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David Ehrlich Biography

DAVID EHRLICH was born in 1941 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He received a BA in Government (International Relations and Asian Studies) from Cornell, an MA in Drama from UC, Berkeley, and an MFA in Film from Columbia. He studied sculpture and music in India under a Fulbright grant after which he studied sumi-e with Tokuriku in Japan.

David Ehrlich photo

In the last 40 years, Ehrlich has made over 40 independent abstract animated films that have been shown and awarded in film festivals throughout the world and have gone on tour through the American Federation on the Arts, The International Tournees of Animation, and the "Best of Annecy and Zagreb". Ehrlich was given film retrospectives at the Shanghai, Cinanima (Portugal), Baillargues (France), Kecskemet (Hungary), Bibiana (Slovakia), Animator 09 (Poland), Hiroshima (Japan) and Ottawa Animation Festivals, the Sinking Creek Film Celebration, and in New York, at the Animators Gallery, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Museum of Modern Art. His complete works are held in the collections of MoMA, Pacific Film Archives, the ASIFA Archive in Berlin, and the International Animation Library in Tokyo. Ehrlich was invited to serve on the juries of the Stuttgart, Shanghai, Jilin, Hangzhou, ANIWOW, Kecskemet, Taiwan, Zagreb, Hiroshima, Ottawa and SICAF(Korea) Animation Festivals. He is a recipient of grants from the American Film Institute, Arts International, the Holographic Film Foundation, and the U.S. Department of State.


"OEDIPUS AT COLONUS", Ehrlich's 1978 animated sculptural hologram, was the first work of its kind ever shown at the International Animation Festivals in Annecy, France, and Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Ehrlich's 1983 hologram, "RANKO'S FANTASY," had its World Premiere at Zagreb in 1984, where Ehrlich led the First Animated Hologram Symposium. He led the Second Symposium at the Varna (Bulgaria) Animation Festival in 1987. His 1988 piece, "OEDIPUS AT COLONUS NO. 2," was featured in the 1995 Annecy Show on the History of Animation.


Ehrlich curated and introduced several shows of American Independents for audiences in Europe and Asia and has written widely on his generation's work. In 1988, he was elected to the Board of Directors of ASIFA, the International Animators Association and in 1991 became its Vice-President, an office he continued to hold for six years. His international work on behalf of ASIFA has taken several forms. During the last 30 years, he has brought to North America over 35 animation artists from throughout the world, and has organized and led their screening tours through museums, universities and cultural centers. Ehrlich has also produced a number of international animation collaborations. In 1985, he co-directed "PERPETUAL REVIVAL" with Dr. A. Petringenaru from Bucharest, in what was the first joint film project between the U.S. And Romania. In 1987, he produced and co-directed "ACADEMY LEADER VARIATIONS," a unique animated collaboration by artists from Poland, China, Switzerland, and the U.S. that won a Special Jury Prize in Animated Shorts at Cannes. In 1989, he produced "ANIMATED SELF-PORTRAITS," an animated collaboration by artists from Japan, the U.S. Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Estonia that made the Oscars Short List. Both of these two films had wide distribution in the International Tournees of Animation and on TV here and abroad. In 1993, Ehrlich produced “GENGHIS KHAN” the first known U.S./Mongolian co-production. At the Zagreb Animafest 2002, Ehrlich was awarded the ASIFA Special Prize for his contribution to animation.


Since 1979, Ehrlich has been teaching animation workshops for thousands of children in Vermont, New Hampshire, Hawaii and California. Films from these workshops are in the collections of fifteen countries and have been shown on PBS. He has also led workshops for children in Europe and Asia, and in 1987, produced "THE ASIFA CHILDREN'S FILM", an international animation collaboration by children in nine countries that was included in THE SECOND ANIMATION CELEBRATION. His further work on behalf of ASIFA led Ehrlich to organize and direct the first children's animation workshops in Shanghai (1988), Havana (1991), Ulan Baatar (1992) and Karachi (1993). His work with children in Hawaii, China and Croatia was featured in 1994 segments of NICKELODEON.


Ehrlich has taught at SUNY, Purchase, the University of Vermont, MRDH College in Norway, the Beijing Film Academy, Communication University of China, and since 1992 has been Visiting Professor of Film Studies at Dartmouth College. His Dartmouth students have gone on to win recognition around the world, including the 1996 Student Academy Award in Animation. For the Annecy Animation Festival in France in June of '97, Ehrlich was invited to curate and present a special program of "Young American Animators" from colleges throughout the U.S.


Ehrlich has written over 100 articles on his work with children, animated holography, and international animation. He has served on the Board of the Society of Animation Studies and, since its founding in 1991, on the Editorial Board of THE ANIMATION JOURNAL. A Certified Expressive Therapist (NETA), Ehrlich has written "The Bowel Book" for Schocken Press and has completed "The Creativity Book". In 2002, a book on Ehrlich's life and work, "David Ehrlich: Citizen of the World", by Olivier Cotte, was published by Dreamland Editeur in Paris.

David Ehrlich photo
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