Q&A with Cannes winner Gitanjali Rao

null“Cannes has definitely brought my work and me a lot more recognition”

How do you feel after winning three awards at Cannes for Printed Rainbow, especially having done it all on your own?
I am absolutely thrilled indeed. Its one of the best appreciation for film making one can ever seek. My family and friends believed in me so I was not alone. Doing things on your own is a huge learning experience although very difficult but its appreciation like this that inspire one to continue making films honestly.

How did the concept of Printed Rainbow come about and how long did it take to be completed?
I wanted to do a story on the relationship between my mother and her cat. Their reality and their imagination. I thought of matchboxes and their graphics as nice departure for the imagination to various lands in India. I was interested in exploring the variety of Indian folk art styles and animating them.
It just fell together and the concept evolved into the film. It took me two and a half years to complete the film.

Do you feel that after winning at Cannes your work is getting more recognition? How has it helped your career?
Sadly in India, most people need recognition from the rest of the world to discover talent. And then recognition invariably follows back home. Cannes has definitely brought my work and me a lot more recognition. It is still too early to affect my career, but offers are pouring in and now I will have the luxury to choose what work I would like to take on.

Being an independent animator now and having previously worked with studios, what do you feel is the difference?
As an independent film maker, I have had the liberty of not making any compromises on the quality of film making. Although it is difficult (you don’t have the benefits of studio infrastructure), you have only yourself to account for in terms of making money.
Studios have a target to accomplish in which revenues is a bigger factor than quality, so I often found myself making compromises on the quality. But studios offer great opportunities of learning and teach you to be professional.

Both situations have their advantages and disadvantages, you have to learn to utilise them well.

Do you think that animation in India at the moment is booming?
The quantity of animation produced in India is definitely booming. The market for animation in India is also soaring, considering the number of animation channels we are watching. Indian animation series and features which were hardly possible till a few years back, are now being produced frequently. The quality, however, i believe, needs improvement. And that needs along with talent,more time and more money, long term investments which can set our indigenous animation industry on an internationally competent level.

At what level do you see Indian Animation in the near future, say two years?
It will only get better and bigger I believe. Two years is not a lot of time in animation but there will be a few more features out by then I believe, and many more series that are already in production would be out.

Are you working on anything currently?
Right now I am mostly sending my film to various festivals and trying to market it, but I have a few stories ready and am trying to find time to settle down and begin work on one of them.

What are your future plans?
I never work out my future plans. All I know is i want to make many more good animation films. For that I take life as it comes.

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