16-10-2012

OBITUARY: Czech animator Bretislav Pojar

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PRAGUE: Cannes winning Czech animator Bretislav Pojar has died, just days after celebrating his 89th birthday.

Pojar began his career in the early 1940’s working for legendary animator Jiri Trnka, and in 1954 he won his first award at Cannes for best short puppet animation. He went on to win two Palme d’Or’s at Cannes, in 1972 (Balablok) and in 1979 (Bum). The Annecy International Animation Film Festival gave him its Grand Prix in 1969 for The Lion and the Song.

At the Berlinale, he received the Golden Bear for his 1969 film To See or Not to See. His 1981 film E won the Silver Dragon at the Krakow Film Festival (www.krakowfilmfestival.pl), among other awards. In 2007 he was lauded with the Lifetime Contribution Award from the Karlovy Vary IFF (www.kviff.com). In the Czech Republic he was best known for his animation series about a pair of bears.

Pojar immigrated to Canada in the 1960’s, but had returned to the Czech Republic. He directed the second film in the popular animated feature film series Fimfarum in 2005. He worked in both puppet and stop motion animation.