La Fondation Raoul-Barré + la Cinémathèque québécoise
A 5-year, $20,000 commitment to the next generation of animation filmmakers
The newly launched Fondation Raoul-Barré, an initiative of Gaspard Fauteux, the grandson of Québécois multidisciplinary artist Raoul Barré, is pleased to announce its first partnership, with the Cinémathèque québécoise. The foundation seeks to be a catalyst for innovation by encouraging research and creation in the artistic disciplines that interested Barré throughout his career. The centrepiece of the forthcoming agreement with the Cinémathèque is an annual grant of $4,000 for five years to be used for presenting the Sommets du cinéma d’animation, festival dedicated to animated cinema in all its forms. Through this agreement, the event’s annual award for Best Canadian Student Film will be renamed the Prix Raoul-Barré in honour of the animated film pioneer. Thanks to the grant, the Sommets will now award $2,000 to the winner.
Gaspard Fauteux, the founder of Fondation Raoul-Barré, notes:
“In a 1976 paper titled Barré l’introuvable [“the undiscoverable Barré”], art historian André Martin wrote: ‘To this day, Raoul Barré is one of the least known yet most intriguing artists of the early 20th century.’ Those words always saddened me a little, and eventually inspired me to rectify the situation. The association between Fondation Raoul-Barré and the Sommets du cinéma d’animation, organized by the Cinémathèque québécoise, is an important first step. I also want to take a number of different steps to make sure Barré’s work continues to be appreciated, including encouraging and facilitating access for students in post-secondary art history and film programs.”
Marcel Jean, executive director of the Cinémathèque québécoise, added:
“One of the Cinémathèque québécoise's exhibition rooms bears the name of Raoul Barré, which shows the close ties between him and our institution. Associating this multidisciplinary artist and animated-film pioneer with an award for the best Canadian student film is an excellent way to highlight the essential relationship between the past and future of cinema. Raoul Barré innovated and invented, and that is what we want our young artists to do.”
Raoul Barré was born in Montreal in 1874. He led a life-long career as a painter, and several of his canvases are now held by prestigious institutions. In 1894, he started drawing caricatures and illustrations for various Quebec newspapers. Among his drawings were also comic strips, including Noahzark Hotel (1913). This work was published in eight different American newspapers. It appeared simultaneously in French in La Patrie journal, under the title À l'hôtel du père Noé. However, he is now best known internationally as a pioneer in American animated film. In the early 1910s Barré moved to New York City, where he founded one of the world’s first animation studios. He directed and produced several animated shorts for the series Animated Grouch Chasers (1915-1916), Phables (1916) and Mutt and Jeff (1916-1920). He briefly reappeared in the animated film industry in 1926-27, when he worked on the Felix the Cat series in Pat Sullivan’s studio. He died in 1932.
Les Sommets du cinéma d’animation will take place from May 9 to 14, 2023. The festival’s call for submissions is currently open and will close on February 20. Les Sommets is a production of the Cinémathèque québécoise. Complete details: sommetsanimation.com.