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
for 1998, with selected profiles and clips.