Fisher wins grand prize at festival

Originally appeared in Silent News, August 2001.

Mark Fisher, a renowned deaf animator and now filmmaker, had his one-minute classical animation style piece, Elves and the Bat Beast, chosen for the Best Animation category at the Atlantic City Film Festival held Aug. 4 in New Jersey.

“I was very inspired they presented me the Best Animation award, the grand prize, and was deeply honored as was Michelina, my wife, who was an acting coach for some particular scenes,” Fisher said.

Fisher grew up in Glassboro, N.J., and attended the Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf. He then graduated from Gallaudet University in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in art along with minor studies in philosophy and religion. Fisher eventually made his way to Burbank, Calif. where he today pursues a career in animation and live action filmmaking.

The animation award, a first for Fisher, is something he hopes will help the industry recognize him as a director. Fisher’s credentials include having worked on several animated feature films such as Universal’s Land Before Time,Disney’s The Little Mermaid and The Prince and the Pauper, Nest Entertainment’s The Swan Princess, Morgan Creek’s Stay Tuned and Warner Bros’ Thumbelina and The King and I, in addition to having worked on several television cartoon series for Universal, Warner Bros. and others as a storyboarder/revisionist.

With his well-rounded background, Fisher has even grander goals. “I’d love to work on a major classical feature animation as a character animator hopefully at a major studio,” he said. “Meanwhile, I’d like to develop various projects as it is always best to have more than one project to sell for better luck, rather than have only one ‘card’ sold.”

Fisher and Michelina, who have a hard of hearing son Mavrick, currently are developing a live action mini-movie project with a reputable Oscar-winning film company. “A script has been written by a hired hearing writer, and a complete production can then be a more powerful way to showcase my directorial ability in the live action feature business,” he stated.

Fisher will now submit the same Elves short film to other film festivals in the hopes of continuing its success, and perhaps gain interest from companies. Fisher’s award was one of 22 given out at the festival, out of 350 entries.

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