Press release: Bloomington Filmaker Wins Dozens of International Film Festival Awards

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Press Release

Comforty Media Concepts Documentary Film 

Monument to Love Wins Dozens of International Film Festival Awards

Comforty Media Concepts is proud to announce that the latest documentary film by Jacky Comforty Monument to Love has won numerous Best Documentary, Best Indie Director, and many other awards at more than 40 IMDB recognized awards at international festivals

Jacky’s latest film is one film in his trilogy, The Reclaimed Narrative, that depicts a journey into a forgotten and repressed history of the Bulgarian Jewish Holocaust. This latest film features Jacky Comforty’s late mother Ika Comforty Ovadia and took more than 25 years to research, document, uncover, and describe the experience of the Jewish people during the Holocaust in Bulgaria. The story it tells, its release, and the subsequent response demonstrates that the fight against antisemitism and attempts to suppress the truth of the Holocaust is alive and well in 2024.  

Monument to Love premiered in Israel at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on May 24, 2023, as part of a groundbreaking international conference “Persecution and Collaboration, Rescue and Survival: New perspectives on Bulgaria and the Holocaust after Eighty Years.” Initiated, programmed, and organized by Jacky, the Conference included a coalition of Yad Vashem’s International Institute for Holocaust Research; the Dahan Center, Bar Ilan University; and the Tel Aviv Cinematheque in collaboration with the Bulgarian Jewish Heritage Center, Jaffa, Israel; the Union of Bulgarian Jews; the Salvador Foundation; the Israel-Bulgaria Friendship and Collaboration Association; the Claims Conference; the Herzelina Jaeger Foundation; and Jacky’s nonprofit organization in Bloomington, Indiana, the Learning Project. 

 The international conference ignited a firestorm of Bulgarian populist attacks on archivists and historians who cover the subject. The attempts to whitewash the historical record are directly refuted by the voices and the eye-witness testimonies in the Comforty Media Archive. The testimonies featured in Monument to Love and Jacky’s latest book with Martha Aladjem Bloomfield, The Stolen Narrative of The Bulgarian Jews and The Holocaust (published by Rowman and Littlefield in their Lexington Studies in Jewish Literature) provide a first-hand, honest narrative that encompasses the collective memory of the Bulgarian Jewish Holocaust. Through stories and family photographs, complemented by historical, archival documents, and photographs, it reclaims the stolen narrative.

Jacky Comforty is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, oral historian, and media creator who has worked for over 35 years creating films and videos in the United States, Germany, Israel, and Bulgaria. He has worked on groundbreaking films in Holocaust studies, inclusive education and media projects for Museums. He is the owner of a large photographic, film, and audio archive of historical and scholarly significance to Holocaust studies, the history of World War II, and other topics related to the Jews in Bulgaria and their heritage. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) has purchased for preservation his oral histories about the Holocaust in Bulgaria and Europe. 

Jacky is the director, editor, and producer of multiple works about the Holocaust. The Optimists is  about the survival of Bulgaria’s Jews during the Holocaust; another major documentary about the Holocaust is In the Shadow of Memory, which addresses the multi-generational effects of Holocaust-related trauma. Currently, he is editing a trilogy of full-length documentaries about the Holocaust in Bulgaria, which is scheduled for release in 2025. The first film in this trilogy, Monument to Love, is available now on Amazon and Vimeo.

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A Trilogy of Films About Survival During the Holocaust in Bulgaria explores memories from different perspectives of people who survived the Holocaust in Bulgaria and the long-term effects of their experiences. Three full-length biographical documentaries tell a story about Bulgarian Jewish life, friendships, survival, and renewal. Together they span the lives and times of three individuals, and they chronicle their experiences before, during, and after the Holocaust. These personal histories are interwoven into the broader experience of the Bulgarian Jewish community and give voice to the survivors to enable them to also tell their stories about the Holocaust in Bulgaria.

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