Beth G. Kopin
Inches to Metric: Zionism Through Design

Inches to Metric: The Making of a Movie #15

Little Tattooed Torah
Little Tattooed Torah

Putting Your Hat in the Ring

It is not the critic who counts. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasm; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at worst, if he fails at least he fails while daring greatly.” –Theodore Roosevelt

This quote sums up my attitude about life. I’m most comfortable swimming in creative waters and have gotten used to crazy highs and lows. Most artists/creatives  see silver linings regardless of outcome. The interesting part to a momentary high, it needs to be tempered with perspective. We do our work hoping for recognition but that is not the reason for creating, it is done with a higher purpose in mind, “the calling”.

Ed Asner (Narrator) recording The Tattooed Torah. Photo courtesy Beth Kopin
On left Marc Bennett (Director, Co-screenwriter),
Ed Asner (Narrator) in sound booth. Photo courtesy Beth Kopin


Our goal/mission was to produce an exceptionally high quality film intended as an entry level tool, educating and enlightening the Jewish and non Jewish world about the Holocaust. We accomplished and exceeded many of our goals, spreading the light in these dark times. We say Dayenu (enough), knowing we will keep going…

Oscar Run

During the last four years, many of the decisions we made regarding creating our film included the hallowed words Academy/Oscars and the guidelines for qualifying. “Throwing your hat in the ring”, demands crazy highs and lows/silver linings…It kept our focus laser sharp. We found out last month that we made the top 96 qualifying films list as a run up to the Oscars for the category “Animated Short”. After a flurry of PR campaigning and a bit of lost sleep we were informed we did not make the cut to the top ten.

Podcast featuring Ed Asner discussing The Tattooed torah

One of the most insane parts of this film making journey (I was clueless) is to merely qualify/being considered as a contender for the Oscars is extraordinarily difficult, a roller coaster ride. You need to enter, be accepted, then win in an Oscar qualifying festival in order to be qualified to “enter” the Oscars. Once accepted into the Oscar Festival, your film needs to be seen by judges in the Academy. Accessing Academy voters is complicated. Films are judged and selected on a numbering system. The field is narrowed to the top ten, then five.

Animated Short

I first heard the term animated short when I began my film making odyssey. Why was that important? We had to pick a category which would allow us to submit our film into various festivals/Oscars when completed. Talk about working with the end goal in mind! There are very strict guidelines to even being considered. Many festivals had various time restrictions to qualify as a short. We hoped to make our film 20 minutes long, as a result we geared our script to 20 pages. Each page approximates one minute of screen time.

Why do film makers put in so much effort getting into festivals/the Oscars? Industry members want to be judged fairly by their professional peers. It validates, promotes…Film makers struggle knowing very few people actually see a short or get  recognition for the effort, often the films are soon forgotten… into obscurity. Being seen in multiple festivals, hoping for Oscar recognition is key for a successful film makers professional life.

The Tattooed Torah Team Won the Greatest Prize

Our high? We gave birth twice to our film, once during our successful premiere weekend fall of 2019, and this week as USC Shoah Foundation launched our film in IWitness. By spreading their reach to the world, our film lives on.

Page from IWitness USC Shoah site photo courtesy of Beth Kopin

We have the film in English, Spanish (with Portuguese subtitles) and are adding subtitles to the English version in eight languages with the accompanying script translations. We are having an amazing festival (34 acceptances, 5 wins) and screening run in the US, South Africa, Latin America, Canada, Israel, UK, soon Europe, and India. This is just the beginning…

On left Marc Bennett (Director, Co-screenwriter), Fernando Allende (Spanish Narrator) Photo courtesy Beth Kopin

These past four years leading up to this moment were glorious. I loved living in the unknown/possibility that we could be/were a contender. It was fun sharing the film within our circles, enabling many to follow our adventure, share in our dreams. I learned much, each phase of the film making process was filled with wonder.

My people, The Tattooed Torah team are amongst the finest people I have ever had the good fortune to meet/work with. Each one poured his/her heart and soul into the film, bringing their magic and A Game. To Marc Bennett a dear friend whom we consider family, we never could have done this without you. There are no words…

We threw our hats in the ring!

Team at Premiere weekend. From left Marc Bennett (Director, Co- Screenwriter), Martin Lemelman (Illustrator), Melinda Goldrich (Executive Producer), Beth Kopin (Executive Producer), Lisa Effress, (Producer), Brett Kopin (Co-Screenwriter) Jeffrey Pittle (Animator) Photo courtesy Beth Kopin
At our first and only live festival, JCC Jewish Film Festival. From left Daniel Alcheh (Composer) Beth Kopin (Executive Producer), Christian Robins (Animator), Lisa Effress (Producer), Brett Kopin (Co-screenwriter), Marc Bennett (Director, Co-screenwriter), Martin Lemelman (Illustrator). Photo courtesy Beth Kopin

To all the Good Souls who understand our mission, המבין יבין, Those who know KNOW. From the bottom of our team’s collective heart, bless you all for being a part of our magic; working on, promoting, watching, funding, educating, helping spread our light. We have many projects/goals for our beloved Tattooed Torah, continuing the Magic Carpet Ride of a lifetime…

10 minute slide show, highlights in the creation of our film….enjoy!

About the Author
Beth Kopin is a trained interior architectural designer from the US. She has experience in the design/construction world that spans thirty years, and works and lives in both Chicago and Arnona, Jerusalem. She commutes regularly between the two cities. She brings her work ethic, training and US standards to Israel. Beth has surrounded herself with extremely talented trades. Her design team developed a way to CAD (computer aided design) plans in both US and metric standards. This enables both the US born clients (some of which live in Israel, some as second homes), and Israeli trades to better understand the plans, ensuring a more fluid communication. She is able to help bridge the gap of cultural differences, manage expectations, relate often confusing metric standards, as well as all the basic elements of designing a beautiful and functional home.,
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