Indian animated short, ‘The Fox of the Palmgrove’ using Alexander Petrov’s technique, selected at BISFF 2020

Still from ‘The Fox of the Palmgrove

Yesterday, 16 July, we reported about WADE, an eye-opening animated short film about climate change being nominated for Bengaluru International Short Film Festival (BISFF), among many others. 

Today we look into another animated short film, The Fox of the Palmgrove or Panangattu Nari by IDC Bombay student, Divakar S Kuppan, that’s also selected at the festival. The animated film depicts “how a random television visual triggers the memories of an old man in which we go through a sequence of random events which summarises his entire life.

Elated by the official selection, Kuppan told AnimationXpress, “It’s quite a privilege to get selected at BISFF for among the best animated shorts in the current date. I don’t know about the other films in the Category , but I have a huge admiration towards the works of Ghost Animation [makers of WADE] and Balaram J. And, it’s lovely to see my films selected along with their films. It would be lovely if an Indian Animation film wins in the category. Also, we should not forget there is a pool of amazing young Indian animators out there, if one of our films wins here, it will be a huge motivation for them all too.”

The animated film is a vividly visual one that looks like a montage chalk drawings. Being an ardent student of Andrei Tarkovsky films and an hardcore student of the works of Russian Animator Alexander Petrov, he experimented with Tarkovsky’s visualisation/direction using Petrov’s technique. 

Kuppan working on the project

“The film is made using the ‘Paint on glass Animation’ technique, which was originally mastered by animation legend, Petrov. I have built a custom setup using cardboards and discarded glasses for animating the film. This technique is very instantaneous where the rough animation, cleanup and colouring everything happens at one go by directly painting live under a camera. The very advantage of this technique is exactly what makes this technique a bit complex since it requires more sensitivity and planning as well,” informed Kuppan. 

He has won eight awards till date out of the 22 film festival selections along with ending up as finalists and semifinalists in a handful of festivals. He won the Silver Conch for Best International Animation at MIFF (Mumbai International Film Festival) 2020, Bhimsain Emerging Talent Award 2019 at Anifest India 2019 Mumbai, Best Student Animation Film at 8th Mumbai shorts International Film Festival, Best Experimental Short Film at Beyond Earth Film Festival in Kolkata, Best Animated Film at Rome Independent Prisma Film Awards in Rome, Best Student Animation at CVWF Short Film Fest 2020 in Mumbai, Best Experimental Animation at PUNE ANIMATION FILM MAHOTSAV 2020 and many more.  

Currently, he is working on an animation mockumentary film called, Kindergarten that is getting delayed for a long time now for many reasons including the pandemic. It’s under post production now and will start its festival run very soon. Other than that, there are five other films that are in the paperwork stage. We wish him all the best!