“Jonathan Amitay is a master of stop-motion animation using sand and gold chains. His films are concerned with human rights, nuclear lunacy, pollution, aging and the plight of the individual in the world.”
- Patrick Jenkins
Amitay comes by his pacifism honestly. Born in what was then Palestine (now Israel) his childhood was largely spent surviving WWII and the Israeli War of Independence. His wartime experiences included Rommel’s Afrika Corps near overrun of his country, drunken soldiers shooting into his family apartment, and rolling garbage cans in front of British Army tanks to halt their invasion.
When the Six Day War happened in ’67, Jonathan decided he’d had enough and immigrated to Canada. He joined the CBC as an animator in 1978. His work for the CBC on Sesame Street won several national awards. He started making independent animations in 1985. His films have been broadcast in Canada and Europe and have been shown in many festivals. Oh Dad and Oh Dad II won prizes at the Chicago International Film Festival, Vermont International Peace Festival, a Lucca in Italy, and numerous honourable mentions. His body of work was given a retrospective at the Ottawa Animation Festival in 2002. Jonathan Amitay is an active member of TAIS (The Toronto Animation Society) where he frequently teaches workshops.