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A Closer Look: Petrov Runs Off With All The Prizes

Alexander Petrov's "The Old Man And The Sea" won the coveted Grand

Prix at the International Festival of Animated Film at Annecy. The

paint-on-glass Imax short also won the audience prize. Petrov worked

for 2 1/2 years on the 20 minute animated film. A Canadian, Japanese

and Russian co-production, the film has been financed 95% by private

investments from Canada, and in part by NHK, the largest TV network

in Japan. The film is an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novel "The

Old Man and the Sea," a project that Petrov has wanted to do for

years. Using his signature paint on glass technique, Petrov worked on

a custom-built animation stand for the 70mm format, which featured 6

multi-planes of glass, a motion control system, and a simultaneous

digital recording system for testing. Until now, no animation stand

had existed in this format.

The Russian master animator is accustomed to winning awards. He

received Oscar nominations for both "The Cow" in 1990 and "The

Mermaid" in 1998. Among others, "The Mermaid" won the Annecy '97

Special Jury Prize, the Krok '97 Special Jury Prize, the Zagreb '98

Grand Prize, the Hiroshima Prize at Hiroshima 98 and the Zach

Schwartz Award for Best Story at Ottawa '98. "The Old Man And The

Sea" continued his path to success with the Cinanima '99 Grand Prize,

the Grand Prize of Children Awards at Moscow's Youth Animation

Festival, the Grand Prize at Krok Animation Festival and the

prestigious Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. Upon receiving his

Oscar last March, Petrov said, "Having been nominated twice before,

now I can look at this award without irony. I'm very happy to have

received the Oscar as it has given "The Old Man And The Sea" and my

earlier films recognition. And like any artist I wanted to be first.

I'm happy that the Academy has the category of animated short film,

because it gives a chance to independent artists to show their work.

This said, I think it's nonsense to dwell on the subject of awards.

What is most important is that you do what you want to do for

artistic expression and not worry about the prizes." Admittedly, the

artist's work is the essence, not prizes. However, a unanimous

recognition, through a myriad of awards around the world, shows that

the artist reached his goal. The public's ovation at the screening of

his film in Annecy attested to that greatly and Petrov was truly

moved when he received the audience prize. Congratulations Alexander

Petrov, and continue to express your art so brilliantly.

Read Alyson Carty & Chris Robinson's indepth look at Alexander

Petrov's IMAX spectacular in:


Old Man and The Sea: Hands Above The Rest?"

The Oscar 2000 Nominees, and the winner, are featured on AWN with

15-30 second Quicktime clips, a brief summary of the film, pictures

and the director's thoughts. Visit the

AWN 2000 Oscar Showcase.

Rediscover "The Mermaid" and the other Academy

Award/Oscar nominees for 1998, with selected profiles and clips.