March 29, 2020
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Gitanjali Rao

The animation filmmaker's Printed Rainbow won the Fipresci critics award for short animation at Krakow International film festival 2007.

Gitanjali Rao
Gitanjali Rao
Why did you choose a career in animation?

While studying applied arts at J.J. Institute in Mumbai I enjoyed painting, and wanted to study films. Animation offered me a good combination of both painting and cinema.

Where did you learn animation?

I am a self-taught fimmaker. I learnt it on the job, while assisting Ram Mohan, the pioneer of animation in India.

What’s distinct in your animation technique?

I’ve tried to synthesise folk art, painting and theatre forms of our culturally rich country.

What was your first film, Orange, about?

It’s a 4-minute film on two girls who meet over drinks. It is a conversation piece on relationships.

What’s the subject of Printed Rainbow?

It’s a 15-minute film about an old lady who lives with her cat in a Mumbai apartment and how her collection of matchboxes offers her an escape from loneliness.

So is it also about relationships; or rather the lack of them?

It’s about the liberating power of dreams. The matchboxes take the lady to different worlds.

Aren’t matchboxes a quaint device to use?

The printed labels of the matchboxes also helped me explore a lot of art forms.

8What’s coming up next?

I am planning to do an animated feature. Live action excites me, it’s something I have not done.

What’s your assessment of the animation industry in India?

There is a lot of hype. We are good with 2D animation but not skilled in 3D. Also the story-telling, character-building.

What about the finances?

Well, the hype helps animation get recognised as an art form. Filmmakers now are able to find funding for animation.

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