Biographical facts

  • Raoul Servais (°Ostend, 1st of May 1928) studied applied arts at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent.-
  • Freshly graduated he worked as René Magritte’s assistant to carry out his series of wall paintings “Le Domaine Enchanté” in the Casino of Knokke
  • In 1963 Raoul Servais founds the Animation Film Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, the first school in its kind on the European continent.
  • In 1973 Raoul Servais enters the Royal Academy for Arts and Sciences of Belgium. Currently he is honorary Member.
  • In 1985 Servais decorates the entire ‘Houba-Brugmann’ subway station in Brussels.
  • From 1985 to 1994 Raoul Servais was President of ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation). Since 2010 he is honorary President of ASIFA.
  • Raoul Servais is co-founder of the Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (VAF,the fund of the Flanders government that supports audiovisuel production), has been vice-president of the Henri Storck Foundation and still is vice-president of the foundation that carries his name.
  • In 2008 Raoul Servais was made Doctor Honoris Causa of the Ghent University. Hij is laureate of the Van Acker Prize (Bruges, 1975). In 2002 he received the quinquennial cultural prize of the province West Flanders. The Flemisch Parliament granted him in 2010 a golden honorific medal (gouden erepenning). Earlier he has been ‘cultural ambassador of Flanders’.
  • Raoul Servais obtained the Espiga de Oro (golden ear) for his entire cinematographic career in Valladolid, the special jury prize for his work (the Hans Christian Andersen prize) in 1975 at the fairy tale film festival of Odense (Denmark), the Norman McLaren Heritage Prize of the Canadian National Film Board, the Dragon of Dragons Lifetime Achievement Award of the Cracow Film Festival (Poland), the career prize at the international animation festival of Hiroshima (2010) and in 2015 the Cristal Pegasus for his entire work at the animation film festival of Poznan (Poland).
  • Raoul Servais received more than fifty prizes and awards, a.o. the San-Marco Lion for the best animation film in Venice (1966 – Chromophobia), the Grand Prize of the Jury in Cannes (1971 – Operation X-70), the Golden Palm in Cannes (1979 – Harpya), the Grand Prix of the animation film festival of Annecy and the international film critics prize (1988 – Nocturnal Butterflies), apart from important prizes at numerous other festivals in Belgium and abroad: Bilbao, Teheran, Montreal, Leipzig, Moskou, Chicago, Philadelphia, Sydney, Oberhausen, Zagreb, Porto, Rome, Valladolid.
  • Servais-homages and retrospectives of his work took place in the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris, in Saint-Etienne, Annecy, Valladolid, Madrid, Valencia, Siena, Bursa, Istanbul, Ankara, Sousse (Tunesia), Meknes (Morocco), Montreal, Vancouver, the Museum of Modern Art and the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York, and in Chicago. Moreover in the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank – Hollywood, Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Hong Kong, Taishung (Taiwan), Jeonju (South Korea), Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo Sint-Petersburg and Poznan.
    – Exhibitions of his graphic designs and art work were held in Osaka, Annecy, Montreal, Paris, Laon, Roubaix, Valladolid, São Paulo, Ghent, Ostend, Middelkerke, Bredene,…


Raoul Servais and Henri Storck, at the left, film pioneer and also born in Ostend.

Raoul Servais and Henri Storck, at the left, film pioneer and also born in Ostend.


Because Raoul Servais himself did not receive any film training and as an autodidact spent long years on unraveling the secrets of animation film, he wanted to be animation film education available for the new generations.
In the early sixties, Servais founded the first official aninmation school of the European continent at het Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent.
For eight years he also lectured at the École nationale supérieure des arts visuels de La Cambre (ENSAV) in Brussels. Two years long he was in charge of the animation film training at the Centre Tertiaire de Formation in Valenciennes (France).
Servais was invited as guest teacher at the film faculty of Columbia College of Art in Chicago and at Calarts (California Institute of the Arts) – Los Angeles.
In order to raise interest for animation film already at a very young age, he set up – with the support of Jacques Dubrulle and the input of Christel Degros’ and Isabelle Cracco’s educational skills – the workshop Waf! within the association Fund Raoul Servais.

with special thanks to Philippe Moins