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Monday, August 31, 2015

Women Pioneers of Animated Film honored at Annecy

Well, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival has come and gone. As part of the focus on women animators, this year the festival bumpers created by the students at Gobelins l'ecole de l'image shone the much deserved spotlight on five women whose contributions to the art form helped pave the way for generations of women animators:

Mary Blair
An animator for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the Ub Iwerks studio before hiring on with Walt Disney, Mary Blair would lend her experienced eye to many classic films like Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, Cinderella, and Peter Pan before working on the "It's a Small World" attraction (which would eventually end up at Disneyland).

Evelyn Lambart
Animator and technical director for the National Film Board of Canada, Lambart's career spanned thirty years at the NFB where she worked with Norman McLaren on films like Begone Dull Care and A Chairy Tale.

Lotte Reiniger
Creator of The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the oldest surviving animated feature (and arguably the first), animator Lotte Reiniger created over forty films and wrote several books on her silhouette animation technique.

Claire Parker
M.I.T. graduate, engineer, and animator, Claire Parker co-directed animated films like Night on Bald Mountain using the pinscreen animation technique co-created with her husband, Alexandre Alexieff.

Alison de Vere
Worthy of special note, British animator Alison de Vere was the first woman to win the Grand Prix at the Annecy festival (for her film Mr. Pascal, ex æquo).