A Tribute To Animation: IndiEarth’s Animation Film Festival

“It’s been twenty years but it seems like I just started!” muses animation artist Gitanjali Rao. “I have found animation to be a medium that very easily touches the heart. And this seems like just the beginning, there is so much more to do!”

Gitanjali is just one of the many animation filmmakers who will be screened at IndiEarth’s first ever Animation Film Festival,  happening this Friday on the 22nd of August at the Goethe-Institut, Chennai. “I think one of the main reasons why I have so much respect and passion for animation,” continues Gitanjali, “is because I learnt and practised animation before the computers took over. Learning to animate on 35mm film is the best basic training one can have for animation – it’s one reason for immense patience. Animation is a medium that has grown and evolved hugely since I first got into it.”

Gitanjali Rao

Gitanjali Rao

Gitanjali’s film True Love Story – a silent animation cloaked in fantastical Bollywood imagery and set in the treacherous streets of Mumbai – tells the story of a simple flower seller who falls madly in love with a bar dancer. “I am currently finishing the script for True Love Story the feature, of which this short film is one part,” Gitanjali told IndiEarth. “I’m also making True Love Story into a graphic novel, and am currently working on the design for an animated feature of a French Opera from the 1920’s called The Child And the Spells.

In addition to Gitanjali’s film, the festival will feature more of the country’s renowned animation artists, a selection of reputed international filmmakers, and a colourful collection of upcoming talent. The films being screened showcase a vast variety of stylistic techniques, mediums, themes and social messages – all portrayed through the art of animation. The experimental genius of Indian animation pioneers like Pramod Pati and his work Tree Of Unity will be featured, alongside retellings of the classics like Shilpa Ranade’s Gupi Gawaiya, Bhagha Bajaiya.

“I felt the story was naturally given to animation,” Shilpa told IndiEarth. “And the way images formed in my mind as I read the text made me feel I had to make an animated version of this wonderful story – with its quirky characters and the world they inhabited. But what we have attempted to do in terms of storytelling, imagery and movement tries to break the notion of generally accepted classical forms of animation that we see from the West.”

The international collection includes filmmakers such as Nina Paley and her critically acclaimed film Sita Sings The Blues – a comical and colourful animated interpretation of the Ramayana, as well as award winning Australian animators Susan Danta and Wendy Chandler with their unique animation documentary series Heirlooms, that rather poetically explores the equation between humans and their heirlooms.

The festival as a whole aims to foster the growth of independent film culture in Chennai, by bringing together Chennai’s film community in celebration of the art of animation. Entry to the event is free.

For more details and the full screening schedule, visit the Facebook Event page here.

Date: Friday, 22nd of August
Time: 2 pm onwards
Venue Address: Goethe Institut Chennai/ Max Mueller Bhavan,
No.4, 5th Street, Rutland Gate, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600006
Phone:044 2833 1314


IndiEarth is an online B2B platform that connects India’s non-mainstream independent Musicians and Filmmakers to worldwide Media. The platform features a blog, offers value-added services and wider opportunity networks through its partnerships. IndiEarth is an EarthSync Initiative.

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