Menkin film nominated for best documentary at Israeli Academy Awards
“Dolphin Boy,” the most recent film by Israeli writer/director/producer Dani Menkin, has been nominated for Best Documentary at the Ophir Awards, Israel’s equivalent of the American Academy Awards. Menkin wrote and directed the film together with Yonatan Nir. It tells the story of an Arab youth who suffers post-traumatic stress and is unable to speak after being badly beaten by a group of youths. Sent to an aquatic center, the young man swims with the dolphins and eventually begins to heal. “Dolphin Boy” will be shown in Syracuse on Oct. 12 at the Palace Theater (2384 James St., Eastwood) as part of the 2011 edition of the Syracuse International Film Festival. Menkin will be present for the film screening.
Menkin has a history with Syracuse. He met SYRFILMFEST’s artistic director, Owen Shapiro, through colleagues in Israel. In 2004, Menkin’s film “39 Pounds of Love” was screened in Syracuse. Syracuse University’s School of Education coordinated the close captioning for the film, which was chosen for screening at the United Nations Disabilities Conference in 2005. “39 Pounds of Love” is an Academy Award winner in Israel and was short listed for the American Oscars. It is an HBO Cinemax film. It tells the story of a 34-year-old, wheelchair-bound graphic artist who goes across country to look for the doctor who thought he would not live past the age of 6. Most recently, Menkin has been working in Israel on his new feature film, “Je Taime I Love You Terminal,” a romantic character-driven film shot in Prague. It will be shown at the SYRFILMFEST’11.
Menkin is currently planning his new feature film to be shot in Syracuse, and has relocated here with his family. He has come to Syracuse as a visiting artist in the Department of Transmedia in SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The Transmedia Department is in partnership with the Schusterman Foundation Visiting Artist Program, and SU’s School of Education, the Burton Blatt Institute and SU’s Humanities Center for Menkin’s Syracuse visit. The Schusterman Foundation Visiting Artist Program is a prestigious international program that places Israeli artists in communities throughout the United States to work and study. Menkin chose the Syracuse location because of SU and his connection with Shapiro. In addition to Menkin working with Syracuse academic organizations, the Jewish Community Center of Syracuse has scheduled a series of Menkin films to be presented at the JCC from October through December.
“It is my honor and pleasure to be part of Syracuse this year and to collaborate on my new story with my good friends here. I am sure it will be exciting and I am looking forward to working here and showing my films,” says Menkin. For more information and a schedule of Menkin’s presentations, see http://www.syrfilm.com or http://www.jccsyr.org (adult programming schedule) or http://www.vpa.syr.edu/calendar. Tickets for the showing of “Dolphin Boy” will be on sale at the theater door ($7 adults/$5/seniors&students/AARP members). Tickets can be reserved by calling 315-443-8826.