VIDEO: Khelom's Customs

By Irina Litmanovich

Irina Litmanovich was born in Rostov-on-the-Don in 1980. From 1985 until 1997 she lived with her parents in Voronezh, where she graduated from a School of Arts (1996) and the Department of Physical Mathematics at College № 1 (1997). She went to Israel in 1997 as part of the SOKHNUT Program, studied Hebrew for eight months, and was admitted to the Department of Visual Communication at the “Bezalel”Arts Academy in Jerusalem. She graduated in 2002 and completed her diploma film The Letter, an animation étude based on motifs in the works of Daniil Kharms. During these years she also performed in plays at the “Mikro” Theater (Irina Gorelik, artistic director): A Winter Night’s Dream (based on stories by Sergei Kozlov), A Game of Love and Destiny (Pierre de Marivaux), A Legend of Never-Ending Happiness (Ulrich Plentzdorf). In the summer of 2002 she performed in Paris and Grenoble with the “Mikro” Theater. Between 2001 and 2002 she worked in the photo archive of Yad Vashem, the Museum of Memory and Catastrophe, in Jerusalem, and between 2002 and 2003 as an editor and graphic designer in the publishing house of the Open University in Tel-Aviv.

She returned to Moscow in the winter of 2004 and worked on several films in the The Mountain of Gems (Gora samotsvetov) project at the Pilot Studio: as artistic director on Natal'ia Berezovaia’s The Ram and the Goat (Pro barana i kozla, 2004), as assistant director on Mikhail Aldashin’s and Oleg Uzhinov’s About Ivan the Fool (Pro Ivana Duraka, 2004), and as assistant artistic director on Andrei Sokolov’s The Evolution of Petr Sentsov (Evoliutsiia Petra Sentsova, 2005).

In 2004 she started her studies in the Advanced Courses for Directors at the Shar School-Studio (workshop of Fedor Khitruk and Aleksei Demin). She finished her studies in 2006 with her diploma film Khelom’s Customs, based on a poem by Ovsei Driz.


2004 Illustrations for Valerii Popov’s story “The Golden Seal of Misfortune” in The New Witness (Novyi ochevidets) (15.2004)
2005 Illustrations for for Liudmila Petrushevskaia’s stories “The Train and the Shovel” in Kukumber (5.2005) and “Samovar” also in Kukumber (7.2005).


2002 The Letter (animation short), screened at the KROK-2003 Festival
2005 Khelom’s Customs (diploma film), screened at the 2006 Suzdal Animation Film Festival; third prize at the Saint Anna Film Festival

Khelom’s Customs (Russia, 2005)

Cut-out animation, Betacam-SP, color, 4:50 minutes
A mournful celebration of the fact that problems never end.
Director, script, art-work: Irina Litmanovich
Cinematography: Igor' Skidan-Bosin
Composer: Viacheslav Litmanovich
Sound: Sof'ia Trifonova
Animation: Irina Litmanovich, Aleksei Mironov
Producer: Sergei Mirzaev

Subtitles by Seth Graham

Updated: 16 May 06