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Animation Show of Shows Comes To Israel

The "Animation Show of Shows," a program of animated short films curated and hosted by Acme Filmworks Executive Producer and AWN co-founder Ron Diamond, received its first screening outside the U.S. Sunday in the Jerusalem Cinemateque in Israel.

A selection of the best short films shown at international festivals throughout the year, the "Show of Shows" has been presented at studios and professional organizations throughout the U.S. since 1998, bringing the works of both veteran and aspiring animators to a large audience that might not otherwise have an opportunity to see them.

Among the films included in the program were Oscar nominees I MET THE WALRUS and MADAME TUTLI-PUTLI; JOHN AND KAREN by Matthew Walker; Julian Grey's FORGETFULNESS; UJBAZ IZBENEKI HAS LOST HIS SOUL by Neil Jack; Simone Massi's LA MEMORIA DEL CANI; an episode of Douglas Gayeton's MOLOTOV ALVA documentary about virtual world Second Life; Luis Cook's THE PEARCE SISTERS; and Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton's HOW TO HOOK UP YOUR HOME THEATRE.

The second, shorter part of the program consisted of student films, including the dancing fantasy EN TUS BRAZOS by FX Goby, Edouard Journet and Matthieu Landour; CAMERA OBSCURA by Matthieu Buchalski, Jean-Michel Dreschler and Thierry Onillon; the weird world of Tomek Ducki's ELETVONAL; the very funny THE IRRESISTIBLE SMILE by Ami Lindhom; and Roman Klochkov's sharp satire ADMINISTRATORS.

The most enthusiastic audience response was reserved for BETON ("Concrete"), an Israeli film by Ariel Belinco and Michael Faust -- students in Israel's leading animation school at the Betzalel Academy of Arts -- that presents a grim metaphor of the Israeli army occupation using a kite and a backgammon board.

The program concluded with Suzie Templeton's Academy Award-winning stop-motion short PETER AND THE WOLF.

The event, which was also a showcase for Israel's growing animation community and industry, was sponsored by Animation Lab, an ambitious new Israeli animation studio with its sights set on the global market. In their introductory speeches, both studio chairman Erel Margalit and director Douglas Wood, who is helming the studio's debut feature WILD BUNCH, hinted of big things to come.