IndiEarth Animation Film Festival: Beyond Borders, Between The Lines

The year was 1896 when a proud Thomas Edison eagerly showcased to the public the Vitascope – one of the earliest film projectors. A young reporter/illustrator with the New York Evening World by the name of J. Stuart Blackton visited Edison, expecting only to interview the inventor about this exciting new device. However, intrigued by the technology, and encouraged by Edison, Blackton went on to experiment with this medium, creating films of his own and toying with every new idea that chanced upon his vivid imagination. In 1900, Blackton would go on to release one of the earliest surviving stop-motion animation films – The Enchanted Drawing – and in 1906, what is regarded by many as the first ‘true’ animation made on standard motion-picture film, projected at 20 frames per second – Humorous Phases of Funny Faces.Vitascope vintage

Suddenly, here was a new approach to creative storytelling, a versatile medium that could be used to depict even the most fantastical of animated events and characters. Paying tribute to this art form is the annual IndiEarth Animation Film Festival in Chennai, showcasing over 50 landmark animations across various genres from all around the world. IndiEarth has partnered with the Alliance Francaise of Madras and Dolby India to present the third edition of the festival, which is hailed as India’s first quality international festival dedicated exclusively to the art of animation.

“Well, luckily with animation, fantasy is your friend,” Steven Spielberg once remarked, and that holds true for many modern animation artists who utilize the creative freedom of the medium to transport their viewers into fantastical realms of the unknown. Filmmaker Alain Bidard does this with his film Battledream Chronicle – an apocalyptic fantasy where the Empire of Mortemonde has taken over planet Earth. It is the first ever feature length animation film from the Caribbean island of Martinique, and after travelling the festival circuit worldwide it will be screened in India at the IndiEarth Animation Film Festival. Other award winners include Suresh Eriyat’s Fisherwoman and Tuk Tuk, which recently bagged the national award.Battledream Chronicle

From the realm of fantasy to the world of reality, Hemant Gaba’s film Japan In Nagaland is a documentary portraying the obsession with Japanese anime in Nagaland. “The youth of Nagaland are crazy about Japanese Anime, I’m excited to share a glimpse of that bizarre world through this documentary” Gaba told IndiEarth, “With the advancement in technology over the past few decades, animation film is ever on the rise – so it was about time to have our own indigenous animation film festival. IndiEarth has stepped up to that expectation”.

Making its worldwide premiere at the festival is filmmaker Abhishek Verma’s latest work Maacher Jhol – a hand drawn 2D animated short about a young man seeking acceptance for his sexual identity. “IndieEarth is special because my first animated film Chasni was screened at the first edition of the festival” says Verma, “The beauty of animation as a medium is that anyone can use it to share their ideas on screen, technology has facilitated the ease of this”. Verma will also conduct a workshop titled Art & Communication: Animation In The Digital Age, where he will introduce participants to practical hands-on skills training in the art of animation, while also exploring worldwide trends within the discipline.

“The festival is doing its part for the growth of animation in India; the positive response from audiences will hopefully encourage support and commercials for Indian animators” says Sonya Mazumdar, CEO, EarthSync, “We are excited to bring a fascinating collection of animations to this 3rd edition of IndiEarth Animation Film Festival, which audiences in India may not otherwise be able to access easily”.

In fact, the festival was founded on this very premise – to provide a platform for both established and up and coming animation talent, while enabling these works to reach wider audiences. “It is important to support initiatives like this because it supports artists who rise to the challenge of creating non-commercial forms of art,” says Pierre-Emmanuel Jacob, Director, Alliance Francaise of Madras, “It allows these artists to find a space to share their works with the public, and provides a public platform for these forms of art that question the society in which we live, and force us to think and act as catalysts of change”.

“At Dolby, we have always believed in encouraging new and established talent who experiment with new technology and innovations within the medium” says Ashim Mathur, Director Marketing, Dolby India, “By partnering with IndiEarth’s Animation Film Festival, we get the opportunity to support a host of noteworthy animators by giving them access to the state of the art screening room and infrastructure to showcase their work”.

For more details and to view the full film lineup, visit:

To register for the workshop, visit:

Full Film Lineup: IEAFF2016 Schedule
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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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