After the announcement of the 63rd National Awards, most of the debates are around who deserved it and who didn’t. But in the clutter of opinions, a team is celebrating their share of victory.
After the announcement of the 63rd National Awards, most of the debates are around who deserved it and who didn’t. But in the clutter of opinions, a team is celebrating their share of victory. Fisherwoman and TukTuk, a 15-minute film won the Best Animation Film. “To dream a dream through lines and strokes” — goes the ‘citation’ by the jury on the film.
“It’s an honour to be recognised in our own country,” says Suresh Eriyat, the creative director of the film, who just came back from Japan earlier in the day. Last week the film bagged the award for Excellence at the prestigious Tokyo Anime Awards Festival 2016.
Fisherwoman and TukTuk is a poignant story of a middle-aged fisherwoman who dreams of owning an auto rickshaw and the subsequent consequences that ensue. “In India animation is something that is not really recognised as a medium of storytelling and our effort has been to make people aware that this is an important medium as well; like how it’s being used in Japan, Europe or elsewhere. That’s the leverage that we’re trying to give to the medium. They need not necessarily be films based on mythology, because they have fantastical stuff, but you can tell interesting stories about current India and the fantasies. That was where our whole effort was driven at.” “This is a film that we have produced on our own because we believed that it is important that people in India start watching good animation stuff, which is at par with international quality,” explains Suresh.
In the niche animation fraternity, the NID alumnus had carved out a name for himself much before he opened his own animation company Eeksaurus in 2009, but it is with long form storytelling that he wants to create an awareness for animation in the country. “We make our ad films and other animation films while we’re expanding the awareness about animation about that area. We simultaneously started working on the film six years ago because we were not working continuously,” he adds.
Fisherwoman and TukTuk is the first of the three films that Suresh had started to work on. In the future, he plans to make a feature length animation as well. Defying the general notion of the film audience, Suresh explains how his film is not a ‘cartoon’ film, “Aesthetically, the film is very Indian in nature — it has got bright colours, the character are loud but it is not a cartoon film, like how animation is generally perceived. So there are quite a few experiments that we’ve done to set the standards high.”