The Schlingel festival has never shied away from granting the biggest names a Life Time Achievement Award, the so-called Ehreschlingel. This year, another prestigious personality was chosen to follow in the footsteps of grandmasters such as Zdeněk Miler and Vacláv Vorlícek. Author, graphic designer and director Michel Ocelot is truly an icon in the European animation industry.
Born on the French Riviera, Michel Ocelot spent his childhood in Guinea, before settling in Paris. His career in animation is marked by a creative stubbornness, a great dedication and a strong belief in his storytelling capacities, based on his own scripts and graphics. Wide recognition came with his first animated feature KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS (photo above), in which Ocelot introduced non-Western patterns of design and storytelling in a European mega-seller.
Later titles such as AZUR & ASMAR, DILILI IN PARIS and two sequels to KIRIKOU’s adventures added to his reputation as one of Europe’s most renown animation artists. Look here for a more complete overview of Ocelot’s career.
Michel Ocelot, who came to collect his prize in Chemnitz and gratefully addressed the audience in his well-known relativizing tone, also gave a festival masterclass in which he highlighted various aspects of his career, about which you’ll find a report in the ECFA Journal soon.