Belgian Animation Master Raoul Servais Dies At 94

Belgian Animation Master Raoul Servais, Director Of Palme d’Or Winner ‘Harpya,’ Dies At 94

Belgian filmmaking legend Raoul Servais passed away on March 17 at his home in Leffinge, Belgium.Known as the wizard of Ostend,Raoul Servais,made 16 short films and one feature film, which won numerous awards including the Golden Palme at the Cannes International Film Festival for Harpya in 1979. He was the first Belgian director to win a Palme d’Or for Best Short Film.


The fact that he never made any concessions. His work is extremely pure, true to the intentions and convictions of its maker. Raoul doesn’t do whatever it takes to please. He approaches everything with meticulousness and rigor. His creations are sober: no part of them is accidental, everything has meaning. And the concept of time in his oeuvre is unlike any other. Time in Raoul’s films often stands still, is infinite, or lasts for all eternity. Taxandria existed outside of time entirely. Raoul kept reinventing that film, re-editing it over and over, until I could no longer see the film itself – only all the different films he’d woven into it over time. Said François Schuiten, the Belgian illustrator who curated “Between Magic and Realism” and was also a key creative collaborator on Taxandria, reflected recently on the qualities that make Servais’work timeless.



Servais was  at Film Fest Ghent in October 2022 to attend the world premiere of his 16th short film, “Der Lange Kerl,” which he made with Rudy Pinceel. There he received the Joseph Plateau Honorary Award for his entire body of work.

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