Clint Eastwood and British director honoured at Los Angeles gala

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010
Joshua Newton, Clint Eastwood and Iron Cross co-producer Kevin Farr at the awards ceremony

Joshua Newton, Clint Eastwood and Iron Cross co-producer Kevin Farr at the awards ceremony

The work of a Jewish filmmaker has been honoured alongside actor Clint Eastwood at a Los Angeles awards ceremony.

British-born writer and director Joshua Newton was praised for his Holocaust thriller Iron Cross at the Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival.

The film received one of two awards from the museum. The other was given to Mr Eastwood for "encouraging tolerance, justice and human rights" through his work.

The outgoing governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was present at the ceremony and gala reception.

Iron Cross, Mr Newton’s first full-length feature, tells the story of a Holocaust survivor who travels to Nuremberg following his wife’s death and becomes fixated on exacting vengeance on an aging SS Commander.

The central character, Joseph, is played by Jaws actor Roy Scheider, who died towards the end of the shoot. In flashback scenes the part was taken by Alexander Newton, the director’s 18-year-old son.

Alexander was named best actor at the Boston Film Festival in September. His father was also honoured for being a “Visionary Filmmaker” at the festival.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the museum, described Mr Newton’s film as “the most important…since Schindler’s List.”

Although the film is now receiving a positive response, Mr Newton, whose father came to Britain on the Kindertransport, ran into some problems on set.

He was arrested in Germany in 2007 for filming a man in full SS uniform in a Nuremberg street. Displaying swastikas and Holocaust insignia is banned in the country.

Iron Cross is released in Britain in March 2011

Last updated: 2:59pm, January 28 2011