During the official opening ceremony for Fredrikstad Animation Festival 2015, held at Litteraturhuset, Ilja Bereznickas was awarded the Golden Gunnar Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the Nordic-Baltic animation industry. Chairwoman Trine Vallevik Håbjørg presented Bereznickas with the award, highlighting the following as the reason for the board’s decision:
“On behalf of the festival board, we would like to honour a person who’s had a major impact on the Nordic-Baltic animation scene. Ilja Bereznickas is a key figure within Lithuanian animation and has for over four decades had a career within the animation industry. His filmography includes several short films, and he is an acclaimed teacher and draughtsman. In addition to Lithuania, he’s also worked in countries such as Israel, the USA and Norway. He has worked as a director, animator and scriptwriter at the Lithuanian Film Studio since 1985, and in 2002 he initiated and became the head of the animation programme at the Vilnius Academy of Art. The festival board honours Ilja Bereznickas with a lifetime achievement award in recognition of his work within and dedication to the animation industry.”
About Ilja Bereznickas
Born in 1948, is a Lithuanian filmmaker, animator andcaricaturist. Bereznickas is a key figure in the Nordic and Baltic animation scene, and his career spans over four decades, including work for an animated feature in Norway during the nineties. His filmography includes several animated short films, and he is an acclaimed teacher and draughtsman. Ilja Bereznickas studied architecture at Kaunas Polytechnic Institute, and later film at the School of Scriptwriters and Film Directors in Moscow, Russia. Since 1985, he has been working at the National Lithuanian Film Studio as a director, artist and animator. In 2002 he initiated and became the Head of the Animation Programme at Vilnius Academy of Art as part of the Photography and Media Art Faculty. He has also taught animation in Israel, Norway and Lithuania. The festival board of Fredrikstad Animation Festival honours Ilja Bereznickas with a retrospective programme and an exhibition during the festival.