Richard Condie

Richard Condie animator, writer, composer, producer (b at Vancouver 24 Oct 1942). Although Richard Condie was born in Vancouver and worked at the NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA (NFB) headquarters in Montréal for much of the 1990s, his roots are in Winnipeg's zany filmmaking community. During the 1970s and 1980s, Condie and fellow NFB animators Cordell BARKER and Brad Caslor created cheeky, off-the-wall work to international acclaim.

Condie received a BA in sociology from the University of Manitoba in 1967 and taught at the University of British Columbia for 2 years. Returning to Winnipeg, he received a Canada Council grant to produce the animated short Oh Sure (1977). This led to work at the NFB's Winnipeg headquarters. There the taciturn, painfully shy Condie let his imagination soar. He animated 3 award-winning shorts - John Law and the Mississippi Bubble (1978), Getting Started (1979), Pig Bird (1981) - before getting to his acknowledged hand-drawn masterpiece, The Big Snit, in 1985.

A wry fable about marital squabbling, Scrabble and nuclear war, The Big Snit is an off-the-wall cartoon featuring a middle-aged, decidedly odd couple who plays a game of Scrabble while the world literally blows up around them. The two cheat, scheme and chew on the furniture, blissfully unaware that global nuclear war has broken out. It won a GENIE AWARD for animated short, was nominated for an Oscar and given the Grand Prize for short films at the Montréal World Film Festival in addition to dozens of international festival awards.

Fourteen years later, Condie's computer-generated La Salla (1989) received another Oscar nomination. There he used computer magic to create a cross between a comic opera and a Salvador Dali painting. Playing with some wild-looking toys in his room, a strange character is tempted by a hand, holding an apple, which comes through a door in his wall. He literally loses his head - when he opens the door, the hand knocks it from his shoulders - and he spins around the room trying in vain to pick it up, all the while singing his plight in full-throated operatic style. Like The Big Snit, La Salla is brilliantly absurd and very funny.

With over 40 international and Canadian awards for his relatively small output, Richard Condie is widely regarded as one of Canada's finest contemporary animators. He co-produced Cordell Barker's Oscar-nominated The Cat Came Back (1988) and his other films include Heartland in IMAX (1987), The Apprentice (1991) and government-sponsored films for World Expo 88, Brisbane, Australia, and Expo '92, Seville, Spain.