Anime fans in India, your wait is going to be over soon!
Studio Durga, India’s first anime studio who had created a stir in the Indian Anime community with their first ever independent Indian anime project, Karmachakra, is now gearing up to launch it soon on an OTT platform.
Last Saturday, 4 July, the studio recently conducted a poll/survey inviting fans who have supported them till date, to choose from two major OTT players (Hoichoi and Disney+Hotstar) to stream the 80 minute animated feature. In a video, Studio Durga founder and CEO Rajorshi Basu has thanked fans for their support and have urged them to vote in which language and on which streaming platform the fans would like to watch Karmachakra. (Originally, the anime feature is in Bengali)
Speaking on the poll/survey, Basu told AnimationXpress, “Some of the streaming platforms we talked to were keen on taking up Karmachakra, but they need that extra assurance that a completely new project such as this has enough audience, as they are mostly unaware of the huge fan base for anime in India. So this was a survey for our audience to voice their demand on the basis of both language and platform. The total number of votes matter more than anything, and any participation will help us immensely.”
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown that followed, the cinema halls and multiplexes have been shut till further notice. As the country still grapples with the virus and the exponential rise in the number of active cases daily, the possibility of reopening of theaters in the near future is blurring. Hence, many Bollywood filmmakers are taking their films directly for an OTT release. The trend started with Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Gulabo Sitabo premiering on Amazon Prime Video.
Lately, Disney+Hotstar announced a new segment Disney+Hotstar multiplex which will premiere seven big Bollywood films on Fridays between July to October this year, starting with late Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer Dil Bechara on 24 July. Other movies include Akshay Kumar-Kiara Advani’s Laxmmi Bomb, Alia Bhatt-Aditya Roy Kapur-starrer Sadak 2, Abhishek Bachchan’s The Big Bull, Vidyut Jammwal’s Khuda Haafiz, Ajay Devgn-Sanjay Dutt’s Bhuj and Kunal Khemu’s Lootcase.
It’s a possibility that Karmachakra might add to this list, being the first anime film to be premiering on the Disney owned streaming platform (as of now Hotstar has received more votes in comparison to Hoichoi).
The film is majorly completed and is going through the last in-production phase, and simultaneously post-production is about halfway through. As Basu shared, there are numerous changes and enhancements to the original material, so all things considered, there might be certain delays in production.
The Studio Durga team has worked tirelessly to make it see the light of the day and has even funded Karmachakra out of their pockets. “The project has been self-funded till now, and will continue to be till completion, which is very soon. After it is licensed, I hope to profit or at least break even, so I can continue to run the studio and work on further projects that are planned,” said Basu.
As the lockdown disrupted normalcy in the workspace, though animation as a medium thrived during this time, it had its own challenges -“The lockdown was a real challenge in terms of management and infrastructure, but thankfully we were prepared and planned operations accordingly beforehand, so there was no considerable slowdown in the production as we worked remotely.”
The synopsis of Karmachakra reads – The story of an orphan girl trying to find her roots, revolving around mysteries about her past and present. A mystery drama set in a fictional present-day India that draws inspiration from psychology, mythology, and cyber-technology.
Directed by Basu himself, the voice cast includes the talents of noted film actors Swastika Mukherjee, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Mir Afsar Ali, Parno Mittra, Swaroopa Ghosh, Tanusree Shankar, late Santu Mukherjee, Anik Dutta, Alaknanda Roy, Shantilal Mukherjee, Barun Chanda and Shamik Sinha.
Karmachakra is a labour of love, passion and hard work Basu has urged everyone to let their hard work entertain them. “Whichever option you choose to vote for, please do vote and ask everyone you know to cast their vote, because the total votes matter. Being the first project of this kind, this is your chance to make it happen. Karmachakra wouldn’t have been possible without your support, and this is the best way you can help us bring the movie to you. The link can only be opened through the YouTube app or on desktop; and can be found on the Community tab of our channel,” concluded he.
Karmachakra has also won three awards, including ‘Best Animation Short’ at three awards at the Independent Shorts Awards (ISA), based in Los Angeles in March 2020.