On June 6, 2016 at the opening ceremonies of Animafest Zagreb, ASIFA awarded the prestigious ASIFA Prize for outstanding achievements in the art of animation to Giannalberto Bendazzi. The ASIFA Prize is awarded annually to an individual or organisations which have made a significant and innovative contribution towards the promotion and preservation of the art of animation. Present at the ceremony were ASIFA Board members Vesna Dovnikovic, Nancy Denny-Phelps, Thomas Renoldner, and Corrie Francis Parks. The prize artwork was specially created and presented in person by Raoul Servais. Below is the Laudatio written and given by Nancy Denny-Phelps.
ASIFA 2016 Laureate Award
The 2016 ASIFA Laureate, Giannalberto Bendazzi, is a professor and journalist but most important of all he is the foremost animation historian in the world.
He began writing about animation in 1965 at the age of 19 and attended his first animation festival in 1969. He has devoted himself to the study of animation as an independent self-funded scholar who loves watching animation and writing about it. He has also become the personal friend of many people in the animation world. Giannalberto is never too busy to share his knowledge with his colleagues and is known for his tireless work advising and assisting students.
In 1994 he published Cartoon: 100 Years of Cinema Animation, which was considered at that time to be the definitive work on the subject for students and scholars.
I once ask Giannalberto what inspired him to devote 7 years of his life to researching and writing Animation: A World History and he replied “To pay homage to animation, I spent 1,500 pages of prose but also 3 lines of poetry”:
Life’s lightness lies
In this unlimited
Lullaby of light
Tonight we pay homage to a man who embodies all of the true principles and spirit of an ASIFA Laureate. ASIFA is proud to present our 2016 ASIFA Laureate award to Giannalberto Bendazzi.