Jan Švankmajer (1934) is artist, writer and filmmaker. He studied stage design at the College of Applied Arts and Puppetry at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. In 1964 he made his first short film The Last Trick. His animation films filled with fantasy, such as Alice (1987) and Faust (1994), have won many prizes, for instance in Cannes and Berlin. Švankmajer has gained a reputation over several decades for his distinctive use of stop-motion technique, and his ability to make surreal, nightmarish and yet somehow funny pictures. His films include Conspirators of Pleasure (1996), Little Otik (2000) and Lunacy (2005) among others.