Cinema Rex, Israeli animated film about Jerusalem, wins prize

This Annecy International Animated Film Festival runs until June 30.

Mayan Engelman and Eliran Peled’s animated short, Cinema Rex, won the Canal + Youth Award at the  Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France on Thursday. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Mayan Engelman and Eliran Peled’s animated short, Cinema Rex, won the Canal + Youth Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France on Thursday.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Mayan Engelman and Eliran Peled’s animated short, Cinema Rex, won the Canal + Youth Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France on Thursday.
This charming animated film is set in and around the Cinema Rex movie theater in Jerusalem, which was an actual theater that was in business between 1937-1939, one of the few businesses at the time that was co-owned by Jews and Arabs. The movie shows how the son of the Jewish projectionist and the daughter of the Arab cleaning woman form a bond over their love of movies. Although their parents warn them that they should not play together, they vow that their friendship will continue.
Both directors have won awards for their work. Mayan Engelman is an Independent Visual Development artist who specializes in Character Design and Concept Art for Animation. She received her Animation B.F.A from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem. Her graduation film The Cabinet Decision screened at Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2015 and many other film festivals. Currently, she is working for Netflix, creating Visual Development for an unannounced animated feature. Mayan served in Cinema Rex as also the art director and animation director.
Eliran Peled has directed 14 shorts including Happy Birthday Mr. Brown (2018) which screened in over 40 festivals, was a finalist in the Open Toronto Festival 2019 and won the Best Short Award at the West Hollywood Awards 2018. Currently, he is a producer on the Israeli TV show Dear Diary and in pre-production for a new documentary TV series. He is also working as a producer and content developer in the Israeli production company Sumayoko, which produced the Cannes Series winning show On The Spectrum.
The filmmakers want to turn Cinema Rex into a feature-length film that and are currently looking for international partners and financing. The film was produced by the Makor Foundation for Film and Television, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, the Israel Film Fund, Mifal HaPayis, the Ministry of Culture and Sport and the Israel Film Council.
This Annecy International Animated Film Festival runs until June 30.