Faculty filmmaker's rough cut to screen in Philadelphia, Baltimore

March 13, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A Penn State faculty filmmaker will offer Philadelphia and Baltimore audiences a rare opportunity to provide input on a work-in-progress — his latest documentary, “Cojot.”

A suspenseful character study, “Cojot” tells the little-known story of Michel Cojot, a Holocaust survivor who set out to kill his father’s Nazi executioner and ended up playing a pivotal role in one of history’s most daring hostage-rescue operations. Award-winning filmmaker Boaz Dvir, an assistant professor in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State, is the director and producer of the film. 

The rough-cut screenings — at 2:30 p.m. April 7 at Penn State Abington (112 Woodland Building) and at 7 p.m. May 2 at Baltimore’s Beth El Congregation (8101 Park Heights Ave.) — are free and open to the public. Audiences will have a chance to give Dvir feedback in person and via an anonymous survey. The April 7 screening requires a registration

One of Michel’s sons, Stephane Cojot-Goldberg — who, like his father, earned an MBA from Columbia University – will also attend the April 7 event. Stephane, a photographer whose books include “Abstract Atlas of the World,” will join Dvir during the post-screening Q&A on April 7.

Michel’s firstborn son, Olivier Cojot-Goldberg, who was a hostage with his father in Entebbe, shared the stage with Dvir during a 2016 preview of “Cojot” at the Center for Jewish History’s theater in Manhattan.

Besides Olivier, the film features interviews with 20 people around the world. They include other family members, international Nazi hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, Operation Entebbe lead pilot Joshua Shani, French historian Vincent Duclert, hidden-children expert Raphaël Delpard, and best-selling British author Saul David.

“Every day, I learn something new or gain new insight into Michel’s extraordinary journey,” said Dvir, who teaches journalism in the Bellisario College. “I believe that will continue at least through May 2.”

Dvir’s “Cojot” co-producers include Penn State associate professor Richie Sherman, who also served as a director of photography; University of Florida associate professor Gayle Zachmann, who also serves as the historical consultant; and Matthew Einstein, CEO of Tradition Pictures in Los Angeles. Penn State lecturer Anita Gabrosek edited footage shown at the 2016 preview.

Dvir’s previous project, the critically acclaimed PBS documentary “A Wing and a Prayer,” has screened around the world and won Best Feature Documentary at the 2016 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

This is Dvir’s third year in a row presenting his work as part of the Holocaust program hosted by Baltimore’s Loeb Center for Lifelong Learning and the Macks Center for Jewish Education. He is scheduled to return in 2019 as well. graphy; University of Florida associate professor Gayle Zachmann, who also serves as the historical consultant; and Matthew Einstein, CEO of Tradition Pictures in Los Angeles. Penn State lecturer Anita Gabrosek edited footage shown at the 2016 preview.

Dvir’s previous project, the critically acclaimed PBS documentary “A Wing and a Prayer,” has screened around the world and won Best Feature Documentary at the 2016 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

This is Dvir’s third year in a row presenting his work as part of the Holocaust program hosted by Baltimore’s Loeb Center for Lifelong Learning and the Macks Center for Jewish Education. He is scheduled to return in 2019 as well. 

  • Cojot film poster
    IMAGE: Submitted by Boaz Dvir
Last Updated March 13, 2018