Award-winning film from library’s Fortunoff Archive screened in festivals worldwide

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  • Image from the animated film shows a series of brown buildings, outlined in black, with the tall shadows of three musicians projected against their facades. In the foreground a small figure in black clothing walks in front of the musician shadows that parade behind.
    Film still from the animated short "The Waltz"
August 24, 2022

The Waltz, an animated short by multidisciplinary artist Yulia Ruditskaya—2022 Laurel Vlock Fellow at the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies—has received accolades. This summer, the film took third place in the Independent Films category at the annual animation awards ceremony of ASIFA-East, the New York chapter of the prestigious French Association Internationale du Film d’Animation. ASIFA-East is one of the longest-running festivals of its kind.

The film has also been accepted into 10 film festivals in 7 countries:

Animattikon Festival, Greece
Annual Animation Block Party at BAM, New York
Canlandiranlar Animation Film Festival, Turkey
6th Chaniartoon 2022 International Comic & Animation Festival, Greece
Insomnia Animation Festival, Russia
Near Nazareth Festival, Israel
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, California
Santa Cruz Film Festival, California
Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Canada
18th World Festival of Animated Film, Bulgaria

The Waltz is based on the poem “A Valts” by A. Lutzky. Lutzky is the pen name of the Yiddish poet Aaron Zucker (1894–1957). He was born in Ukraine and immigrated to New York in the 1910s. In his poem, Lutzky raises the themes of lost youth, lost hopes, lost lives, nostalgia for his homeland, and the fragility of life. As recounted in the testimony of Jean B. at the Fortunoff Video Archive (HVT-701), the poem was sung to children in the Lodz Ghetto during the Second World War.

The film’s music is by D. Zisl Slepovitch and is performed by Sasha Lurje and the Zisl Slepovitch Ensemble as part of the Songs from Testimonies project.

Watch a short clip and read more about the film and filmmaker.
Listen to Jean B.’s testimony and the full musical score for the poem.

Image: courtesy of the artist, copyright 2021 Yulia Ruditskay