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Chris Landreth

Chris Landrethb. August 4, 1961, Hartford, Connecticut

Animation is a second career for Chris Landreth. He was an engineer for several years after receiving his M.Sc. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois, where he worked for three years in experimental research in fluid mechanics before making the leap to computer animation.

In 1994, he joined the animation software company Alias, where he tested software in-house before it was released to the public. His first animated short The End (1995), in which Landreth discovers he's the character in his own work while trying to think of a decent ending for it, was widely heralded on the festival circuit and garnered an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Short Film. His follow-up Bingo (1998) also received numerous international awards and a Genie for Best Animated Short.

Landreth's most recent film, Ryan (2004), is also his most acclaimed. A poignant and at times revelatory study of artists, addiction and the creative process, it is both animation and documentary, combining confessional interviews with animated interpretations to produce a narrative style that Landreth has aptly dubbed “psychological realism.” Similar to the work of Arthur Lipsett, the animation in Ryan is based on a sound recording – the film was conceived following a recorded conversation between Landreth and Larkin. Using Maya animation software, animated versions of Landreth and Larkin – who appear in the film as strange, twisted, broken and disembodied 3-D characters – were created, along with several other subjects (including legendary NFB animation producer Derek Lamb) who were interviewed about Larkin's life and career. Even though the characters and locations in the film have the look of detailed realism, the film was created without CGI tools and utilized no live-action footage or motion-capture techniques.

Ryan won numerous awards at international film festivals – including three awards at the Festival de Cannes and the award for Best Canadian Short at the Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto – and received an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. It was also named one of Canada's Top Ten of 2004 by an independent, national panel of filmmakers, programmers, journalists and industry professionals.

By Andrew McIntosh

Film and video work includes

Data Driven, 1993 (director)
The End, 1995 (director; writer; animator; producer)
Bingo, 1998 (director)
Alter Egos, 2004 (himself)
Ryan, 2004 (director; himself)

Note: Updated to June 30, 2005

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