The festival board, Norwegian Animation Forum, has chosen to invite Morten Thorning as the guest of honour at the 2021 Fredrikstad Animation Festival. Thorning will be honoured for his work in the field of animation education in Denmark and the Nordic countries and for his contribution to the animation scene in Europe.
Morten Thorning is being honoured for his work establishing The Animation Workshop and his contribution to the professionalisation of the Nordic animation environment. The films that come out of the school in Viborg are of the highest quality and have dominated the festival’s competition programme for student films. In addition, the school has been named one of the most important animation educations in the world. Through his work of establishing the school and the vital animation environment in Viborg, Thorning has proven himself as a visionary leader who through his work has influenced an entire generation of animators, directors, VFX creators.
Morten Thorning is the founder, and the leader from 1988 to 2019 of The Animation Workshop in Denmark. Driven by his passion for animation, Thorning had made it possible for The Animation Workshop to produce more than 200 animated short films, documentaries, and science films. In addition to 30 exhibitions, installations and immersive XR productions. Within The Animation Workshop, Thorning has developed the following programmes The Drawing Academy (1996), B.A. in Animation (2003), B.A. in CG Arts (2007) and B.A. in Graphic Storytelling (2013). Overall, he has developed over 100 professional courses related to animation.
In 1997, he funded the Danish programme for artistic residencies for the Animation Open Workshop which was combined with the company and incubator, Arsenalet. He has also established and directed the Viborg Animation Festival (2012) and the R&D Centre for Animation, Visualisation and Digital Storytelling (2017). Throughout his career, Thorning has worked on the artistic development in animation and the art of storytelling, culture and communication, and in the development of visualisation of science and animated learning. In 2019 he also was one of the founders of the Plastic Art Collective.
Morten Thorning has received several awards for his lifelong work for animation and the comics community in Denmark such as the Bodil Award (2017), the Hansen Award (2016) and the Ping Award (2020). Today, Thorning develops and writes animated drama series, produces VR installations and theater, in addition to working as a consultant of the diverse uses of animation in film and other forms of communication.
Morten Thorning will be part of the festival’s renowned seminar programme and will give lectures during the festival.
Morten Thorning, founder/creator in 1988 and until 2019 was the General Director of The Animation Workshop, in Denmark. Programmes founded within of The Animation Workshop include The Drawing Academy (1996), B.A. in Animation (2003), B.A. in CG Arts (2007) and B.A. in Graphic Storytelling (2013). Since 1997 he has developed over 100 professional courses related to the field of animation. Thorning also funded the Danish animation artist residency Open Workshop (1997) and the combined company and incubation house Arsenalet (2012). Driven by his big passion for animation, he produced in part with of The Animation Workshop more than 200 animated short films, documentary, and science films, and 30 exhibitions, installations, and immersive XR-productions. Founder and director of Viborg Animation Festival (2012) and the R & D Center for Animation, Visualization and Digital Storytelling (2017), doing artistic development of animation and storytelling within arts, culture, and communication. His fields of development include Science Visualization and Animated Learning. Cofounder of Plastic Art Collective in 2019.He received the Danish Bodil Prize (2017) for his lifelong work for Danish animation and the Hanne Hansen Prize (2016) and the Ping Prize (2020) for his work for the Danish graphic novel.
Today Morten develops and writes animated drama series, produces VR-works for installation and theater, as well as working as a consultant within the multitude of areas and possibilities for the use of animation in film and communication.