Name
Jacob (Jacky) Comforty
Country
Israel
Jacky Comforty was born in 1954, the son of Bulgarian immigrants in Israel, where he spent the first 26 years of his life. In 1979, whilst studying Classical History at the Ben Gurion University in Tel Aviv, he completed a course of training in film and television. From 1981 to 1988 he first worked as an independent filmmaker in Stuttgart, before emigrating to the USA in 1990. There he founded the company Comforty Media Concepts together with his wife Lisa Comforty; a company producing documentary and educational films for schools, museums, universities and other educational institutions.

In 1991 Comforty began work on his 'Inclusion' project, a several-part series on the integration of handicapped children in American elementary and secondary schools.

In 1998, he made the documentary "In the Shadow of Memory" about the Czech city Lidice, which was almost completely destroyed in the Second World War due to the supposed resistance of its Catholic population.

Comforty’s film "The Optimists" (2000) is named after a Bulgarian jazz band from pre-war years, whose still-living members are interviewed in the film. It documents the way that despite Bulgaria’s collaboration with Nazi-Germany, Christians and Muslims, rescued 50,000 Jews from the Holocaust. The filming took twelve years, leading Comforty right across Europe and back to his home country of Israel. Here he creates a montage of interviews with survivors and uses previously unpublished film material from Bulgarian archives, as well as numerous photos from his own personal family collection. "The Optimists" received the first prize in the category "The Jewish Experience" at the International Film Festival Jerusalem in 2000 and also the renowned Peace Film Prize at the Forum of the Berlinale a year later.