Thursday, 27 February 2014

It's Ours by Avigdor Cohen

Avigdor Cohen is one of the Israeli animators mentioned in Bendazi's Cartoons, where he is identified as having been born in Vienna in 1920 and directing a 1979 film called Samson's Love. I was unable to find any further biographical information on him, but at least one of his shorts is available on YouTube (or so I'm guessing; due to the scanty information, I cannot say for certain if the is the same person, or a different man with the same name):

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Save the Children helps Syrian refugee children to make animation

Sulafa's Story, one of the six shorts made by the children has a 2013 article on workshops held by Save the Children in Lebanon, in which Syrian refugee children use animation to tell the harrowing stories of their experiences in being driven from their home country. All six shorts can be seen in this playlist.

More information on Save the Children's Syria appeal can be read here.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Tsvika Oren

The website of the Animator festival has a brief biography of Israeli animator Tsvika Oren:

TSVIKA OREN, Israel – A veteran animator, director, journalist, festivals’ adviser, curator and lecturer, member of Asifa International board of directors. He has competed over 30 auteur films, among them BERESHEET BARA... (1974), ICE-CREAM & OTHER VEGETABLES(1975) and THREADY GAMES (1976) and most recently Diary 1: ReANIMACJA 08 (2009). He has also made many shorts, documentaries and commission works for TV. Oren is also a lecturer of animation history and theory at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem and an author of numerous articles and publications on animation.

I could not find a great deal of information about Oren online, but Sharon Katz of AWN has posted an in-depth interview with him that is well worth a read.

Mermaid S.O.S., a 2004 film by Tsvika Oren and Avi Ofer.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Forgotten Israeli animators?

I've been continuing my reading of the sections on Middle Eastern animation in Bendazzi's Cartoons and again come across a few names who are mentioned in the book, but appear to have no substantial coverage online. Here is an excerpt from Bendazzi's writing on Israeli animation:
Arye Mambush, another singular talent, experimented with abstract cinema while working for educational children's films on commission. Ytzhak Yoresh, who began animating in 1964, produced a large number of educational and entertainment films such as King in Jerusalem (1969), on tourism; The Widow and Her Lawsuit Against the Wind (1971), based on a biblical story and The Goal is Production (1976), on economic problems.
Bendazzi goes on to namecheck a few independent Israeli animators, including Albert-Alain Kaminski, who was apparently born in Brussels in 1950 and directed films called Little Hirik (1979) and The Flower on Top of the World (1980).

Information on any of these filmmakers would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Esfandiar Ahmadieh: father of Iranian animation

Esfandiar Ahmadieh (1929-2012) is regarded as the father of Iranian animation; a short biography can be found in this obituary. His works include Molla Nasreddin, Satellite, Jealous Duck, Wheat Crop and Where Are You Going Kite?

I ran his article on the Farsi version of Wikipedia through Google Translate. Apparently, his other films include works with titles along the lines of Cat and Mouse, Orange and Bergamot, Rooster Place and Hunting Moon.

Judging by this page, he also directed a 90-minute feature called Rostam and Esfandiar (this is not an autobiography, but rather based on the story of a legendary hero also called Esfandiar).

This YouTube channel has a ten-part documentary on Ahmedieh, but it consists primarily of interviews (with no English subtitles) and shows little of his work.

Rostum and Esfandiar (رستم و اسفندیار)