Frédéric Back (1924-2013)

1994 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Film)

"There's a simple secret that explains the success of Frédéric's films," says his long-time collaborator Hubert Tison. "They are about values. Not many films are." For a quarter-century Frédéric Back has created animated films reflecting deep concern about the impact of humankind on nature.

Best known is The Man Who Planted Trees, depicting the life of a European shepherd who planted a few acorns each day on his desolate hillside, creating a green paradise for people and nature, while overhead aircraft ferried the bombs of two world wars. This evocative film won the 1988 Oscar for best animated picture.

Crac, Quebec history as seen by an old rocking chair, won twenty international awards, including the 1982 Oscar. In 1993 The Mighty River, a history of the St. Lawrence nominated for an Oscar, took the Grand Prize at the International Animated Film Festival. Back said of this film, "I wanted to create a sense of respect."

Courtly and modest, he credits his success to his family and associates in Radio-Canada's animation studio. In 1986 he received the Association internationale du film d'animation award for outstanding achievement. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Knight of the Order of Quebec, and Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres de la France.