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IndiEarth Animation Film Festival is back with award-winning films and interesting amateur work

At the masterclass Making of True Love Story: On the various aspects of filmmaking like design, story boarding and music (tomorrow, 11 am – 1 pm, at Alliance Française) What makes animation Indian: Discussion on films that are Indian in story, design and intent (Sunday, 11 am to 1 pm, at Goethe Institut)

Sonya Mazumdar, the founder of EarthSync (a cross-cultural artistic collaborator), is playing the numbers game. With140 animation films from 40 countries to be screened over three days — she has our attention. The second edition of the IndiEarth Animation Film Festival, which kicks off today, is part of an ongoing initiative to reach non-mainstream films to audiences. “Our animation filmmakers do really well abroad, winning many awards. But we don’t have a real home-grown film festival. So we tested waters last year with a small one (screening around 35 films) and it ran to full houses,” begins Mazumdar, adding how, at the IndiEarth XChange held later the same year, students and the general public filled the animation-related workshops, convincing her there was an audience out there.
Curating change
The festival also aims at breaking the myth that ‘cartoons’ (as many still call them) are just for children. In fact, many of the films to be screened are strictly adult fare. “This is an art form that connects with audiences of all ages. I also feel it allows out-of-the-box concepts to be communicated better—perhaps by its nature of being almost real but not quite, so people look at it with more of an open mind,” she says, admitting that with 300 applications, curating the festival was a tough job. “First came hours of watching, then we tried to find the right balance, keeping in mind perspective, story, technique and artistry. You can expect a good mix of well-known names and amateurs, as we wanted to keep it really varied and showcase as many different styles as possible,” she assures. And from five minute shorts to full length features, it covers the whole gamut.
Since upgrading skills is also a big part of the festival, Mazumdar informs that there will be two masterclasses by Gitanjali Rao, “arguably one of the best animators in the country”, besides a Skype conversation with renowned German animator, Thomas Meyer-Hermann (whose award winning film, The Creation, will also be screened). “I am a great believer in dialogues, as there are always things to learn from other cultures. This will also spread awareness and help in our goal to provide more platforms for animation,” she concludes.
June 26-28, at Alliance Française and Goethe Institut. Details: facebook.com/indiearthindia
—Surya Praphulla Kumar

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