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The pioneering studio Aardman will be presented with the Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival taking place April 21 to May 5, 2016.

Co-founder and Creative Director Peter Lord will accept the award and participate in an in-depth onstage conversation about the work of the beloved animation studio on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. A screening featuring a selection of Aardman’s short films will provide audiences a chance to see key works from the studio’s rich catalogue.

“We’ve been fans of the work of Aardman at the Festival for quite a while so it is a great thrill to be able to recognize them on their 40th anniversary,” said SFFS Director of Programming Rachel Rosen. “This program will be a great opportunity to perhaps discover some unheralded gems from the studio’s history and to be delighted again by favorite classics.”

Established in 1997, the Persistence of Vision Award each year honors the achievement of a filmmaker or institution whose main body of work is outside the realm of narrative feature filmmaking, crafting documentaries, short films, television, animated, experimental or multiplatform work.

Co-founded by Peter Lord and David Sproxton in the 1970s, Aardman has grown from the two friends’ kitchen-table experimentation to one of the world’s leading model animation studios, with 11 Oscar nominations and four wins. Creating animation that appeals to both adult and family audiences in work that ranges from documentary to madcap adventure, Aardman has produced a stream of stop-motion marvels from Creature Comforts to Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. Along with directing and producing his own stellar work, Lord and Aardman have encouraged and nurtured the careers of many talented new directors. The studio recently debuted their latest short film, Special Delivery, via Google’s 360 film initiative “Spotlight Stories.”

As a director, Peter Lord has been nominated for two Academy Awards and has been honored along with Sproxton with a Special BAFTA Award. He has helped create numerous series for television; music videos, including one for Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares for Me”; and television commercials. With Nick Park, he co-directed Aardman’s first feature, Chicken Run, a critical and commercial success, and produced the studio’s first CGI feature, Flushed Away, in collaboration with DreamWorks. Lord also most recently directed Aardman’s stop-motion adventure on the high seas The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists with Sony Pictures Animation.

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