Lev a pisnicka - Bretislav Pojar

The Big Sleep

  1. Overview
  2. Description

1. The Lion and the Song, Bretislav Pojar
2. Do It Yourself Cartoon Kit, Bob Godfrey
3. The Island, Fedor Savelievitch Khitrouk
4. I Move, so I Am, Gerrit Van Dijk
5. Nursery Crimes: Tom Thumb, Dave Borthwick
6. The Window, Csaba Varga
7. Rabbit, Run Wrake
8. The Public Voice, Lejf Marcussen
9. Hommage au producteur John Coates

B?etislav Pojar (1923-2012)

Bretislav POJAR

Bretislav Pojar directed his first film A Drop Too Much in 1953. When he compared his craft to hypnotism – "When you are good [the puppet] lives like every one of us" –, he was probably giving one of the keys to his style.
A master of illusion, credited with over 60 films and many series and a teacher at FAMU from 1990, he remained a simple and wonderfully available man.

Some of his works: Paraplícko (1957), The Lion and the Song (1959) which won the Annecy 1960 Grand Prix, Nightangels (1986).

From a text written by the animation expert Pascal Vimenet.

Bob Godfrey (1921-2013)

Bob Godfrey

As a vital part of British animation for over a half century, Bob Godfrey founded Biographic Cartoon Films, which seriously shook up the industry at the time.

His work included: Henry 9 'til 5 (1970), Kama Sutra Rides Again (1971), and Great (1975), the first British animation film to win an Oscar.
Through his films, he became an enormous inspiration for other animators throughout his career.

From a text written by Jez Stewart, Curator at the British Film Institute and National Archive

Fedor Savelievitch Khitrouk (1917-2012)

Fedor Savelievitch Khitrouk

Fedor Khitrouk was one of the most important Russian animation veterans.
He participated in the animation of more than 200 films until 1961, when he started to work as a director. His work was in contradiction to both the codes of Disney and socialist realism, making him become, thanks to his human qualities, a key figure of the new Soviet wave alongside Norstein and Nazarov. In 1993, with Norshtein, Nazarov and Khrzhanovsky, he participated in the creation of Shar, a studio and school which trained part of the new Russian generation of animation producers.

Some of his works: The Story of a Crime (1961), The Man in the Frame (1966), Film, Film, Film (1969), Island (1973), The Lion and the Bull (1983).

From a text written by the animation expert Pascal Vimenet.

Gerrit van Dijk (5 décembre 1938 – 4 décembre 2012)


Gerrit van Dijk co-directed his first animated film, It’s Good in Heaven, in 1971, with Peter Brouwer. He was a committed filmmaker who never hesitated to denounce social injustice. For Dutch animation, he was a great inspiration and a pioneer, as he was a founder of the Holland Animation Film Festival (1985) and The Netherlands Institute for Animation Film (1993).

Several of his films were nominated in various festivals, including He Almost Clutched His Hand which competed in Cannes in 1982. He also won the Golden Bear for best short film two times in Berlin: in 1989 for Pas à deux (with Monique Renault) and in 1998 for I Move, So I Am.

Van Dijk devoted the last months of his life to drawing one picture per day, which led to the short film The Last Picture Show.

Extract from a text by Gerben Schermer, Director of the Holland Animation Film Festival

Dave Borthwick (1947-2012)

Les Aventures secrètes de Tom Pouce / The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb

Born in 1947 in Bristol, Dave Borthwick directed his first animated shorts in the 80s before founding Bolexbrothers (from the name of the 16 mm little Bolex camera) with Dave Alex Riddett in his hometown in 1991. The foundation of the studio took place during an exciting period for British animation when it was innovating by its boldness and singular aesthetics. By producing commercials, Bolexbrothers gave Borthwick the opportunity to work on personal projects. In this way, his internationally successful feature, The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb, was surprising for the combination of pixilation and stop motion as well as for its use of science fiction and horror elements in the adaptation of a classic of children's literature. (A pilot version of Tom Thumb was shown at Annecy 1991, at a time when the project was destined for the BBC.) Over the next few years, many outstanding films were made at the studio, including the short The Saint Inspector by Mike Booth (1996). In 2005, Borthwick co-created the 3D animation The Magic Roundabout (renamed Doogal in the USA) from the eponymous series by Serge Danot. He passed away the 27th October 2012 while he was working on a new puppet feature, Grass Roots.

Taken from a text by Marco de Blois, Cinémathèque québécoise

Csaba Varga (1945-2012)


Csaba Varga created his first amateur animation film in 1970.
He was Director at the Pannonia Film Studio from 1979 to 1987 before founding the Varga Studio in 1989. In his drawn animation films, he explored allusively, and often with great exhilaration, the possibilities of metamorphosis and its expressions. 

Some of his works: Fading in Time (1980), Waltz (1984), Augusta Makes Herself Beautiful (1984), The Wind (1985).

From a text written by the animation expert Pascal Vimenet.

Lejf Marcussen (1936-2013)

Den Offentlige Røst

Lejf Marcussen is one of the masters in the history of animation.
From 1990, his work received recognition with the Norman McLaren Heritage Award at the Ottawa festival. A year later, The Public Voice received the Special Jury Award and the Fipresci Award at Annecy, where a retrospective was devoted to his work in 1998.

"He takes a strong non-narrative position in his films that goes beyond the limits of animation (he readily described his work as 'absolute' or experimental) and shows a deep interest in the relationship between moving pictures and music. There is a constant desire to explore various techniques and a visceral force expressing the essence of human condition."

Extract from a text by Pierre Hébert

John Coates (1927-2012)


John Coates, one of the greatest animation producers in Great Britain, passed away last 16th September, at age 84.

He was still only 30 when he founded the TVC studio in 1957 with his partner George Dunning. Later, in 1981, he participated in the adventure of Gerald Potterton's feature Heavy Metal by producing the Soft Landing segment written by Dan O'Bannon.

From the following year, he received wide recognition after producing the TV special The Snowman, based on the illustrated book by Raymond Briggs and nominated for an Oscar for best animated short film. He continued this collaboration with Briggs, along with Jimmy Murakami, who was already co-director of The Snowman, producing When the Wind Blows (1986), a feature dealing with the bold topic of a nuclear attack on London. He then produced several notable series, including The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends (1992-1995), based on the work of Beatrix Potter. In 1996, the television special produced by Joanna Quinn Famous Fred earned him a second Oscar nomination.

In 2012, weakened by illness, his company produced The Snowman and the Snowdog, also inspired by the characters of Raymond Briggs. Presented in competition at Annecy 2013, this television special produced by Hilary Audus is also an opportunity to pay a last tribute to John Coates.

Marcel Jean, délégué artistique / Artistic Delegate, CITIA