Thursday, February 02, 2012

Børge Ring's House

Some sad and devastating news: my old mentor Børge Ring's house burnt down to the ground yesterday. A fire which apparently started in the chimney rapidly spread through the old farmhouse with thatched roofs in which they lived.
I can't even begin to imagine how horrible this must be for Børge and his wife Joanika. Thankfully they are both unharmed, which is something to be grateful for, but all their possessions have been consumed by the fire.
I have very fond memories of visiting them both at their farm; from '94 til '98 I must have called round there every other week or so to soak up the animation wisdom Børge had to offer, and browse through the many books he had on all kinds of subjects concerning animation, film and fine art, as well as countless short-TV-and feature films from all over the world. Their house was such a warm and loving place, where one would immediately feel relaxed and at ease. To get an idea of what the place was like take a look here: maasdijk 4
Still, at the end of the day, no matter how lovely, a house is just a roof over your head, and can be replaced. I'm thinking of what was inside that has been lost that can't. Far from being materialistic people, they are artists, and as such most of their belongings represent something important and meaningful in their lives. Their musical instruments, their letters of correspondence, their documents, their art. Børge's film work, cells, drawings and awards, Joanika's paintings and sculptures. There is nothing left. It's unbelievable how this could happen.
I was there only a month ago to film Børge for his Winsor McCay Award acceptance speech. To think the place no longer exists feels strange and surreal to say the least, and to think this happened to people in the autumn of their lives leaves me with a sickening knot in my stomach.

Please visit and if you want to help them.

Their daughter Anne-Mieke and I will be at the Annie Award ceremony this Saturday to pick up Børge's Winsor McCay award, and if you're there and know Børge come find us, we're happy to pass on any letters or messages you may have.