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CINANIMA pays a tribute to Frédéric Back, French-Canadian director

On the 5th of April, CINANIMA – International Animated Film Festival of Espinho – pays a tribute to Frédéric Back (1924 – 2013), a renowned director who recently passed away and who won the Grand Prize of the Festival in 1981 and was awarded at the Oscars. At Centro Multimeios, 21:30, the complete works of Frédéric Back will be screened, free of admission. On the 4th of April, CINANIMA will screen an interview-documentary about the director, followed by a debate, 21:30, at Nascente.

A unique personality, ecology pioneer, lover of nature, peace and freedom activist, Frédéric Back is also the author of some of the best animation films of all times. He has directed nine short films, four have been nominated for the Oscar and two received the statuette – Crac! (1981) and “The man who planted trees” (1987) –apart from all the awards given at numerous festivals throughout the world.

Crac! is made of 8000 drawings. The use of the technique of coloured pencil on frosted cels makes each of these drawings a unique piece of art. Crac! traces the transformation of Quebec society through the story of a rocking chair.

The man who planted trees represents five long years of work and 20000 drawings. A film that tells the story of Elzéard Bouffier, a shepherd from Provence that plants a forest in a deserted and abandoned region. The narrator’s enchantment for that lonely man took him several times to that wild place, where landscape, once desolated, is transformed  and filled with luxurious forests, full of life.

In 1996, Frédéric Back was on the International Jury of the 20th edition of CINANIMA. The complicity between the director and the Festival of Espinho is one of the good reasons for this homage. In order to offer the audience more information we published a brochure about his life and work, whose author is Paulo Barrosa, the Festival’s programmer.