Wednesday 23 September 2015

Vale Yoram Gross - Some memories and tributes from friends - More to come

Yoram Gross was a major figure in the Australian cinema. His niche in animation was a special one and made him beloved of many who found him a unique voice. Some personal email tributes are flying around and I've asked a few people for permission to post them here. As they agree and as more perhaps arrive, I'll keep adding them.

 Graham Shirley, Chair of the Film & Broadcast Industries Oral History Group, writes:
For those of you who have not yet heard the news, Yoram Gross passed away yesterday -

I met Yoram several times over the years, with most of my contact with him and his wife Sandra being in 2001 and 2002, when, for NFSA, I recorded an audio interview with them both, then, with FBIOHG’s David Perry as cameraman, a video interview.  Despite the fact that both of them were at that time extremely busy with their company, EM-TV, Yoram and Sandra graciously and in very good spirits made time for what turned out to be an in-depth and valuable interview.  In 2011 they kindly invited me to the Polish Embassy, Canberra, for the launch of Yoram’s autobiography, My Animated Life

Tom Jeffrey writes:
Thank you for letting us know, Graham.
Yoram Gross made a HUGE contribution to the Australian film industry - and was such a lovely, lovely man.  A very sad loss.

Lynn Gailey writes:
Yoram was a true gentleman.

Malcolm Smith writes
My eulogy for Yoram. 

I would like to honour my very dear friend Yoram.

I first met Yoram and Sandra in the late sixties, relatively soon after I had migrated to Australia from the UK having previously spent three years in Israel where I had learnt Hebrew leavened with a cockney accent.

I was working at the Commonwealth Film Unit and one auspicious day was called to bring my cockney Hebrew to good use to translate the finer Ivrit of newly arrived migrants, Yoram and Sandra, from Israel who were looking for work.

We immediately became firm friends and family.

Yoram and Sandra were a remarkable team. A long term friendship and partnership. A marriage and a business.

Over the years Yoram forged a bridge of hope from the horrors of the holocaust to creative and commercial success both in Israel and Australia.

There was a substantial cultural depth to Yoram expressed through art, music, photography and the media. And always a wonderful humanity.

He truly loved and cared for children and spent most of his life entertaining them and bringing joy. Yoram Gross Films is a lasting testament to this.

Whenever I met with Yoram the routine was to extend my right hand at waist level, palm up and then Yoram raised his right arm in friendly recognition before smashing his hand down on mine with maximum force.

"Ah la la Mr Smith" he would say.

"Ah Monsieur Gross" I would grimace  and we would immediately relax into each other's company and affection.

I will miss that.

Yoram's idiosyncratic humour was renowned and mostly misunderstood. There was a European and Yiddish wryness to it.  A Jewish rye!  Which is the type of joke Yoram would have told if he had thought of it first.

Yoram and Sandra's legacy is their close and talented family, the affection of a wide circle of friends and admirers and their Studio and generous contributions to the world of cinema and television.

"Ah Monsieur Gross - Jeanette and I will miss you. "

David Tiley has written a great appreciation of Yoram's life and work in Screen Hub which you can find here

If you would like to add some words email them to me at 

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