International Experts

Derek Lamb

Photo of Derek Lamb
Canadian Film Board

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Derek Lamb at the peaceful lakeside home of his friend, Dal Lamagna, in 2005.

Derek Lamb was born in London and began working in the world-renowned Canadian Film Board in the late 1950s, and along with other animators there, was profoundly influenced by UPA. Derek continued his affection for UPA throughout his career, and built on that to create some of the
greatest films in animation, setting the bar high for future NFB animation filmmakers.

Derek Lamb is part of an unreleased scene

John Weldon

Photo of John Weldon
Canadian Film Board

We interviewed John Weldon at a beach front cafe in Rio, over glasses of Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail in 2007.

John Weldon is the most casual of all animation greats, I think. He seems to effortlessly create wonderfully humorous and stylish 2D shorts without furrowing his brow. The year before, Weldon had been my de facto guide around Ottawa 2006. He drank me under the table at both events.

Kaj Pindal

Photo of Kaj Pindal
Canadian Film Board

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Kaj Pindal in our hotel suite at Ottawa 2006.

Camera: Jaime Ekkens

Kaj Pindal was an award winning Danish animation filmmaker at the Canadian Film Board (NFC) and now is one of the most beloved professors of animation at Sheridan College, just outside Toronto, Canada.  We spent some leisure time with Pindal at the traditional pumpkin carving day at the Ottawa festival, and the barrage of adoring students never ceased, as he sat patiently, with a gentle voice and a broad smile.

Oscar Grillo

Photo of Oscar Grillo
Independent Animator Argentina

We interviewed Oscar Grillo in his home studio in the outskirts of London in 2005.

Camera: Sylvie BosRau

Oscar Grillo is a celebrated animation director, specializing in commercials.  He began his animation careen in his native Argentina, worked for a time in United States, and now resides in London, where he prefers to work out of his home studio, a remodeled English classic home in the western part of London.

Grillo is particularly passionate about the musical breakthroughs and the social consciousness of UPA.

Oscar Grillo is part of an unreleased scene

Vivian Halas

Photo of Vivian Halas
Preservationist Halas & Batchlor

We interviewed Vivian Halas during a break in both our busy schedules in a quiet corner at the Zagreb festival, in 2006.

Vivien Halas was another of the interviews we did at the Zagreb 2006 Festival.  Halas is the daughter of British animation team John Halas and Joy Batchelor.  She had

a program of restored prints from her parents historic production company, and is focusing on finding lost films, and restoring those that have deteriorated over the years.  She was the inspiration for us to get started on the process of preserving UPA films and materials.

Michael Helmerhorst

Photo of Michael Helmerhorst
Animated Film Collector Netherlands

We interviewed Michael Helmerhorst at his Kem, amidst many racks of films, in his home on one of the many canals in Amsterdam in 2005.

Camera: Sylvie BosRau
Assistance: Eddy van der Meer

Michael Helmerhorst is a major collector of animation films in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  He got started during an extended visit to the United States, and now has one of the largest such collections in Europe.  His interview is highlighted by a scene-by-scene description of what inspires him in the innovative UPA film “The Tell Tale Heart,” which he played on his Kem bench, for our cameras.

Michael Helmerhorst is part of an unreleased scene.

Monique Renault

Photo of Monique Renault
Independent Animator France

We Interviewed Monique Renault in her home studio in North Amsterdam in 2013.

Assistance: Eddy van der Meer

Monique Renault is one of the pioneer independent women animators.  We met Renault at the great little animation festival in Espinho, up on the northern coast of Portugal in 2008.  She’s a French artist married to a Dutch documentarian and has now turned her attention back to fine arts.  We have a lovely color sketch she created hanging now in our production office.

Serge Bromberg

Photo of Serge Bromberg
Festival Director Annecy Animation Festival

We Interviewed Serge Bromberg in his Lobster Film office, where he attends to his life’s love of restoring old films, in 2013.

Assistance: Sébastian Dabadie

Serge Bromberg was the director of the grandfather of all animation festival in Annecy, France. After stepping down from Annecy, he’s devoted his time to restoring old films and giving great lectures on film restoration at screenings of some of his work, most famously the color version of Georges Méliès’ Man in the Moon.

Bromberg was part of the research team on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo.

Serge Bromberg is part of an unreleased scene.

Jean-Christophe Dessaint

Photo of Jean-Christophe Dessaint
Animator France

We Interviewed Jean-Christophe Dessaint in his animation studio in 2013.

Jean-Christophe Dessaint is a gifted animation director and, although he doesn’t fit our physical stereotype of an animator, Dessaint turns out to be one of our very best interviews: intelligent, knowledgeable, and passionate about animation — particularly UPA, which he says has inspired his work.

Jean-Christophe Dessaint is part of an unreleased scene.

Sebastien Dabadie

Photo of Sebastien Dabadie
Animator France

We Interviewed Sébastian Dabadie in his home in Paris, France, in 2005.

Camera: Sylvie BosRau

Sebastien Dabadie teaches and produces animation in Paris, France. We met at Annecy 2005 and Dabadie then quickly produced a marvelous UPA screening at Theatre Gobleins, where he gave informative commentary for the audience between films. Dabadie is one of the most important people promoting our documentary in Europe, and when we returned in 2006 we did our interview with him. Then, following our 2013 UPA program in the Czech Republic festival, Dabadie arranged most of our French interviews.

Paul Dopff

Photo of Paul Dopff
Animator France

We Interviewed Paul Dopff in his home studio in Verneuil-sur-Indre, France, in 2005.

Camera: Sylvie BosRau

Paul Dopff is an animator, animation distributor, and instructs children in the art of animation.  His collection of children’s animation is among the most delightful creations imaginable.  Dopff, and his Pink Splash Productions, continues from his home studio, in a former farm in a small town in the Loire Valley of France, just a baguette’s throw south west of Paris .  Our interview with Dopff is in French, which we will have sub-titles for.

Grégoire Pont

Photo of Grégoire Pont

We Interviewed Grégoire Pont in his home studio in a converted farm house in Normandy, France, in 2013.

Assistance: Sébastian Dabadie

Grégoire Pont is an animator and animated film collector, where he has converted the old barn into a massive film vault.  Our interview with Pont was conducted in his animation studio in the house, were he allowed us to videotape his method of creating what appears to be hand drawn animation, using computer graphic technology. Pont and his wife, Patricia, are gourmet cooks, and thanks to Sébastian we were able to stay overnight and experience the Pont family cuisine.

Alain Gagnol

Photo of Alain Gagnol
Animator France

We Interviewed Alain Gagnol in his studio in the internationally renowned La Poudriere animation school in Valence, France, in 2013.

Translator: Elena Pomare

Alain Gagnol and his partner, Jean-Loup Felicioli, created A Cat in Paris (Une Vie de Chat), one of only two French animated features to ever garner an Oscar  nomination in that category.  After our interview, Gagnol, and our translator, Elena Pmares, both graduates of La Poudriere, took us on an extensive tour of the grounds of the prestigious school and private studios.

Jean-François Laguionie

Photo of Jean-François Laguionie
Animator France

We interviewed Jean-François Laguionie and his writing partner, Anik Le Ray, in Laguionie’s studio overlooking the confluence of the Atlantic and La Manche, or the English Channel, in Brittany, France, in 2013.

Laguionie and Le Ray picked us up at the Treguier station, and back at the studio treated us to a large ice mountain of Fruits de Mer, such gracious hosts, when it was us who were grateful.  This  couple had recently submitted their unique feature animation Le Tableau (“The Painting”), which we felt should have at least been nominated, so it was an honor to interview its creators.

Olivier Cotte

Photo of Olivier Cotte
Animation Historian France

We interviewed Olivier Cotte at the piano in his home in Paris, France, 2006.

Interviewer: Sébastian Dabadie

Olivier Cotte is a prolific journalist and author, specializing in the world of animation. We tried to find him during our 2005 European trip, but didn’t catch up with

him until Zagreb 2006.  Over a “verre” with Cotte, his wife, and daughter, he shared his extensive knowledge of all things animation, including UPA.

Giannalberto Bendazzi

Photo of Giannalberto Bendazzi
Animation Historian Italy

We interviewed Giannalberto Bendazzi, in his home in Milano, Italy, in 2006.

Camera: Sylvie BosRau

Giannalberto Bendazzi is among the most respected authorities on animation in the world, due in large part to his definitive tome, Cartoons, an encyclopedia of world animation, now in several languages, and revisions.  Gianni not only gave us a fact-filled two hour interview, but has helped us make valuable contacts, and find important archival material, among them a rare interview with Zack Schwartz.

Giannalberto Bendazzi is part of the Red is Frustration scene

Carolina Lopez Caballero

Photo of Carolina Lopez Caballero
Animation Historian Spain

We interviewed Carolina Lopez Caballero in a quiet corner of our hotel in Annecy, France, in 2005.

Camera: Sylvie BosRau

Carolina Lopez Caballero is a Spanish animator and filmmaker, who produced a reportage on UPA for Canal+ Spain, with interviews by Jules Engel and Jimmy Murakami.  We met Caballero at a party given by Zagreb Films, at the 2005 Annecy International Animation Festival, in the picturesque French Alps, and afterwards interviewed her at the Atria Novotel Hotel, where many of us were staying in Annecy.

In view of her Canal+ UPA show, she was a veritable well of information and fascination.

Misha Aldashin

Photo of Misha Aldashin
Animator Russia

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Mikhail Aldashin in the lobby of the Hotel Luxor Regente, where all of the presenters were staying for Anima Mundi in Rio de Janeiro, overlooking Copacabana Beach, in 2006.

Mikhail “Misha” Aldashin showed a cross section of his multi-talented animated films at the 2006 Anima Mundi, in Rio and also in São Paulo, so it was a great pleasure to get hit opinion on the modern styles of animation that were part of the UPA revolution.  Misha graciously attributed his debt to UPA, albeit 40 years after the fact.

Borivoj Bovnikovic

Photo of Borivoj Bovnikovic
Animation Expert Croatia

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Borivoj Dovnikovic in the main festival hall in front of one of the screening theaters at the Zagreb Animation Festival in 2006.

Borivoj Dovnikovic, known by most as Bordo, was one of the original cartoonists at the famous Zagreb Films when UPA was first discovered by them in the early 1950s.  Bordo attended the festival, as one of the artists honored at the Zagreb festival’s 50 year celebration, one of the oldest animation festivals in world.  We enjoyed his interview as he remembered how UPA was a beacon to the young animators of what was then Yugoslavia, and now Croatia.

Borivoj “Bordo” Bovnikovic is part of the UPA Goes Global scene.

Micheala Mertova

Photo of Micheala Mertova
Animation Historian Czech Republic

Yossi Abolafia

Photo of Yossi Abolafia
Animation Professor Israel

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Yossi Abolafia in the Hotel Praiagolfe, where we were staying in Espinho, Portugal, during CinAnima 2007.

Yossi Abolafia is a writer and illustrator of children`s books as well as an animator for Israel TV, Canadian TV, the Canadian Film Service, and independently in New York. He is also head of the Animation Unit at the Bezalel Academy of Art, which was honored at CinAnima 2007.  Plus, he was a terrific interview for our documentary.

Marcos Magalhães

Photo of Marcos Magalhães
Co-Director, Anima Mundi Rio de Janeiro

We interviewed Marcos Magalhães in the Hotel Luxor Regente, where we were staying in Rio, during Anima Mundi 2006.

Marcos Magalhães is one of the co-directors of Anima Mundi, and the creator/animator of the delightfully multi-techniqued, “Animando,” which he created at the National Film Board of Canada, kickstarting the first professional animation course in Brazil, in collaboration with the NFB.  Plus, in 1986 Magalhães coordinated “Planet Earth,” a collective film by 30 Brazilian animators for UN’s Year of Peace.  And, indeed the animation community in Brazil is huge and energetic to this day, and Magalhães is one terrific interview.