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MKV Spitfires 131 Squadron - RAF June 1942
Giclée on canvas (1/500)
24 x 33 inches
click to enlarge
Iron Hill, Quebec
20 x 24 inches
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Germany Bound
14 x 18 inches
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Summer Floating
20 x 24 inches
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West Brome - The last Caboose
Oil on canvas
16 x 24 inches
click to enlarge
Boeing 17 - Flying Fortress
Giclée on canvas (6/50)
17 x 33 inches
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Fokker VII
oil on board
24 1/2 x 32 inches
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Gerald Potterton

In a career that spans over four decades, three-time Academy Award nominee Gerald Potterton has built an international reputation for excellence in filmmaking. A native of London and student of Hammersmith Art School, he emigrated to Canada in 1954 to work with the world-famous animation film unit at the National Film Board. The films he has created, produced, directed, written or designed, whether live-action, animation or a combination of both, have won critical acclaim and popular approval from audiences around the world.

Potterton is perhaps best known for directing the animated feature film Heavy Metal for Columbia Pictures. He supervised all eight sequences in the film and the work of more than 65 animators in Canada, England and the U.S. An instant cult classic, Heavy Metal was the top-selling video for four consecutive weeks in the U.S. when it was released on video in ’98 and is currently enjoying a successful launch in DVD.

Potterton also worked on a sequence for the animated Beatles’ feature Yellow Submarine and produced and directed his own animation/live-action feature Tiki-Tiki, which Variety called “a circus of humour, excellent animation and perfect for the entire family.”

Famed as an animator, Potterton’s next love is live-action comedy. He wrote and directed The Railrodder, a three-reeler for the National Film Board of Canada starring Buster Keaton, who many consider the finest comic in history.

He left the NFB to form Potterton Productions, a company of filmmakers whose varied talents combined in the late sixties for ten years into one of the largest private film corporations in Canada, producing features, commercial films and animation. Working in conjunction with Reader’s Digest Corporation in New York, Potterton Productions created animated films for television from classic fairy tales by Oscar Wilde and Hans Christian Andersen. The Selfish Giant in particular became a landmark in animated children’s entertainment.

Potterton produced and directed Pinter People, a brilliantly conceived one-hour special for NBC’s “Experiments in Television.” Pinter People was based on an interview Potterton conducted with British playwright Harold Pinter, interspersed with animated versions of some of Pinter’s short sketches. Pinter People won Best of Festival and Best in Network Entertainment at the Chicago Film Festival, as well as a Peabody Award. Praised by the New York Times, Variety and Time magazine, Pinter People was described by critic Louise Sweeney of the Christian Science Monitor as “the most brilliant and stimulating TV production of the season.”

He wrote and directed the comic feature The Rainbow Boys, starring Kate Reid and Donald Pleasence, which won Best Foreign Feature at the Atlanta Film Festival. Potterton was Associate Director with Richard Williams (Roger Rabbit, A Christmas Carol) on the animated feature Raggedy Ann and Andy for I.T.T. and 20th Century Fox in New York and Los Angeles.

With partners Donald Pleasence and Ringo Starr, he created Scouse the Mouse, an illustrated children’s book and musical recording about a singing mouse from Liverpool who stows away to America to seek his fortune.

Potterton directed and animated My Financial Career and The Awful Fate of Melpomenus Jones, two short animation classics for the National Film Board based on stories by Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock. He produced and directed George and the Star, a half-hour animated TV Christmas special, which garnered Gemini nominations for Best Animated Program and Best Music Composition (Paul Anka) and The Ghost Ship, a half-hour animated TV special narrated by Vincent Price.

He created and directed Stop the Smoggies!, a 53-episode animated series for children. A France-Canada co-production, this highly successful series was the first of its kind to attempt to entertain and educate young children about environmental issues. It continues to run in many languages on television networks around the world. Potterton subsequently directed several episodes of the Favourite Songs series and animation sequences for The Energy Picture and Energy II, two award-winning educational films produced by Media Cinema of Toronto.

In 1998, Potterton was selected by the World Animation Celebration in Pasadena as one of “Ten Men Who Have Rocked the Animation World.” His work has been honoured with retrospectives at the Ottawa Animation Film Festival (1994), the Seattle Film Festival (1997) and in southern India (2000). He served on the international juries of the World Animation Celebration and at the 1998 Atlantic Film Festival.

In 2002, he became the third recipient, after film critic Leonard Maltin and actor James Karen, of a Buster Award for "film excellence in the Buster Keaton tradition," presented at the annual Buster Keaton Celebration in Iola, Kansas. Next month, he will receive the Pulcinella Lifetime Achievement Award 2008 from the 12th Annual Cartoons on the Bay International Festival of Television Animation, to be presented on April 12th in Salerno, Italy. The award is presented each year to "a prestigious personality of the world of cinema and television animation." Previous recipients include Roy Disney, Hanna-Barbera and Bruno Bozzetto.

At present, he is developing a screenplay for a live-action feature comedy based on the exploits of an amateur theatre group.

A member of the Royal Canadian Academy since 1975, he paints large oil landscapes and highly detailed, historically accurate aviation paintings. He lives on a farm in eastern Quebec, close to the U.S. state of Vermont, accompanied by six cats and, in his spare time, builds radio control model airplanes, which he often crashes.