As mainstream Bollywood begins to focus on animation, things are beginning to look exciting. There has never been a dearth of investors in Indian animation, but big investments from big people and big companies in Bollywood (the industry that’s the heart of Indian entertainment industry and popular culture) is something new.
Promoted by Mukta Arts Limited and Film City, Whistling Woods International which is set to be Asia’s largest Film, Television, Animation and Media Arts studies Institute has entered into an agreement with Canada’s leading educational institute Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology to run specialised courses in the art and technique of film making in animation, including visual effects.
The MoU was signed yesterday by Whistling Woods International Executive Director Ravi Gupta and Seneca VP for International and Business Development Wayne Norrison at the Cricket Club of India in the presence of Vice Consul (Education) Annie Dube of the Canadian Consulate in Mumbai, Seneca Educational Advisor Dr Gulab Mewani and Whistling Woods head of Animation Department Ashish Kulkarni.
Speaking to Animation ‘xpress Seneca VP for International and Business Development Wayne Norrison said,” Seneca is extremely excited about the tie up with Whistling Woods. Its an incredible opportunity to work with what would be Asia’s largest film institute. Again since the institute is just being set, we also have the opportunity of helping shape the course from scratch”
Whistling Woods International Executive Director Ravi Gupta commented,”The focus is on teaching how to tell a story through the medium of animation. The Alumnae/i would be able to produce high end animation films and not just back end work. We want our students to be involved in creating IP and go up the value chain”
The official release quotes Whistling Woods International Chairman Subhash Ghai saying,”We are pleased that we are tying up with Seneca College which is highly reputed and won an Oscar this year for best animated short film ‘Ryan’. We look forward to our students at Whistling Woods International earning similar laurels in years to come. Canada is well known for its expertise in animation and a lot of work of US Studios is carried out there. We believe that if Indian students learn the art of story telling through animation, India can emerge as a hub to create intellectual properties in animation”
Under the agreement Seneca will provide its expertise and faculty to Whistling Woods and also train the faculty to ensure high quality of education in animation and related topics. The two year programme commences in July 2006 and will lead to a diploma with credits to the students that would be transferable to Seneca with students having the option to go to the Canadian college for a third year specialisation in Gaming, Visual Effects etc.
To begin with, the animation department will have four faculty members and meanwhile in the run up to the programme commencement in July, the faculty shall visit and train with the Canadian faculty at Seneca.
Anirights CEO and head of Animation Department at Whistling Woods Ashish Kulkarni commented,”The foundation that we have planned at Whistling Woods by the most experienced film making and story telling experts in the industry and a completely integrated curriculum which involves both traditional as well as digital form of animation film making coupled with the expertise of Seneca’s experience in imparting education on animation is the key”