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EFI Exec’s Daughter Eyes Oscar –Cagle

March 2011

For those of you who missed the British Academy Film Awards last month—a good many of us likely did, since we obviously have our own Oscar night here in the United States—one nominee has a connection to the printing industry.

Udi Arieli, a director with EFI, was bursting with pride at the news that his daughter, Karni, and her husband, Saul, were nominated for an Oscar in the Short Film category. Karni and Saul directed and wrote "Turning." The short was produced as part of BBC Film Network's BBC Drama Shorts 2009 commission.

Short films are often unorthodox and open to interpretation, and this one is no exception. "Turning" is a story about a six-year-old British youth, Robert, who is visited on his birthday by three old women. Robert sees them as old birds—literally—which makes for some bizarre perspectives and, occasionally, disturbing images.

The partiers enjoy cake and coffee before regaling Robert about the tale of the emperor, who not only had no clothes, he lacked skin and flesh. The emperor "resembled ivory carvings and cream-colored satin cushions, laced together with red and blue thread."

He was an odd sight, resembling a colorful character constructed from a hodgepodge of Play-Doh colors.

That's enough of a sneak peek. The emperor's appearance is disturbing enough to give you nightmares, so we'll stop there and suggest you check it out for yourself at www.bbc.co.uk/filmnetwork/films/p00cld4n. Since this issue went to press before the awards, you'll need to check the winners' list at www.bafta.org to see how Karni and Saul fared.

Congratulations to the film makers and proud papa Udi Arieli. We look forward to screening your next work. Hopefully, it won't contain any characters or material that will cause us to have unsettling dreams.

NO LOVE: You would be well- advised to put those plans of opening a greeting card manufacturing business in Tehran on hold. And, Peter Cetera would be well-cautioned not to belt out "Glory of Love" within earshot of citizens in the hot sands of Qa'em Shahr.

Yes, from the ruler who brought you "the Holocaust never happened" comes a new edict to be strictly adhered to by all good Iranians: no Valentine's Day gifts or any promotion of the day. It seems that Iran no longer wants anything to do with this decadent, perverted Western tradition and has thus banned the holiday.

Reuters obtained a memo from the country's printing workers union that said, in part: "Printing and producing any products related to Valentine's Day, including posters, brochures, advertising cards, boxes with the symbols of hearts, half-hearts, red roses and any activities promoting this day are banned. Authorities will take legal action against those who ignore the ban."

Former North Pole Mayor Burgermeister Meisterburger would've been proud. (The Burgermeister famously declared "No more toys!" during the Rankin Bass animated holiday special "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." It says here that it's quite ironic that the Valentine edict is cartoonishly ridiculous.)

The head of the union defended the government's action. "Our country has an ancient civilization and various days to honor kindness, love and affection," Ali Nikou Sokhan told Reuters. Alas, a quick scan of the Iranian calendar didn't yield any such official holidays, but that doesn't mean we doubt Mr. Sokhan.

All hope is not lost. Oil Nationalization Day is March 20 in Iran. Perhaps you can send that special someone a crude greeting card.

In all seriousness, we have nothing against Iran or its people. However, outlawing a holiday that celebrates love—regardless of the country that originated said holiday—is outright absurd.

CHEESE LOVE: Wisconsinites pour their hearts and souls into three things: cheese, printing and their beloved Green Bay Packers. Though not necessarily in that order. So, imagine the festive atmosphere that permeated Quad/Graphics' Lomira, WI, facility in late January, when the company was contracted to produce the official NFL Super Bowl program.

No novelty exists here, since it marked the sixth straight year that Quad/Lomira had produced the program. But, what makes this year extra special for the good workers at Lomira is seeing their own Packers gracing the cover.

"The privilege of being able to do it just adds excitement to the fact that Green Bay is on the cover," Bruce Stroik, plant manager at Lomira, told WITI-TV in Milwaukee. "Their story is in the book."

Sadly, many employees had to miss the Packers' NFC Championship game victory over longtime rival Chicago. "That's the sweet irony. We get the privilege of producing the book, but sometimes the call of duty means you might have to forfeit being able to see the game," Stroik told the station.

However, their hard work was rewarded as the Packers posted a 31-25 victory over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. Cheeseheads everywhere are still rejoicing and basking in the glow of their fourth title, and first in the post-Brett Favre era. PI

—Erik Cagle


 

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