The Art of Animation: IndiEarth On Screen
An ode to animation – this week’s IndiEarth On Screen presents eight films that explore the art, and eight different filmmakers who are pioneers in their own right. The screenings will happen in two cities – Bangalore’s The Humming Tree and The Hive in Mumbai, promising audiences a viewing experience replete with musical and visual diversity. The screening at The Hive, Mumbai will be followed by an engaging Q & A session with filmmaker Abhishek Verma, who will be showcasing his film Chasni depicting the stories of real life Indian women who have survived acid attacks.
Also being screened is Gitanjali Rao’s award winning animation short Printed Rainbow – a colourful story about an old woman and her cat.
With Gitanjali’s film True Love Story having just been selected in competition at Cannes, IndiEarth spoke more with the award-winning filmmaker about her love of all things animation and her approach to telling her stories through the medium.
IndiEarth: In Printed Rainbow, you approach themes like death and loneliness with a certain hopefulness and innocence. Tell us more about your own personal philosophies or approaches to death and loneliness, and how you choose to depict this in your films?
Gitanjali Rao: Well, stories seem to flow out of my consciousness by itself when I start making storyboards. As the process of making the films takes years, I tend to add some things that become relevant in my conscience over time – and making them fit in seamlessly is the fun part. This of course applies to shorts, not features. And that’s why I love the process more than constructing features.
IE: What draws you to the art of animation, and who are your greatest animation influences? Are there specific animation techniques that you employ in your work?
GR: My style has always been painting pictures and then moving them through animation. I use very basic but evolved software like Photoshop and Corel Painter to paint the animation frame by frame and to create backdrops, then composite them in After Effects, and edit in Premiere. I am drawn to animation particularly because it lets me paint and make films at the same time – two things I have always love doing.
My greatest influences came way back when there was no internet. Polish Animator Jerzy Kucia, Canadian animators Wendy Tilby, Caroline Leefe, British animators Nick park, Joanna Quinn, and so many more!
IE: While making a film, do you have the thought of ‘is an audience going to like this’ in mind, or are you just expressing your personal ideas without thoughts of how the film will be received?
GR: ‘What the audience will feel’ has been my primary concern throughout the process of making films, over the years. Whether the audience likes that feeling or it disturbs them is not the decision making factor, but my total concern is how the film makes them emote and think. I have often wanted to be the other kind of artist – simply expressing my own ideas – but I cannot seem to disassociate with my audience, ever.
IE: True Love Story employs a distinctively different animation technique and artistic style from Printed Rainbow. Can you tell us about your decision to use such drastically different styles, for your various films?
GR: My influences and inspiration has always been paintings, and I tend to paint in different styles depending on the feel I want to create in my stories. True Love Story is an entirely different story from Printed Rainbow, therefore the entirely different style — even in sound design.
IE: What are your future plans and visions?
GR: Oh, well I have learnt in life to have none! I take things as they come and try to enjoy the process. But yes, I want to make more films and want to make a home plus artist residency in Kerala on my little piece of village land near the forest.
IE: Finally, can you tell us about your sentiments about screening your work with IndiEarth — both at the IndiEarth XChange and at IndiEarth On Screen?
GR: IndieEarth has brought my eight-year-old film back to life! And helped me meet some lovely talents in music whom I have ended up working with on my new film and building wonderful relationships! Few platforms manage to do what they really intend, but IndieEarth seems to do it so well – I admire the relentless passion and belief with which IndiEarth XChange and IndiEarth work.
Date: 8th May – Thursday | Venue: The Humming Tree, 12th Main Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore Time: 8pm
Date: 8th May – Thursday | Venue: The Hive, 50 A Huma Mansion, Chuim Village Road, Khar West, Mumbai Time: 8pm
Film 1 – Don’t Spare me Shankar / 8 min / INDIA /1997 / Director: Gurcharan Singh
Film 2 – The Balloon / 6 min/ INDIA / 1985 / Director: B. R. Shendge
Film 3 – Tree of Unity / 3 min/ INDIA/ 1972 / Director: Pramod Pati
Film 4 – Ek Anek aur Ekta / 8 min /INDIA / 1974 / Director: Vijaya Mulay
Film 5 – Glimpses of Indian Animation / 30 min/ INDIA/ 1997 / Director: R Swamy
Film 6 – Fertco / 3 min/ USA / 2009 / Director: Nina Paley
Film 7 – Printed Rainbow / 16 min/ INDIA / 2006 / Director: Gitanjali Rao
Film 8 – Chasni / 5 min/ INDIA / 2013 / Director: Abhishek Verma
More details about the films available on the Facebook event page here.