Toon Club, a pioneering organisation dedicated to teaching children the art of animation and visual storytelling in India won its 29th international award this month. Morphing Tales won the Senior Jury Award at Corti A Ponte, Italy.
Five Toon Club films Clean & Green, Out of the Frame, The Great Chase, Monster Land and Morphing Tales were officially selected and screened online on 4 and 5 May 2020. Children studying in Italian schools voted for the best films. “We’re super excited that our sand animation film Morphing Tales was well appreciated,” mentioned Toon Club founder and principal Tehzeeb Khurana.
Apart from this achievement, Something Fishy is a finalist at the 15th Busan International Children and Youth Film Festival’s (BIKY) competition section, Ready~Action!. Three others have qualified in the non-competition program, Reborn the BIKY: Clean & Green, Pika Boo, Out of the Frame. Two films Side Efx and Out of the Frame are among the 90 officially selected animated films of 317 submissions from 35 countries at 11th VAFI & RAFI- International Children and Youth Animation Film Festival, Croatia 2020.
“While India has been extremely strong in pedagogical education, we have been by and large languishing in the Arts domain. The missing A for Arts in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is now made central to understanding varied disciplines and is gathering STEAM!” added Khurana.
The winning film was created in 2017 by a group of seven kids between the age group 10-11 years. Toon Club is proud to be the pioneer in integrating Animation, seamlessly with the pedagogical curriculum in some of the leading schools of Mumbai.
Toon Club, which began in 2003, gives children a platform to tell their own stories. Khurana designs the curriculum and conducts sessions mostly by herself, with support from staff and assistant faculty, and a backend technical team. Toon Club also invites artists and animators from NID and IDC to take sessions on specialised animation techniques.
Most of the kids had school and online classes till recently, said Khurana. “In their free time, they are pursuing their hobbies. I see many of them posting their artworks/comics on Instagram. Though we refrain from teaching softwares and apps at Toon Club, we do suggest apps that kids can download at home and play around with. Our students are adept in apps like procreate, stykz, animation desk and others.
As the organisation cannot conduct their regular workshops, the team is currently in discussion to hold workshops online in collaboration with a leading international studio. This is part of their effort to foster cultural bonds, an exchange program for students from both the countries.