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Academy Awards Nominate Alumnus For Animated Film


A former lecturer in Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard has received an Academy Award nomination for his nine-minute animated film.

Frank Mouris '66 produced "Frank Film," one of three films nominated for best animated short subject, over a five-year period. Mouris taught animation at the Carpenter Center from 1969 through 1972 while finishing work on the film.

The film represents what he termed last week the "onslaught approach" to animation. "The film uses hundreds of thousands of pictures cut from magazines all presented in a relentless, extremely fast-paced, almost choreographed setting," Mouris said.

"It creates a surrealistic context using real-life images," he said.

Double Soundtrack

The film has a double soundtrack. One track relates the "bland story of my life," Mouris said. "The other consists of a list of words, most of which start with the letter 'f,' which explain my life in more emotional terms."

"Frank Film" won the Grand Prix award at Annecy, France, at an international animators' film festival. "For animators, this award is the big one," Mouris said. It has also won first place at film festivals in Baltimore, Chicago and Atlanta.

Mouris, who is now a freelance graphic designer in New York, began cutting thousands of pictures from magazines when he was an undergraduate at Harvard studying graphic design. He later submitted an experimental version of "Frank Film."

He is now working on two grant-financed projects. One, a grant from the New York Council of the Arts, is "financing a film about Coney Island."

"It's going to be part live action, part animation with special effects," Mouris said. "It's about the past, present, and future of the place with a lot of my own impressions thrown in."

Screen Test

"Screen Test," a study of a film collective in New York, will be financed by a second grant from The American Film Institute.

The Oscar awards will be announced on April 2. At the end of the film, Mouris said, "I made a tongue-and-cheek prediction about my future. So far, everything has happened right; the Oscar would be the last thing."

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