Animation students create film based on Holocaust survivor Leon Malmed

"The Promise," created by 25 advanced animation student, is a documentary about the memories of Holocaust survivor Leon Malmed. The film will be screened at College of the Canyons on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. Courtesy photo

Source: College of the Canyons

A group of 25 advanced animation students at College of the Canyons spent the entire Spring 2017 semester bringing to life the memories of Holocaust survivor Leon Malmed, resulting in the animated documentary “The Promise,” which will be screened at the COC Library Friday.

During Nazi occupation of Northern France, between the years of 1940 and 1945, Malmed and his sister lived in hiding saved by a French family in the city of Compiègne. The film documents Malmed’s experience as a child during those years of the Holocaust.

“Artistically, the film’s paint on glass technique beautifully illustrates Leon’s story using a fluid style and a subtle color palette,” said Jeff Baker, chair of the college’s Media, Entertainment and Arts (MEA) department. “Students have successfully used the evocative nature of animation to bring out the memories and emotions of the past.”

The MEA 265 Animation Production class offers students the opportunity to work as a team to create an animation for a client or project. Taught by Masha Vasilkovsky, the students also had the guidance of Ruah Edelstein, a filmmaker in residence.

“‘The Promise’ is a student-created, instructor-led example of project-based teaching,” Baker said. “Students learned, through firsthand experience a part of human history. They heard and had to understand and empathize with Leon’s history in order to successfully create the movie.”

The film also features a musical score composed by Bernardo Feldman, chair of the college’s music department, which was mixed by Jon Amador, a sound arts professor at the college.

“It was truly a collaboration of the School of Visual and Performing Arts,” Baker said.

The animated film will be screened at 6 p.m. Friday in the COC Library (2nd floor).  The screening will be accompanied by an exhibition of student artwork made for the film.  A reception with light refreshments will be held before the screening at 5 p.m.

To attend the screening, please RSVP to the College of the Canyons Foundation at [email protected] or call (661) 362-3434.

To read more about Leon Malmed’s story visit:

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