The top three projects from India have been selected for the 25th DigiCon6 Asia Awards – a short film contest.
The first project is Never Say Die, a hybrid short film using 2D animation, live action and stop-motion by Diya Gambhir, which has won the Gold category. The other two are animated shorts – As A Man by Soumitra Ranade in the Best Art category and Nirjara by Gaurav Pati in the Best Story category.
These three shortlisted creators will be competing alongside creators from other Asian countries as official entries at the DigiCon6 Asia finals which is to be held in October 2023 in Japan.
Here is a synopsis of Never Say Die: Using the medium of live-action, animation and stop-motion I want to tell the story of my aunt. She suffers from multiple deformities from rheumatoid arthritis. She is immobile. This biographical film draws on her fond memories of parents, teachers, school, college, her dance and her love for poetry, her joys and sorrows and more. The work also includes her own narration as a voice-over.
The film’s creator Gambhir, who is a student of Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, was overwhelmed. “I did manifest all of this but I really hope I win the main event. I have put all my blood and sweat into it. It is a story about my aunt and is very close to my heart. I want to win it for her,” said the budding filmmaker.
Paperboat Design Studios co-founder and chief creative director Ranade worked on this poignant piece of work As A Man. The short’s description reads: Across the world, violence against women has been unrelenting since time immemorial. The film addresses men who perpetuate this violence, as it seeks to comprehend what goes on in their minds.
The creator of Nirjara, Patil, is pursuing his undergraduate in animation filmmaking from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. His film explores the hierarchy in religious practices and the Indian family structure.
His film’s synopsis reads: Aniket and Venkat, two brothers, are at the Varanasi ghat to perform the last rites of their deceased mother. Aniket, the younger, has spent his entire life in the shadow of his older brother who is sought as the “man” after their father. Always ahead of him – even now, as the older son performs the last rite rituals of their mother according to the Hindu tradition. Throughout the film Aniket questions his position as a son and challenges his relationship with his brother.
Thanking the organisers and judges Pati exclaimed, “Nirjara was my very first film that I released from NID Ahmedabad as a classroom project. It was very difficult for me as with the first film it is very hard to see where things are going. Friends and faculty members assured me that I was making something good. With this award I am really calm, fulfilled and acknowledged.”
The young man wants to narrate more “stories about India, common man and culture that are kind of overlooked by the medium of animation”. He wants to explore the neo-realism genre of story-telling in future.
AnimationXpress being the official media partner for DigiCon6 Asia Awards received a total of 180 plus entries. The esteemed jury members who selected the winners from India include animation film designer and Byju’s chief creative director Dhimant Vyas; Vaanarsena Studios and School Senapati and Assemblage creative director Vivek Ram; Zebu Animation Studios founder and creative director Veerendra Patil and the conscious storyteller and Soulify co-founder Siddharth Maskeri.
The DigiCon6 Asia Awards is organised by Tokyo Broadcasting System Television for the purpose of discovering excellent works by content creators in Japan and other Asian countries and regions, and selecting and recognising works of particular merit.