At the Cultural Endowment of Estonia’s awards gala, held on 1 February, internationally recognised animated film director Priit Pärn was presented with the Cultural Endowment’s Lifetime Achievement Award in the Field of Audio-Visual Art, in recognition of his decades of internationally highly respected work and teaching in animation.
Pärn has previously received six international lifetime achievement awards: from the International Animated Film Society and various global film festivals: International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima (Poland); Fredrikstad Animated Film Festival (Norway); the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb (Croatia); Valencia International Film Festival Cinema Jove Award Luna de Valencia (Spain); and the Dragon of Dragons award from the Krakow Film Festival (Poland).
Animation director Priit Pärn is one of the living legends of Estonian culture, being well-known and recognised around the entire world. Pärn began work as a production designer and director at Joonisfilm in 1976. His best known animated films are Breakfast on the Grass (1987), 1895 (1995), Night of the Carrots (1998), Hotel E (1992), Frank and Wendy (2005), Life Without Gabriel Ferreri (2008), Divers in the Rain (2010), Pilots on the Way Home (2014). His films have won more than 80 awards at festivals around the world.
Since the end of the 1960s he has been an active caricaturist and illustrator, working more as printmaker since the beginning of the 1980s. Pärn has had 35 personal exhibitions in various European countries and Canada. Pärn had a personal exhibition at the Kumu Art Museum in 2007. Graphic artist Pärn is a recipient of the Kristjan Raud Art Award (2002). His illustrated books have been published in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Spain, in addition to Estonia.
Pärn has also worked as an instructor since 1990. He has taught at film schools in Finland, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Holland, France, Japan, Canada, Australia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Croatia, Ireland and England. 1994. Pärn established the Animation Department at the Turku Arts Academy (Finland) in 1994, and served as its artistic director until 2007. At the 2003 Ottawa Festival, Pärn’s students won the title of World’s Best Animation School. In 2006, Pärn founded the Animation Department at the Estonian Academy of Art. The department, in which Pärn is still working as a professor, has raised a generation of internationally recognised young Estonian and foreign animators.
Pärn has participated in the work of more than 50 juries at international animated and short-film festivals, having had more than 60 retrospectives at global festivals.
He has been a member of the European Film Academy since 2008.