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About The Film

Presales have ended | Standby tickets released before the show only (first come). Arrive early. Get in standby line.

  • Want to avoid festival standby lines and possible disappointment? AARP is hosting a FREE screening of BIG SONIA, Mon, April 3, 3:30 pm @The Egyptian Theater. RSVP Required! Space Limited. First come.
  • Also, join Sonia and her granddaughter filmmaker Leah Warshawski at the Holocaust Center for Humanity's Lunch and Learn. More info...

Holocaust survivor. Storyteller extraordinaire. Diminutive diva. Big impact. For years, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski has been an inspirational speaker to teenagers in public schools and convicts in prison, telling her harrowing tales, and six days a week she keeps busy ministering to countless customers in her withering-on-the-vine tailor shop located in a deserted mall in suburban Kansas City. Handed an eviction notice, Sonia—standing at 4’8” in leopard print and high heels with a towering personality to match, earning her the nickname “Big Sonia”—struggles with the notion of retirement and insignificance. BIG SONIA received the Seattle International Film Festival True Productions Filmmaking Grant, was nominated for the AARP Movies for Grownups Award 2017, and won both jury and audience prize for best documentary feature at the Napa Valley Film Festival 2016.

Special Guests: Sonia Warshawski and Regina Kort (her eldest daughter), Morrie Warshawski (her son), and filmmakers Leah Warshawski (her granddaughter) and Todd Soliday.

Directors Bio

Producer/Director Bios: Leah Warshawski is Sonia’s granddaughter, and with husband Todd Soliday the Seattle-based couple specializes in documentary storytelling in remote parts of the world for commercials, features, branded entertainment and reality shows.  Their last film, the award-winning documentary FINDING HILLYWOOD (2013) about Rwanda’s burgeoning film industry, premiered at SIFF in 2013. 

Big Sonia poster

Film Details:

Director: Todd Soliday, Leah Warshawski
Country: USA
Language: English
Running Time: 93m
Year: 2016
Genre: Documentary
Official Website


  • Family-Friendly Stories
  • Holocaust
  • Holocaust survivors
  • Aging
  • Women’s issues
  • Origins research

Rating/Warning: PG

  • Adult themes