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Film Fest Gent honoured Raoul Servais (94) with the Joseph Plateau Honorary Award on Saturday 15 October, an award recognising the filmmaker's rich and pioneering work. Raoul Servais received the award after the world premiere of his latest short film "Der lange Kerl" ("The Tall Guy") made in collaboration with Rudy Pinceel. This short film was presented in Official Selection at the Ghent Film Festival.

With this award, Film Fest Gent honoured one of Belgium's most innovative and legendary filmmakers. Raoul Servais was the cradle of Belgian animation and became world famous for his creative films that perfectly balance magic, realism, expressionism and surrealism. His love for the sea and his imaginative animation style earned him the nickname "the magician of Ostend".

In 1979, with "Harpya", he became the first Belgian director to win a Palme d'Or (for best short film) at Cannes. This film, Raoul Servais' first attempt to combine live action sequences with animation, proved to be a defining moment in his career. Raoul Servais' work is a mixture of different film techniques and is full of intriguing symbioses between live action, graphic sets and animation. Influences range from Paul Delvaux and René Magritte to world icons such as Picasso and Joan Miró. Even at the age of 94, he continues to captivate and inspire new generations as an artist and human being.

"Dear Raoul, from a pioneer of Belgian animation, you have become its nestor. A nestor who still clears the way with proud obstinacy. You yourself like the word "hermit" when you talk about yourself. But behind this hermit lies a philosopher, a virtuoso designer, a committed artist, a passionate pacifist and a wonderful human being." - artistic director Wim De Witte

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