In Memory of Frédéric Back

FRÉDÉRIC BACK
(1924-2013)

The animation master, whose been lost battle against cancer last year at the age of 89, Frédéric Back, was a famous awarded artist by both his drawings and animation films. Back had been nominated for Academy Awards for 4 times and won the Oscar two times; in 1981 with his film Crac! And in 1987 with his film The Man Who Planted Trees. He worked many years in Radio Canada and put his signature under many projects, he was also the creator of the work of art at famous Place-des-Arts station of Montreal Subway in 1967.

Also being an enviromental activist and animal rights defender Frédéric Back was the founder of the animal welfare association named “Société Québécoise pour la Défense des Animaux” and gave many lectures in many countries about the rights of animals. Frederic Back was a vegetarian who is saying that animals are his friends and therefore he cannot eat them. Frederic Back showed his sensitivity on this issue also in his last film Mighty River, in like many of his films.

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THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES
Canada, 1987, 30”, Color, English

Director: Frédéric Back
Story: Jean Giono
Script: Frédéric Back
Animation: Frédéric Back
Narration: Christopher Plummer
Music: Normand Roger
Production: Société Radio-Canada

The Oscar® he won for Crac! allowed Frédéric Back to fulfil his dream of bringing Jean Giono’s wonderful story The Man Who Planted Trees to the screen. In more distilled form, its environmental message and philosophy of life reflect the concerns already addressed by Back in his previous films. The seeds that the shepherd plants are the symbol of all our actions, good and bad, which have far-reaching consequences we can scarcely imagine. It is up to us to think and act in accordance with our hopes for the future, and, if possible, to leave behind us a world more beautiful and promising than the one we inherited.
1987 Cannes International FF Official Selection in the Short Film Category
1987 International Emmy Awards Finalist
1987 International Environment and Nature Film Festival Grand Prize
1987 International Animation Festival Grand Prize
1987 Italia Awards Special Environmental Award
1987 International FF Silver Hugo
1988 International Animation FF, Zagreb ASIFA-International Award
1988 International Animation FF Ottowa Grand Prize and Audience Choice
1989-1990
22nd BACA Film and Video Festival; Best Animation Film
International Youth Film Festival, Moscow; Special Jury
American Film and Video Festival; Emily and Blue Ribbon
Children’s Broadcast Institute Canada Award for Excellence
20th Annual Independent Film and Video Makers Competition; Honorable Mention in the Animation category
1993 Quebec Film Festival; Castor d’or Award for Best Animation Film

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THE MIGHTY RIVER
Canada, 1993, 24”, Color, English

Director: Frédéric Back
Script: Frédéric Back, Hubert Tison
Narrator: Donald Sutherland
Animation: Frédéric Back
Music: Normand Roger, Denis Chartrand
Production: Hubert Tison/Société Radio-Canada

Clean water, essential to all forms of life, is becoming increasingly rare. The film is about the St. Lawrence River. Mi’kmaq people call it as ‘Magtogoek’ follows a long course through Ontario and Quebec, and then drains into the Atlantic. Its waters, which once teemed with animal and plant life, today bear witness to decades of over-exploitation and industrial pollution.

1993
Annecy FF Grand Prize
Iran International FF for Children and Young Adults Golden Butterfly Special Jury
International Ecological FF Canary Islands Human Value Award

1994
Filmfest Aspen USA Aspen
Ankara International Film Festival Best Film
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Animated Film
Nominated for an Oscar®
International Animation Festival Hiroshima Grand Prize
International Animation Festival Ottawa Best Production between 10 and 30 Minutes

1995
International Nature Film and Television Festival South Africa Spirit of the Environment Award
World Television Festival, Banff, Canada Excellence

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CRAC!
Canada, 1981, 15”, Color, No Dialogue

Director: Frédéric Back
Screenplay: Frédéric Back
Animation: Frédéric Back
Music: Normand Roger
Production: Hubert Tison/Société Radio-Canada
Crac! traces the rapid transformation of Quebec society through the story of a rocking chair. In this charming tale tinged with nostalgia, Frédéric Back takes us back to rich traditions swept aside by the relentless forces of progress and urbanization. Crac! is the sound of a falling tree, chopped down to make the chair. It’s also the sound of the rift in our lives when change happens too quickly. The film brought the first Oscar for its creator and Radio-Canada in 1982.

1981
Annecy FF 2. 2nd Special Jury Award
International Film Festival, Odense; Grand Prize
International Film Festival, Chicago; Gold Plaque

1982
Annual Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards, Los Angeles Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film
International Film Festival, Houston; Silver Venus
International Animation Festival, Ottawa Grand Prize
The International Children’s Film Festival, Los Angeles Ruby Slipper
International Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Leipzig; Silver Dove in the Animated Films and Videos category

1983
International Education Film Festival, Birmingham First for Applied and Performing Arts
Annual Hemisfilm International Festival, San Antonio Best Short Film
International Short Film Festival, Murcia Special Prize
International Film Festival, Baltimore; Honourable Mention

1991
Annecy FF; Audience Award included the best animated films in the thirty years of the festival

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ALL NOTHING
TOUT RIEN
Canada, 1978, 11”, Color, No Dialogue
Director: Frédéric Back
Screenplay: Frédéric Back
Animation: Frédéric Back
Music: Normand Roger
Production: Hubert Tison/Société Radio-Canada
The film is an allegory portraying humankind’s desire to appropriate all of nature’s beauty and resources. For too long, we have held the mistaken belief that the world was created entirely for our benefit. As countless plant and animal species become extinct, our generous planet has little left to offer: clean water and lush forests are becoming increasingly rare. The film ends, however, on a positive note: Frédéric Back cherishes the hope that future generations will rediscover the joy of sharing and the importance of living in harmony with nature.

1979
International Animated Film Festival, Varna; First
International Animation Festival, Ottawa; Special prize at the, Canada
1981
3rd International Youth Film Festival, Lausanne; First
1981
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Los Angeles; Nominated for an Oscar®

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TARATATA
Canada, 1977, 9”, Color, No Dialogue
Director: Frédéric Back
Screenplay: Frédéric Back
Animation: Frédéric Back
Music: Normand Roger
Production: Hubert Tison/Société Radio-Canada
Taratata is a tribute to the parades that used to be held on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Quebec’s national holiday. Presented each year on June 24 in cities and towns all over Quebec, they gave local musicians and brass bands a chance to display their talents. Children adored the pageant with its splendid uniforms. The day would end with a great fireworks display.