The India chapter of The Association of International Du Film D‘ Animation, better known as Asifa India, organized a gala day loaded with lots of activities to celebrate the 7th International Animation Day (IAD) at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai, on November 2, 2008. The IAD has been an annual global celebration, since 2002 – by all Asifa chapters over the world – to recognize the art of animation and build a community for all animation enthusiasts.
Attended by close to 800 people, the daylong celebration involved activities like screening of popular animated films – both commercial and non-commercial – from all over the world, technical and creative workshops, gaming content screening, experimental animation, and mascot competition, all organized by Asifa, a quiz by Anand Gurnani of AnimationXpress.com, drawing for animation by Chetan Sharma, sketching competition by Rishabh Shrivastav of CgTantra, acting workshop organized by Neeraj Kabi, jamming by the band Graffiti and above all the Asifa Awards of Excellence ceremony. Around 20 to 25 people participated in the drawing and sketching competitions and acting workshop each. Representatives from as many as 55 countries from around the world were also present. Stalls were put up by various supporters including Animation Xpress Network, Women In Animation and CgTantra.
Several film screenings were organized at both the theatre halls of NCPA, where the audience was fortunate to witness some of all time best animated movies, both nationally and internationally. Asifa held several screening sessions namely, Animated Commercials, Animated Short Films, Pixar Story and Short Films, Movie Trailers, Awards of Excellence Nominated Films, Best of 2008, Shelly’s Eyecandy, and Old Classic Film Screening. These films were screened at the Tata Theatre, which is considered an acoustic gem, and one of its kind in the entire South Asian region.
Drawing for animation, sketching and acting workshops and quiz competitions were held in small group of participants. To add a spice to the ambience, there were boutiques, tattoo stalls and snack counters for fun-loving youngsters.
The audience eagerly kept waiting for the august evening, when the Awards of Excellence were given to Partha Pratim Das for his movie Kopai, Vaibhav Kumaresh for Ooga Booga, Gareth Owen for Polar Bear Bulb, and Mahee Pal for The Adventures of Laal Kamal and Neel Kamal. Besides these best movie awards, there were special jury awards that were conferred to Arpit Bhargava, Varunjyoti Deori, Uttam Pal Singh, and Vikrant Shitole. This was beyond doubts the best possible way in which the master animators from India and around the world can be felicitated.
Asifa’s celebration of International Animation Day surely went much beyond celebration. The event was the organization’s effort to take animation to the broader masses, inspire the animators’ collective and individual efforts, and, most importantly, nurture and promote further creativity both as an art and as an effective means of communication.
Asifa launched the global event to celebrate the art of animation, that is, the International Animation Day, in 2002, commemorating the first public performance of Emile Reynaud’s Theatre Optique at the Grevin Museum in Paris in 1892. Since then, Asifa has been successfully celebrating International Animation Day by staying true to the spirit and upholding the motto of blending art and technology, and thus making available invaluable knowledge and information.