Polish-British coprod Peter and the Wolf wins Oscar


    The Polish-British co-production Peter and the Wolf an adaptation of the Sergei Prokofiev classic created by an international team of over 100 professionals, won an Oscar in the short animation category at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles Sunday night.

    The other Polish nomination, Katyn by the legendary filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, lost in the foreign-language film category to Austria's The Counterfeiters.

    Peter and the Wolf, by Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman, is a co-production by Poland's Se-ma-for Film Studio (www.semafor.com) and Britain's BreakThru Films (www.breakthrufilms.com.uk). It was the first Oscar nomination for both artists.

    "This is for everyone," Suzie Templeton said in her acceptance speech. "This for our fantastic crew and this for everybody who worked so passionately on our film to make our dream come true. "
    "This really is a fairy tale ending for us," added Welchman, "but hopefully it's only the beginning for Peter and this amazing award, and it will help keep Prokofiev's ‘Peter and the Wolf' in the hearts and minds of children all over the world."

    The project was conceived when conductor Mark Stephenson of London's Philharmonia Orchestra approached Templeton to do an animation that would accompany his orchestra's performance of Prokofiev's 1936 composition. The resulting 29-minute stop-motion animated film took five years and $2 million to complete.

    Poland's Marek Skobecki, who worked on Schindler's List, designed the set. Mikolaj Jaroszwicz, along with Huge Gordon, were in charge of photography. The film was subsdised by the Polish Film Institute.

    Peter and the Wolf has won several awards at international festivals, including the Rose d'Or Festival in Switzerland and the Pucinella Film Festival in Italy. It was nominated for a BAFTA Award in the UK.