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A Closer Look: PRIIT PARN, preeminent Estonian animator

One year ago, the Ottawa International Animation Festival awarded its grandprize to the new Estonian film, "Night of the Carrots," by Priit Pärn.Since making his first film, "Is the Earth Round" in 1977, animator,illustrator, and artist Priit Pärn has evolved into one of the mostinfluential animation artists in the world. His films are routinely invitedto animation festivals where they have won several major awards. PriitPärn's countrymen, Rein Raamat, Rao Heidmats and Mati Kutt, among others,have also garnered international recognition. It is noteworthy that Estoniahas somehow managed to produce high quality films consistently, consideringthe political realities that have encompassed this small nation; firstfilmakers were faced with censorship for more than thirty years due to aCommunist regime, and then they were rapidly forced to adapt to acapitalist marketplace.

To get an insight into Estonian animation, read Heikki Jokinen's article inour February 1998 issue Animation World Magazine: "Little Big Estonia: The Nukufilm Studio."

AWN's gallery displays 20 drawings by Priit Pärn in conjunction with theexhibition of his work presented at the Ottawa 1996 Festival.

The Ottawa 1998 festival hosted a comprehensive retrospective of Estoniananimation. The detailed program for "Before And After Independence: 40Years of Estonian Animation," curated by Chris Robinson, is available onthe festival web site.

Two videos of Priit Pärn's work are available in the AWN Store:

- Priit Pärn, Part 1 includes: "And Plays Tricks" (1979), "Some Exercisesin Preparation for An Independent Life" (1981), and two of the masterworksof animation: the groundbreaking "Breakfast on The Grass" (1988), a savagecritique of Soviet life, and "Hotel E" (made on the eve of Estonianindependence), an indictment of the hypocrisies of both Eastern and Westernsystems. Available in US and Canada for $29.95 plus shipping and handling.

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- Priit Pärn, Part 2 features: "Triangle" (1982), "Time Out" (1984), "1895"(Grand Prix, Zagreb 1996 and Best Design Award, Ottawa 1996) and "The Nightof The Carrots" (Grand Prize, Ottawa 1998). Available in the US and Canadafor $29.95 plus shipping and handling.

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