Letters to the Editor for September 1996
The Olympiad of Animation
It was most gratifying to read about the 1984 Olympiad of Animation in your very interesting journal ("The Olympiad of Animation: An Interview With Fini Littlejohn," by Harvey Deneroff, July 1996). It brought to many memories to the surface, especially how wonderful it was that so many animators cooperated and complied with a very demanding rules committee.
We received films from all over the world, but best of all was a film made by 10-12 year old children of the Lanterna Magica, in Turino, Italy, L'Importante e partecipare (The Importance is to Participate). It had me in tears, I was so happy. When Sheila Benson, the film critic of the Los Angeles Times, reviewed it, there was a color still of the film accompanying her front page article about the Olympiad in the Calendar section. (Incidentally, I sadly agreed with her complaint about the omission of Disney's Three Little Pigs from the "Champions of Animation.")
Bill Hurtz' Logo Film for Olympiad of Animation based on Luzzati's poster.
Above all, I wish to give credit to Max Massimo Garnier, to whom I spoke about the idea of an Olympiad of Animation. He caught fire and helped me enormously by invited me to the Lucca Animation Festival, where he set up a press conference. There, he spoke with great enthusiasm about the Olympiad and what it would mean to ASIFA and to animation. He died a few years ago and I will forever be grateful for his enormous help.
Also, although the Soviet Union boycotted the 1984 Olympics, we did have a print of Yori Norstein's very fine film, Tale of Tales [shown in the Champions of Animation screenings].
Finally, I am very proud of the Olympiad, as it was a unique event (both for the Motion Picture Academy and the animation community) and the only film event during the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival.