Thanks to Awards and competitions like the 24FPS Animation Awards, Indian artists and students are getting into the habit of short film making, this even as the quality of Indian Animation production keeps improving with time.
The 24FPS Animation Awards 2007 came to a fitting conclusion on 27th April, culminating several weeks of suspense in one smashing grand award ceremony at Grand Hyatt, Mumbai.
Naam Chhod Kaam Dekh, the short film created by the MAAC Bandra branch students was the big hit this year winning the Gold prize of Rs. 3 Lacs as well as category Awards in Best concept and story, Best lighting & cinematography, and modeling & texturing.
Another big hit this year was Aamchi Mumbai, movie made by MAAC Andheri which was the first runner up and won Rs. 2 lacs. Bronze trophy along with Rs. 1lakh was won by MAAC South Ex, Delhi, for their movie Mehbooba.
Amongst the major highlights of the evening was â€?The Lifetime Achievement Awardâ€? which was given to Pankaj Khandpur, Creative Director of Tata Elxsi for his special contribution in Indian VFX and animation industry. Shared Pankaj Khandpur, “I really thank the MAAC team and I feel really honored. Also, I acknowledge every member of the industry that has worked with me in the past 27 years of my career. The industry is growing at rapid pace and lot of talent is coming up. This is the right time when we can recognize the budding talent, and this is just a beginningâ€¦”
The stalwart Khandpur is amongst the most well known and respected professionals in the business, in the animation, VFX and gaming industry; in Bollywood and also in Hollywood. The entire audience rose to its feet even as Pankaj received his award.
The programme kickstarted with the lighting of lamp by Industry stalwarts like Ketan Mehta, Rajesh Turakia, Naveen Gupta, Manmohan Shetty, ENAM Chairmman Vallabh Bhanshali and with the opening speech of MAAC CEO Rajesh Turakia, “Delivering a showcase event for students and professional, 24FPS is very rare. Most of the participants especially create their entries to send for this competition and we have received a tremendous support from the industry. This year we opened the entries for students and professionals for other studios and institutes too and we received lot of entries. I also acknowledge the entire jury and the members for their kind support and valuable expertise.”
In a nascent industry, getting the community together and pushing for collaboration is of primal importance. Recognizing their immense contribution to the industry, some of its most active professionals including Vaibhav Kumaresh, Ashish Kulkarni, Ranjit Tony Singh, Sesha Prasad and Gitanjali Rao were awarded the 24FPS Movers and Shakers Award this year.
“I am happy to be back here. We have seen 24FPS grow big time and I congratulate the people who make it happen. I would like to see all of you come forward and join the ecosystem. My best wishes to all the students.” said Ashish Kulkarni on behalf of the winners.
Producer-Director Rakesh Roshan was awarded the â€?24FPS Power Personality of the Year Award; for his immense contribution to the Indian Entertainment fraternity. “Power personality award is a really great award for me and I am delighted to receive it. The award is taking the industry higher and is admirable as it recognizes the upcoming industry talent. The VFX industry in India is growing in such a speed that in coming years, no film maker from India will go overseas for production work.” shared Rakesh Roshan, exclusively with AnimationXpress.com.
This year, a total of 29 entries participated in the competition including Team, Individuals, production houses amongst others. The MAAC teams as well as the other professionals and students participated with great enthusiasm.
The power packed panel of jury members comprised of industry veterans like
Anirightsâ€? Ashish Kulkarni, Autodeskâ€?s Ben Richards, Shelly Page and Joe Aguilar of DreamWorks, NIDâ€?s Nina Sabnani, Shana Koeing of Prana studio, Sesha Prasad from R&H, NVIDIAâ€?s Laura Dohrmann, Vaibhav Studiosâ€? Vaibhav Kumaresh, Sanjeev Waeerkar of UTV, Crest Indiaâ€?s Virendra Chauhan and Kireet Khurana of 2nz Animation. All these experts were honored by veterans Rammohan and Bhimsain Khurana on stage during the show.
An added feature in the tournament was â€?CGTantra 24FPS Excellence Awards 2007â€? which was an initiative to identify and felicitate artists and technicians whose excellence in their work and contribution to the community has been highly commendable. The awards were given for excellence in the categories of Modeling and Texturing, Animation, Figurative Art and Concept Art.
CG Tantraâ€?s Chand shared, “This is the first time when we are collaborating with MAAC and 24FPS awards and we provided a platform for the students and professional to showcase their talent and art. To choose the right winner, we did an online poll on cgtantra.com as well as an offline poll during the Curtain Raiser of 24FPS award at Rangsharda on 27th April. We received close to 2000 votes and with those valuable votes, we concluded to choose the right winners.”
Students from the College of Animation Bio Engineering, Amravati won the 24FPS Best 3d animated film in studentsâ€? open category for the movie â€?Paarth-The great warriorâ€?. Shared Nitin Mandaogade, Principal of T.C.A.B. “It was a great acknowledgement done by the students. The movie Paarth is a futuristic story based on Mahabharata and the centralized character was Paarth (Arjun). I was quite sure that we will be nominated for the awards as the quality of work was great. The work done by students is really appreciable as it was a team effort and my students have really worked hard to make the movie come true.”
Anand Zaveri, team leader of Untitled 1, the Gold Winner said, “After completing the movie we were not so sure that we have made such a good movie. Our main aim was to satisfy ourself with our work and the idea was just to prove ourself by giving out the best. By doing this movie, we learnt many aspects of making a professional movie and how a professional work comes out” Anand concluded his speech by saying a short poem: “Zindadi ki asli udaan abhi baaki hai, Zindagi ke kai imtehaan abhi baaki hai, Abhi to naapi hai mutthi bhar zameen hamne, Aage saara aasman baaki hai”
Amidst the excitement of announcement of awards, there was refreshing entertainment for the audience with performance by Sanobar Kabir. While the crowd could just get over their breath taking performance, the dance troupe all the way from Russia, wooed the gathering with as much charm with their medley numbers. Hilarious performance by Laughter challenge participantsâ€? Sunil Pal and Deepak Raja was another fabulous show of the evening.
A new category of award at 24FPS was â€?24FPS You Vote Awardâ€? which was presented by AnimationXpress.com’s CEO and Managing Editor Anand Gurnani and MAAC GM Shravni Chopra. The 24FPS You Vote Award was a viewersâ€? choice award which was added this year to the 24FPS Animation Awards 2007. Once the jury decided on the nominations, the films were put on the MAAC website. Visitors to the website could then vote for their choice of films via online poll or through SMS on all major operators such as Airtel, Hutch etc. and also across major International mobile networks.
“We value and thank our associates and sponsors for their kind support. We stared the 24FPS award four years back as in house completion and we are very happy that in the 4th year of 24FPS, we received a huge participation from the industry as well as from the students.” said Naveen Guta, COO of MAAC. “24FPS is proving to be a good platform for students and professionals to showcase their talent. Earlier, students were not so anxious to develop an animated movie to showcase their work, but as 24FPS comes close, students prepare their movies especially for the competition. Also, the studios were hesitating to interview and hire the freshers of the industry but when they see the work done by the students, they are instantly interested to hire them.” he concluded.