Neil Affleck was born in Montreal in 1953. Between 1970 and 1973, he studied animated film at the School of Art and Design of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. During the summer of 1972 and 1973, he was an intern at the animation department of the National Film Board of Canada. In 1974, he won the Norman McLaren Award and the first prize at the Canadian Students Film Festival of the Cinematographic Art Conservatory with his film Hands (1973). The following year, he won the Golden Praxinoscope Award at the New York Animation Festival. He studied theatre arts at Dawson College (Montreal) in 1976 to 1979. From 1980 to 1985, he worked as a professional actor, director and stage technician in Montreal and Toronto. In 1985, he began his studies at UCLA's Department of Film and Television and received his diploma in 1988. In 1991, he won numerous awards. His film Sacajawea received the First Prize in Animation for Educational Purposes at the Los Angeles International Animation Celebration. From 1991 to 2000, he was part of the creative team that produced the animation for the Fox Network series The Simpsons, working as a director and assistant director. He was nominated for an Emmy in 1998 for the Simpsons episode "Viva Ned Flanders". In winter of 2001 he returned to Canada, accepting a directing post at Nelvana Studios in Toronto, where he is currently employed. In Fall of 2003, Neil is slated to head-up an Experimental Animation Workshop at Seneca College in Toronto.