lithgow.
The trip basically led us to New York, Ohio, Massachussetts, Florida and California, but we did some tremendous ground touring throughout the whole country.
April 2008: Jolson on TopShelfOldies
In his April 4th program, "The Pop Shoppe", DJ Stu alias Stuart Weiss from New York again featured some Jolson tunes. Below you can listen to them.
If you like music from the 40s to the 60s, tune in every Friday night at 7 p.m. EST: www.topshelfoldies.com
For requests contact DJ Stu at:
February 2008: Trip to Chicago
From February 15th until February 26th we made our 5th trip to the USA.
This time we mainly focused on John Lithgow, who gave a performance at the Symphony Center in Chicago with "Carnival of the Animals" for which he had written the narration.
Besides that, we continued with film shootings for our Jolson project.
You do not know who John Lithgow is? Please click on the following video:
For more information, please go to "Artists".
November 2007: Jolson Birthday Special on TopShelfOldies
In his November 16th program, "The Pop Shoppe", DJ Stu alias Stuart Weiss from New York featured a Jolson tune to celebrate Andrea's birthday. Below you can listen to his program.
A Look at Al Jolson: 1st Prize in Film Competition
|Offener Kanal Kiel|
We are very happy to announce that our film "A Look at Al Jolson" has won the 1st prize at a film competition in the section "documentary".
The public channel of our hometown Kiel, Kiel TV, hosts an annual statewide film festival with several categories. "A Look at Al Jolson" was chosen as the best documentary among 74 other films.
In the course of this event both, "A Look at Al Jolson" and "A Tribute to Rudy Wissler" were screened on TV. We are very happy that we could manage to bring Jolson on a TV screen and to attract some interest by the TV station itself, the audience and other filmmakers during the festivities.
Below you can watch some excerpts from "A Look at Al Jolson" and the award ceremony.
October 20, 2007
We were invited to present two of our films at the Jolson Meeting in Bromley/ UK. Unfortunately we couldn't be there, because of a sudden illness. Besides "A Tribute to Rudy Wissler", some excerpts from our Jazz Singer documentary were shown (see: "Projects").
Here's the trailer to our Jazz Singer tribute:
Our 4th trip to the USA took place from September 25th to October 11th. We were in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami to make further interviews for both, our Jazz Singer Documentary and our feature-length documentary "You ain't heard nothin' yet - On the trail of Al Jolson".
We made our third trip to the USA from March 11th until March 28th. This time we took pictures and had some interviews in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
On March 14th we attended a live TV talk show called "The New Yorkers" in New York City to talk about our film short "A look at Al Jolson" and about our feature-length Jolson documentary. The show appeared on the public channel 26 and started at 11.30 p.m. EST.
Because of several requests - here you can find the trailer feat. Clive Baldwin and Tony Babino:
TV talk show: "The New Yorkers" on March 14th, 2007
Jens made the second trip to the USA from August 10th to 14th to join the renaming of a part of Broadway in "Al Jolson Way" and to make some interviews. On this trip we got our invitation for the TV talk show "The New Yorkers". We attended it in March 2007. You can see an excerpt above.
We made our first trip to the USA (after having the idea for our Jolson documentary) from May 15th to 31st. We were able to attend a great (our first) convention of the International Al Jolson Society in Philadelphia and talked to a lot of interesting and supportive people. We even found a Korean War Veteran who saw Al Jolson perform in 1950, shortly before his death. We learned a lot about Al Jolson on this trip, and it really encouraged us to continue with all our efforts, and to believe in this huge project.