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Waltz with Bashir Art Director to Speak Feb. 23

David Polonsky, the art director of the acclaimed Oscar-nominated animated feature WALTZ WITH BASHIR, will talk and show clips from the film at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23 at Santa Monica College's Academy of Entertainment & Technology.

His talk will kick off SMC's spring entertainment industry speakers series, called the Mary Pickford Series, which features a wide range of speakers representing virtually all aspects of the business.

All lectures are free and are held at 7 p.m. Mondays at the SMC Academy of Entertainment & Technology's Screening Room, 1660 Stewart St., Santa Monica. Parking is free.

Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film and nominated for an Academy Award in the same category, WALTZ WITH BASHIR is an Israeli movie that follows director Ari Folman's journey deep into the darkness of Beirut. Drawing on the stories of other soldiers and his own returning fragments of memory, Folman painfully and candidly pieces together the war and his place in it: the senselessness of the soldiers' orders, the fear that pervades every moment, and the casual bloodshed of civilians, culminating in the massacres themselves.

The result is a visual work that is as shocking as it is beautiful. An indictment of violence of extraordinary power, WALTZ WITH BASHIR will take its place as one of the great works of wartime reportage.

Polonsky was responsible for developing the aesthetic approach of this animated documentary, created the artwork for animation and supervised the artistic aspects of the production. The film was screened as an Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival and in numerous other leading film festivals including Toronto, New York, Ottawa Animation Festival, Annecy Animation Festival, London, Seoul and Sidney.

WALTZ WITH BASHIR has achieved worldwide commercial distribution and won vast critical acclaim and numerous awards. In 2008 it received the award for Best Feature given by the Israeli Film Academy and it was chosen to represent Israel at the Foreign Film category at the Oscars.

The WALTZ WITH BASHIR talk is co-sponsored by SMC and the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles.

The lineup for the remainder of the spring 2009 semester is:

-- March 16 -- Laurie Lathem, founding creative director of the Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre, is a playwright, screenwriter and memoirist who has taught the Go Solo performance workshops at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica and has taught screenwriting at Stanford University Continuing Studies Program and in-house at Pixar Animation Studios.

-- March 30 -- Sarah Goldfinger, a consulting producer for the television series CSI, who started as a writer's assistant in 2000 on what was then a brand-new show.

-- April 20 -- Robert Adanto, whose debut film THE RISING TIDE explores the work of some of China's most talented photographers and video artists and their personal responses to the country's rise as a global power. The film will be screened and will be followed by a Q&A session.

-- May 11 -- Steven Wolfson, screenwriter and producer whose feature credits include DINNER AND DRIVING and who is the creator and writer of the FOX pilot HOLLYWOOD VICE and MTV pilot DARIUS. He is also an award-winning playwright and founding member of the Mark Taper Forum's Mentor Playwrights Project.

Seating is on a first-arrival basis. Call (310) 434-3777.