The sixth edition of Chitrakatha, an international students’ animation festival, began at the National Institute of Design (NID) here on Sunday with ‘Africa-Asia’ as its theme this year. Addressing a press conference on Monday, NID director, Pradyumna Vyas said, “India, with vast traditions, cultures and folklores, has a lot to offer and animation is a strong medium to tell these stories. Chitrakatha is a platform to showcase these through graphics.”
Vyas added stories can also be told through animation. “The time has come for animation to venture into folklores.” The institute has planned a Tribal Folklore Animation Research Centre to highlight the importance of tribal culture. Festival director Sekhar Mukherjee said, “It began as a way to acknowledge NID’s contribution towards society by bringing tribal artists to the mainstream. Through Chitrakatha, we depict complex subjects in a visual narrative. We also intend to expose students to various cultures through international collaborations.”
With the organisers stressing on “everything original” every year, the focus has been shifted this year to Africa and Asia, which were unexplored in Chitrakatha. Mukherjee said that continuous efforts have always been made to build a stronger establishment with African institutions. “Various workshops like Afri-Khadi, describing Gandhi’s time in South Africa, and Africa India Forum Summit, which focusses on basketry crafts, are being held,” he said.
Thanking the channel, Cartoon Network for its support, Mukherjee said, “By collaborating with the Cartoon Network, we can bring local characters in animation. This will bring children closer to the roots and traditions of our country.” This year’s competition accepted 600 submissions from 32 countries. Seventy-six made to the finals.
A five member all-women jury will judge the final entries. Six best entries will be awarded. Francois Chalet, professor of Animation at Lucerne university of Applied Sciences and Arts, who is associated with the institute for the last four years said, “I taught the students here about expanded animation, which included projection on buildings, building app stores, designing games. I was fascinated with garba and decided to mix that with animation. My students in Switzerland learnt it and presented it at the opening of a new high school in Switzerland along with Indian students.”
During the event, scheduled to end on October 28, Dr Gabriela Christen, dean of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – School of Art and Design, will deliver a talk on Future of Design Education. Other participants include Isabel Herguera (guiding angel of Chitrakatha), Chalet, Juergen Haas, Vincent Gilot, Ng’endo Mukii, Heeseon Kim, Ebele Okoye, Prakash Moorthy, Vaibhav Kumaresh and E Suresh. There will be other events like students’ forum, exhibitions, workshops, presentations, dance and music performances and screening of animation films.
Chitrakatha aims to build the map of the Triassic era. There will also be a panel discussion on PhD Design in Animation and Comics with a group of academic connoisseurs. During the press conference on Monday it was also announced that an NID has been planned in Jorhat which will enable north-eastern students to experience design and its elements.