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Beyond Frames

‘Oxford of the East’ in India is an intriguing adventure, especially with the opportunity to attend Anifest 2024 hosted at MIT – WPU, Pune.
Anifest India stands as the longest-standing and most cherished animation film festival in India, winning hearts for over 15 years. This festival is all about creative content and the reinforcement of traditional themes in animation. And guess what? It’s not just about animation; they’ve got everything from pure art and old-school animation to cutting-edge tech and what’s next in the animation world.

Anifest India is orchestrated by The Animation Society of India (TASI), a nonprofit organization, and the TASI Animation Association (a Section 8 company). They’re the real MVPs behind this animated extravaganza!
The inauguration ceremony gathered a diverse group of students and professionals from various universities and cities across India who shared a common platform, where all united as one and immersed themselves in the beats of drums and applause. There were six tracks for students to attend as per their interests including – Film Making, VFX, Gaming, Workshops, Portfolio Reviews & Career Orientations.

In the realm of animation, there’s a saying: knock and the door will open. Sanjay Patel’s insightful talk serves as our key to this world, encouraging us to embrace our true selves and share our authentic stories as protagonists. Through the behind-the-scenes journey of his acclaimed animated film, “Sanjay’s Super Team,” crafted by Pixar, one crucial lesson resonates: simplicity breeds purity.

“The Art of Storytelling through Music” immediately piqued our interest when we glanced at the schedule. Led by the renowned Music Director, Advait Nemlekar, known for his contributions to various films and series like “Special Ops,” “Naal,” “Lampoot,” and “Tom & Jerry.” The session delved into the profound impact of music on emotional scenes in movies, animated films, and series. Armed with his Casio keyboard, Advait provided enlightening explanations and live demonstrations, showcasing how different melodies and rhythms can evoke specific moods and emotions within visual narratives. The session proved to be a refreshing and eye-opening experience, offering insights into the intricate relationship between music and storytelling.

In the session led by Shyam Wanare titled “Converting Memories and Experiences into Art,” we discovered the process of transforming our everyday visions and experiences into captivating illustrations and stories. It was an insightful exploration of how we can effectively translate our personal narratives into creative works of art.

The inaugural day of Anifest concluded with a remarkable panel discussion featuring Suresh Eriyat, Vaibhav Kumaresh, Upamanyu Bhattacharyya, Ishan Shukla, and Prasad Ajgaonkar. Day two kicked off with a captivating session by the esteemed Suresh Eriyat, featuring the screening of the beautifully crafted film “Sri Aurobindo.” The astonishing fact that this twenty-eight-minute animated masterpiece was digitally hand-drawn and water-coloured frame by frame left us in awe. Suresh shared insights into the meticulous process behind the film’s creation, highlighting the commendable coordination among team members, who maintained a consistent water-colouring style throughout.

Ah, the memories of laughing at the antics of a perpetually frustrated cat chasing a mischievous mouse! Who doesn’t love Tom and Jerry? Aum Animation’s CEO, Vivek Bolar, brought back waves of nostalgia with his delightful talk, reminding us of our cherished childhood moments. Whether we watched it in the past or still do, Tom and Jerry hold a special place in our hearts. Vivek Bolar shared an engaging journey into the making of Tom and Jerry India with his team, capturing the adventurous spirit of the cartoon despite facing numerous challenges along the way.

The essence of individuals reflects in their creations, was seen in Upamanyu Bhattacharyya’s work. The freedom to pursue our own processes enhances the beauty of our work. Upamanyu’s insights into collaborating with individuals, keen on learning and growth inspired us in numerous ways. His approach in creating ‘Heirloom,’ a film depicting the lives of textile families in Ahmedabad, showcases the beauty of our observations and emotions. Moreover, as animators, we recognised the significance of sketching, reading, and comprehension in our craft.

At the film screening, viewers ranked their favourite independent, student, and commissioned films. Personally, “Barsaat” touched our hearts as it portrays parents coping with loss through altruism. “Nirjara” beautifully captures the bond between a mother and her sons. The Durga Pujo Coca-Cola ad evoked the essence of Kolkata with its captivating animation.
As animation enthusiasts, we fully embraced the festival’s motto: “For Animators, By Animators.” It encapsulates the event’s essence, emphasizing its community-driven nature and dedication to serving the needs of animators.

Author Devanshi Shah_21BDC045 and Prutha Dholakia_21BDC012