Penn State filmmaker to share Holocaust survivor documentary at Great Valley

MALVERN, Pa. — Join award-winning Penn State faculty filmmaker Boaz Dvir on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Penn State Great Valley as he presents a rough cut of his new film, “Cojot: A Holocaust Survivor Takes History Into His Own Hands.”

Slated to air on PBS in 2018, "Cojot" tells the virtually unknown story of a French Holocaust survivor Michel Cojot. Risking his own life, he hunted down Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and played a pivotal role in one of history’s most daring hostage-rescue operations.

Dvir serves as the film’s writer, director, producer and composer. “Cojot” is the result of an interest sparked five years ago while Dvir was working on another film. Since then, he has completed extensive research into the captivating life of Michel Cojot, and spent this past summer in France interviewing a wide range of experts and family members.

Growing up in Kfar Galim, Israel, Dvir moved to New Jersey through his father’s job with the U.N. They later relocated to Florida where Dvir attended the University of Florida, earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an MFA in creative photography. He also earned a master's degree from the UF Documentary Institute.

Dvir teaches writing and production at Penn State. He is the writer, director and producer of his original documentary films “Jessie’s Dad,” “Discovering Gloria,” and “A Wing and a Prayer.” He served as an officer and military journalist for the Israel Defense Force during the 1991 Gulf War, and has written for many publications, including Newsday, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Tampa Bay Times and The Jerusalem Post.  

Dvir has gained significant recognition in his field, winning Best Documentary at the 2016 Fort Lauderdale Film Festival and receiving a Lilly Endowment grant to research spiritual aspects of the Holocaust.

The screening begins at 7 p.m. Admission to the event is free, but tickets are required and available on the Penn State Great Valley website.