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Animation Vet Derek Lamb Passes Away

Director/animator/producer/composer Derek Lamb passed away Nov. 5, 2005, in Washington after a long battle with cancer. His wife Tracie Smart was at his side.

Lamb started his animation career with the National Film Board of Canada in the 1960s. He worked extensively as a writer, director and producer in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, both in commercial and experimental film.

He left the NFB and worked as a director for Halas and Batchelor Studios in London, producing several animated films for the BBC. From 1966 to 1970, he established and taught animation and filmmaking workshops at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University. He has also taught at McGill University and Concordia University in Montreal.

Lamb served as exec producer of the NFB's English Animation Studio from 1976 to 1982. During that period, he also produced the Oscar-winning shorts SPECIAL DELIVERY (directed in 1978 by John Weldon and Eunice Macaulay) and EVERY CHILD (directed in 1979 by Eugene Fedorenko and written by Lamb).

Since 1983, Lamb and Janet Perlman have owned and operated an independent film production company, Lamb Perlman Productions, with offices in Montreal and Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1986, Lamb was an artist-in-residence and lecturer at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard.

Lamb's other film credits include I KNOW AND OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY (director, 1964) and THE GREAT TOY ROBBERY (story and design); A HISTORY OF COMMUNICATIONS (prepared for Expo '67); THE SHEPPERD (which received a 1971 Academy Award nomination); THE LAST CARTOON MAN, winner, Best Scenario Award, Zagreb, 1973); AFTERLIFE (producer, 1978); SKYWARD (the first stop-frame animation film produced for the IMAX System, 1984); and SPORTS CARTOONS (a series of 40 shorts, sponsored by WWF-TV in Cologne and Telefilm Canada, 1986.

Lamb also directed and produced KARATE KIDS, a short NFB animated film, in 1990, designed to provide practical AIDS prevention information for street children.

He was also featured in Chris Landreths moving animation documentary, RYAN.

Most recently, Lamb was an exec producer on the Emmy-winning PBS animated series, PEEP AND THE BIG WIDE WORLD.

Memorial plans are in the works and will be announced.