Times Will Tell

Podcast: A goat, a girl & how a young Israeli director learns to be Zen in Burma

Straight from NYU film school, Dani Schoffman landed in newly opened Myanmar and quickly found himself making offerings at a Buddhist pagoda to ward off his film crew’s curse

Welcome to Times Will Tell, the weekly podcast from The Times of Israel. This week we’re speaking with a dynamic young Israeli filmmaker named Dani Schoffman, whose short “Aye Ko” was filmed in Burma after he lived in the fascinating mysterious country for several years following NYU film school.

Here is a link to the film, so you can watch ”Aye Ko” now, before you hear us discuss it, or following our conversation.

The film follows a 12-year-old Burmese girl as she struggles to bring a blessed goat home to her village for her sister’s wedding. Everything goes wrong and we meet a colorful cast of characters along the way.

Schoffman describes his initial culture shock at arriving in Burma, a country that was essentially closed to the world for 60 years. Back in the States, he had figured the market was wide open for western directors to film the inevitably needed commercials.

We hear how he found himself donating blood to get in with established filmmakers, giving an offering to Buddha to ward off a curse while filming, and how the Yiddish phrase “Man tracht un gott lacht” — “Man plans and God laughs” couldn’t have been more true.

Filmmaker Dani Schoffman (far right) on the set of ‘Aye Ko’ in Burma. (courtesy)

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