Winners of Asifa India Awards of Excellence 2021 comment on their win

Asifa India recognizes and celebrates the great art of animation. ASIFA is an international non-profit organization founded in 1960 in Annecy, France, by the best known animation artists of the time such as the Canadian animator Norman McLaren. Asifa India marked two decades of receiving its official Charter in India.

This year, Asifa India celebrated International Animation Day 2020-21 by inviting entries from professionals and students for Asifa India Awards of Excellence.

The animated feature Bombay Rose which has been written and directed by Gitanjali Rao and had its world premiere at International Critics Week at the 2019 Venice Film Festival and later released on Netflix, won the Best Animated Feature Film under the professional category.

Speaking to Animation Xpress, a proud and happy Rao said, “Thrilled to receive Asifa Award of Excellence for Bombay Rose! It is a special award for the animation team at Paperboat Design Studio that put in their hard work, sweat and tears into creating this film frame by frame.”

Best Animated Feature Film : Bombay Rose

Shedding light on the creative process of the film Rao added, “In Bombay Rose, unlike most other animation films, star voices were not used, only good actors with suitable voices. Also, we did not record and imitate the expressions of the voice talent as is usually done, rather the animators learnt to ‘feel’ the emotions and animate them with their heart, and not just their minds. It was very difficult in the beginning but in the end they fell in love with the process and gave much more than I could expect as a director. The film is painted frame by frame on Photoshop and composited in After Effects. We did not use any high end software and kept the look and feel hand drawn and earthy. All this meant more work and very little time and a miniscule budget. But to create magic, one needs passion and love, not only money!”

The animated feature Captain Vidyut created by Atish Tripathi and produced by Parijat Studios received the Best Animated TV Episode under the professional category.

Best Animated TV Episode : Captain Vidyut

Expressing the excitement, director Atish Tripathi said, “Indeed, we are thrilled at getting this recognition. Captain Vidyut is a labor of love and a product of a very passionate team. Big congratulations are in order for the whole team of Captain Vidyut. We are very happy that our work has been awarded for its excellence and Captain Vidyut is getting love from all around. We are very grateful to Asifa India and the eminent jury members for giving Captain Vidyut this honor.”

Tripathi further added, “It was a moment of great joy to read the following lines in the certificate from Asifa India. Asifa India takes immense pleasure in recognizing your contribution to Indian Animation sector. These lines will continue to reverberate with us and serve as an inspiration to pursue this amazing art form and keep the flag of India flying high in animation.”

Mumbai-based Vaibhav Studios led by Vaibhav Kumaresh bagged the Best Animated Commercial Award for NICK Ident under the professional category of ASIFA India Awards of Excellence.

In an earlier interaction with Animation Xpress, while sharing the joy of his victory Kumaresh said, “I’m obviously very glad that the NICK ident campaign we created has been awarded the Best Commercial by the jury. On behalf of the entire team I thank Asifa India and the jury members for this honour.”

Best Animated Short Film:Wade

Ghost Animation’s animated short film Wade written and directed by Upamanyu Bhattacharyya and Kalp Sanghvi won the Best Animated Short Film under the professional category.

The bollywood feature film Tanhaji-The Unsung Warrior directed by Om Raut and produced by T-Series Films and Ajay Devgn FFilms took home the Best VFX in Films under the professional category.

The Mist Calls created by Sachin Sreekumar got Best 2D Animation Award and The Freaky Fox won the Best 3D Animation Award under the student category.

Best 2D Animation:The Mist Calls

Sharing the excitement with Animation Xpress Sreekumar said, “I feel so blessed to see my film winning an award at such a prestigious Film festival like ASIFA. And I am truly honoured to see my film’s name along with the names of some legends. Such recognitions are inspiring me to tell more stories through animation. The Mist Calls is the first animated short that I created during the second year of my masters at the National Institute of Design. The film talks about the journey of a boy in finding the serene connection between his soul and nature. I found great joy in seeing how small sketches from my sketchbook were finally becoming part of my film.”

He also added, “Before making the film I had made a small wishlist for this project, feeling accepted as an animator was the first pointer in that. And I feel that now I can strike that off the list. And I would like to remember this quote that I heard from one of my teachers which inspired me always, “You can only see mistakes in your first film, that’s why you make the next.”

Congratulations to all the winners and we can’t wait to see more of your creations!