💫 SPOTLIGHT / INTERVIEW 💫
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH Jacky Comforty
An independent documentarian with over 40 years of experience.
About Jacky Comforty:
Jacky Comforty is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose groundbreaking films have been shot in the United States, Germany, Israel, and Bulgaria. With decades of experience in independent film production focusing on both models of inclusive education and Holocaust Studies, he has developed a multidisciplinary, multicultural, and multilingual approach to collecting oral histories and creating meaningful projects, placing emphasis on nonintrusive, non-scripted methodologies for documentation.
His credits include: Balkan Jazz (2013), The Optimists (2001), In the Shadow of Memory (1998), and Through a Glass, Lightly (1996). Among numerous other distinctions, Comforty has received the Berlin Festival Peace Prize, the Jerusalem Film Festival’s Jewish Experience Award, 3 CINE Golden Eagle awards, the American Association of Museums MUSE award, and the Chicago International Gold Hugo Award.
Welcome Jacky, we have watched your documentary film "Monument to Love" and would love to know when you discovered this was your career path.
When I started working in movies at the age 22.
Monument to Love (Documentary Film)
“Monument to Love,” my new film, documents a personal quest over the last 35 years to uncover and tell the full narrative of the Jewish people and what they experienced during the Holocaust in the Balkans. My mom joined me on this journey to track people, visit places and research untold stories that defied common perceptions and highlighted the struggle of the Jews to resist and survive, and mobilized help from righteous Bulgarians from all walks of life. The film reveals the actions of friends and the power of friendship as well as the harshness of the times and the difficult conditions and dangers that the survivors escaped. As the journey progresses it exposes sweet memories mixed with trauma and raises questions about the past—about the stories we know and those which remain hidden from our site.
How did your personal connection to the project influence its development?
The closeness to the subject and the person featured required a critical approach to not make a monument to my mother but to the issues she cared about.
Share some real-life obstacles you faced while making your project and tell us how you found creative solutions to overcome them.
It took many years without funding and continuous commitment to the subject matter.
How did you prioritize creating an environment that breathes life into every character in your project?
Loving people and giving them space is essential. It will allow all people to come out as they are.
Are there particular messages or emotions you hope the audience takes away from the project?
Yes the importance of kindness, and the power of friendship.
Based on your past experiences, how did you manage resources to ensure that the budget was utilized efficiently for this project?
I worked for many years with my own funding and only used external funding to complete the project.
Who would you like to acknowledge and credit for the success of this project?
My Mother Ika Comforty Ovadia.
As you navigate your upcoming projects, how are you enhancing your approach to make your creative ideas truly resonate with your audience?
I do my work as I think it needs to be and not thinking to please anyone. The film needs to be interesting and genuine, moving and deal with important issues. the rest comes by itself.
What heartfelt guidance would you share with someone aspiring to begin their journey down the path you once undertook?
Follow your passion. do not wait for someone to allow you to be creative. Be creative and do. The more you do the better you will become. Follow your heart!