NFB animator Kaj Pindal received a lifetime achievement award in the 2012 Toronto Animation Arts Festival International’s closing ceremony.
June 8th – Acclaimed NFB animator and teacher Kaj Pindal received the lifetime achievement award for many Animated Person in the 2012 Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI), which ended today.
In a brief ceremony hosted by TAAFI founders Barnabas Wornoff and Ben McEvoy, the 85-year-old animator received the very first award ever distributed by the fledgling festival, a stylized taffy candy that was extruded from a 3-D printer.
"We're going to have to go back following the ceremony as this is the protoype," joked McEvoy throughout the presentation.
Kaj Pindal, Robert Morgan, Kathryn Durst, Katherine MacDonald Won at 2012 TAAFI Fest
Pindal was among 4 animators honoured at the ceremony. British animator Robert Morgan won the TAAFI Grand Prix award for his über-creepy short Bobby Yeah, which depicted a thug's comeuppance using a mix of surreal imagery and body horror. One audience member said the 23-minute short, "makes (David Lynch's debut film) Eraserhead look like f*****' Bambi!"
Canadian animator Katherine MacDonald won the crowd Choice Award for her short Stuck, which depicted a young girl being stalked with a supernatural force as she's trying to escape a strange prison. MacDonald delivered another creepy short with lots of surreal imagery however with a surprisingly upbeat twist at the conclusion.
Canadian animation student Kathryn Durst won another Audience Choice award on her 3-minute short Doggy See, Doggy Do. It depicts the lengths an 8-year-old goes to to be able to convince her parents to let her possess a puppy. Its mixture of absurdist humour and simple-but-effective storytelling impressed festival audiences.
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Kaj Pindal was created in Denmark in 1927. He began his career as an underground cartoonist throughout the German occupation of Denmark during World War II and was instructed to flee his hometown of Copenhagen after his anti-Hitler cartoons attracted the incorrect sort of attention. Following the war, Pindal directed animated commercials in Sweden and also at Denmark’s Nordisk Film, and done UNESCO films.
After emigrating to Canada in 1957, he quickly got snapped up by the National Film Board, where his deceptively simple style got him widespread notice. In 1967, What on the planet? – his collaboration with Les Drew – earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Video clip. In 1988, Pindal created the short Peep and also the Big Wide World, that they later converted into a science-themed cartoon series in 2004. The television series, narrated by Joan Cusack, won a Daytime Emmy in 2005 for Outstanding Children's Animated Program. Pindal's also well-known for such shorts as I Know A classic Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (!964), King Size (1968), Caninabus (1979), The Big Bang (1987), The City (Osaka) (1970), Horsing Around (1973), Karate Kids (1990) and 1983's Twice Upon a Time.
In addition to his animation, Pindal also joined Sheridan College's prestigious animation program when they have served like a 4th year mentor to countless students.
Look for any comprehensive review of the 2012 TAAFI festival's 5 short film competition blocks, coming soon to Suite 101.