The life and work of pioneering Romanian animator Ion Popescu Gopo was celebrated at the Venice International Children’s Carnival. The events, between February 2 and 12, marked 90 years since Gopo’s birth and included projections of his animations, as well as drawing and animation activities for kids.
He is widely considered as the father of Romanian animation and was one of the very few Romanian winners at the Cannes Film Festival in the 20th century. Many of his films feature a beautifully simplified male character who became known as Gopo’s Little Man.
As well as his 1957 Cannes Short Film Palme d’Or winner Scurtă Istorie/A Brief History, other well known Gopo animations include 7 Arte/7 Arts and Sport. He also directed live action feature films, such as De-as fi Harap Alb/The White Moor in 1965, which won Gopo the Best Director award at the Moscow International Film Festival.
Born in Bucharest in 1923, Ion Popescu Gopo died aged 66 in 1989. He studied at the Bucharest Academy of Fine Arts, but reportedly never graduated and later went to Moscow to learn about animation techniques.
More than 150 schools from Italy and outside the country participated in the Venice Children’s Carnival, which brought in nearly 19,000 visitors, slightly up on the 2012 figure.
The event was organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) Venice, with the support of Sara Dacin, Springer & Jacoby, National Film Archive and the National Centre of Cinematography in Romania.
photo source: ICR Venice