Abigail Klein Leichman
October 2, 2012

Only one Israeli got picked to premiere his work at this year’s Ottawa International Animation Festival, September 19-23. Yotam Cohen, a recent graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, was invited to screen his undergraduate short film, Peacemaker Mac – The Island of Dispute.

The Ottawa festival, the largest of its kind in North America, is a major film event attracting delegates from around the world. Bezalel student works have been chosen for the festival several times in the past, and won “Best School Showreel” in 2007 and 2011.

This year’s selections, from nearly 2,500 entries, included short independent films, TV commercials, series, student films and music videos.

Cohen’s short film was presented in the student competition category, Undergraduate Animation. Peacemaker Mac – The Island of Dispute is a pencil-on-paper-style animated film produced as his graduation project in 2011.

It’s about a would-be peacemaker who arrives on an island to settle a conflict over land. He tries handshakes, peace accord-like ceremonies and even a separation barrier. But his efforts backfire, escalating the already aggressive situation, and he leaves the island.

“Yotam’s excellent film is the result of many months of hard work, love and dedication,” said Prof. Rony Oren, head of Bezalel’s Animation Track. “We are extremely proud of the fact that one of our students is representing Israel at this festival in Ottawa and we know that this is a sign of only good things to come for Yotam in his animation career.”

Established in 1906 by artist Boris Schatz, with the support of the founder of Modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, Bezalel is Israel’s leading academy of art and design.

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