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Animation Fest at the Motion Picture Academy

Since I signed up to be on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences press list leading up to the Oscars, I have been subjected to a numbing array of press releases on such matters of import as the placement of outhouses during pre-awards red carpet-area construction.

But this event sounds very interesting indeed:

    Academy Award-winning animator-director Frédéric Back will participate in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Marc Davis Lecture on Animation on Wednesday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

    Open to the public, the event will feature a discussion with Back, as well as several of today’s most respected animators and historians, including Pete Doctor (Monsters Inc.), production designer Paul Felix (Lilo and Stitch and The Emperor’s New Groove), Glen Keane (Tarzan and Pocahontas), Bob Kurtz of Kurtz and Friends Animation Studio and Charles Solomon, animation critic for The Los Angeles Times. Both of Mr. Back’s Oscar-winning shorts, The Man Who Planted Trees and Crac, will be screened in their entirety.

    With two Academy Awards, two additional Oscar nominations, the Governor-General’s Award and dozens of festival prizes and citations, Back ranks among the world’s most honored animator-directors. Back, who received his first Oscar nomination for All-Nothing (Tout-Rien, 1980), began drawing with colored pencil on frosted acetate cells in 1980.

    All Nothing, like all of Back’s films, combines a delicate beauty with a plea for an environmentally sane way of life. His next two films, Crac! and The Man Who Planted Trees won Academy Awards in 1981 and 1987 respectively. Back’s most recent film The Mighty River, a history of human interaction on the Saint Lawrence River, earned him his fourth Oscar nomination in 1993.

Tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with valid ID. They may be purchased in advance at the Academy during regular business hours, by mail, or on the night of the event, if still available when the doors open at 7 p.m.

I have always found the magic of animation fascinating – I loved the animation studio tour at Disney-MGM (guided by the Eddie Murphy-voiced dragon character Mushu from Mulan) when we were at Disney World last May.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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