Tom Kouris and Hani Dombe p1

Hani Dombe and Tom Kouris create stop motion animation for short films, music videos and tv commercials in Tel Aviv. Their work has appeared at the Hiroshima Animation Festival, Stop Motion de Montreal, the Mosaic Film Festival in Michigan, and many other festivals around the world. Their 10-minute short film Lili features a woman who clings to her childhood and fights a sandstorm that threatens to take it away. The film features an amazingly realistic set of a house in a desert near the sea, with sand and wind, washing on the line, and other evocative details. This issue features an insight into the making of some of their short films, which is a very detailed process. They also mention some of their favourite books.

READERSVOICE.COM: Looking at the making of your films like Lili, there are many skills needed to make a stop motion animation film. Where did you learn skills like making armatures, building houses, making costumes, creating furry animal characters, lighting, and all the other skills you needed for Lili?

TOM and HANI: We come from different backgrounds – Tom is also a photographer and editor and Hani is also a designer and writer. We learn a lot just by trying new materials and techniques all the time.

RV: How much time was spent on making the sets and characters and how much time on the filming of the movie, Lili?

TH: I think about 4-6 months each.

RV: Which film festivals did you travel to, that showed Lili?

TH: We went to Hiroshima festival and Animafest Zagreb, both great and very different experiences.

RV: In the short film Grass you quote Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. What are some of your other favorite books of all time, fiction or non-fiction, or biographies or anything else?

TH: We like Haruki Murakami and we’d love to screenplay for animation one of his short stories. Other favorites are Jonathan Franzen books and classic Russian literature: Anna Karenina ; The Death of Ivan Ilyich (a novella by Leo Tolstoy); Crime and Punishment.