With the support from the North Eastern Council, the department of Anthropology of North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) together with the Trust for Tribal Art Culture and Knowledge are organising the Tribal Animation Film Festival from 1 to 3 March in Shillong.
Addressing the media on Thursday, NEHU department of Anthropology postdoctoral personnel Dr Tara Douglas said, “The whole idea of the event is to highlight indigenous ‘Adivasi’ cultures through the medium of animated films because old traditions are getting lost in certain communities.”
The first day’s programme will introduce local storytelling and artistic tradition as content for animated films. The second day will turn the lens to experimental animation and the way it has been used by independent artists, and the final day explores media and animation education, cultural sensitivity, and ethical practices.
“The younger generation is so captivated by the digital platform that they are losing interest in traditional storytelling. So our idea is to try to sustain these stories by adapting them in animated films,” she added. It’s a very difficult job to adapt these long oral stories into short films and this is the very reason we have invited animation filmmakers and experts from other parts of the country and world to give us guidance and share their work so that we can inspire local filmmakers and artist. The animation medium is captivating for the younger people and we are hoping to re-engage them in this way,” she added. (As told to The Sentinel Assam)
The film festival include films by international directors who have sent their works to inspire young participants. The list of directors include- the native American filmmakers Joseph Erb and Victor Masayesva, indigenous filmmakers Amanda Strong and Banchi Hanuse from Canada, Ezra Wube from Ethiopia, Jean Michel Kibushi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Pritt Tender from Estonia.
Douglas further informed,“For the first time we are also bringing animated work from other parts of the world including Australia, America, Canada and to audiences in Meghalaya.” From the Russian Arctic comes the film How Nyanchedo Myniku Taught Man to Fly by Mikhael Korobov and from Australia, the award-winning animated series The Dreaming, based on Australian Aboriginal storytelling.
Scottish animation film director Leslie Mackenzie will share insights about her lifelong work to adapt Gaelic folklore in animation and by conducting workshops with young people in Scotland. The experimental films by independent filmmakers Joan Ashworth, Emma Calder, Christopher Eales and Benjamin Fox from the UK are also going to extend the boundaries of the medium.