Friday 22 | 17H00 | Cinema São Jorge | Sala Manoel de Oliveira


ALL NOTHING, Canada, 1978, 11’
THE MIGHTY RIVER, Canada, 1993, 24’
CRAC!Canada, 1980, 15’

Frédéric Back was one of Canada’s most celebrated animators and a pioneer environment activist. His highly acclaimed films — typically for young children, with a message related to ecology or Québec culture — are renowned for his technique of drawing on frosted acetate with coloured pencils in a gentle, post-Impressionist style. He won numerous awards and grand prizes in the main world animation festivals, including two Academy Awards, Son of a musician and a brush-maker’s assistant, Back grew up in Strasbourg and studied art and became specialized in paintings of marine life.

He immigrated to Montréal in 1948 and after teaching and work and illustrator and graphist in 1968, Frederic Back joined Radio-Canada’s new animation department.

Here he creates title sequences, promotional films and made nine award-winning animated short films, inspired in Canadian legends and environment subjects.

Back’s seventh short film, Crac (1982), in which he uses a rocking chair to trace the history of both a family and Québec culture his one of the most acclaimed. It won 23 international awards including an Academy Award.

His next film, L’homme qui plantait les arbres (1987), comprises more than 20,000 drawings and took five years to make. Based on a Jean Giono story about a man who transformed a barren landscape single-handedly, the film won more than 40 awards including an Academy Award. Frederic Back’s final film, Le fleuve aux grandes eaux (1993), took four years to complete and comprises more than 17,000 drawings.

Back devoted time and energy throughout his life to the protection of animals and the preservation of the environment. He planted more then 10,000 trees and was a founding member of the Québec animals, environment and water protecting resources.

Many of Back’s films are considered animation classics and are studied in universities and animation schools.

In 1984, Crac was named the sixth-best animated film of all time.