Hand-painted, stop-motion film to debut on OPB on Aug. 17


CORVALLIS, Ore. – “Anita’s Journey,” a hand-painted, stop-motion animation film about a young girl’s experience hiding from the Nazis during World War II will make its debut on Oregon Public Broadcasting on Wednesday, Aug. 17.

The film will show between 10 and 11 p.m. as part of the Oregon Lens series that will run from Monday-Friday of that week on OPB.

Made by Oregon State University art professor Shelley Jordon, the film tells the story of how three generations of Anita Graetz’s German-Jewish family, against all odds, survived underground for two-and-half years in and around Berlin.

“Anita’s Journey” is about the filmmaker’s now-deceased mother-in-law’s experience, depicted from six-year-old Anita’s point of view. Based on a memoir written by Anita’s father, artist/filmmaker Jordon uses a variety of painting, drawing and mixed-media techniques to communicate the experience through a narrative created from images that combine historical facts with imagined dreams and memories.

In 2010, Jordon recently traveled to Berlin to research archives at the Jewish Museum. She continued her research for her film at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as the Visual Arts Fellow for the American Academy in Jerusalem Pilot Program. She completed most of the work on the film in the fall of 2010 at OSU’s Center for the Humanities.

A native of Brooklyn and resident of Portland, Jordon has been teaching at OSU since 1986. Her work has received much acclaim over the decades, including a 2010 Oregon Arts Commission Individual Fellowship Award and a Fulbright-Hayes Group travel research grant to Yemen and Tunisia. While she originally was known for her still life paintings, in recent years Jordon has turned to animated paintings and animated installation work.