Dimapur, February 19: The first international Tribal Animation Film Festival to take place in North East India will be a celebration of the vitality and dynamism of traditional storytelling captured through animated film. This three-day event will be held at the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Shillong, Meghalaya from March 1 to 3.
The event will be bringing together artists, storytellers and filmmakers from indigenous communities across the world to share their films and experiences. Joining them are specialists from the disciplines of anthropology, art and the media. Over the three days there will be screenings of films, workshops and panel discussions, and also an exhibition of historical photographs of Northeast India.
The Festival is being jointly organized by the Department of Anthropology of the North-Eastern Hill University and the Trust for Tribal Art Culture and Knowledge (Delhi) and supported by the North-Eastern Council (NEC).
The first day’s programme will introduce local storytelling and artistic tradition as content for animated films. The second day will turn the lens to experimental animation and the way it has been used by independent artists, and the final day explores media and animation education, cultural sensitivity, and ethical practices.
For the traditional communities of the Northeastern region of India, ‘folklore’ was the medium through which they learnt their history, settled arguments, and made sense of the world. Storytelling was a community activity and the stories that were passed down from generation to generation enabled both the teller and the listener to engage in a jointly-creative process.
The Tribal Animation Film Festival aims to create an engaging forum for film-makers from the North East, and from other tribal and adivasi communities, to present their work and forge links with professional collaborators and media enthusiasts from across India and the world. India’s award-winning film-maker Dr Nina Sabnani will share her work and discuss the collaborative process of making films with local artists and artisans. “Animation lends itself perfectly to direct communication without barriers of language or cultural differences”, Dr. Sabnani says.
Festival Co-ordinator Dr Tara Douglas, who is also a Trustee of the Trust for Tribal Art Culture and Knowledge, collaborated on the Tales of the Tribes (a series of short animated stories from folk communities in India). Speaking of her experience she noted that ‘it became a two-way learning process: on the one hand, the animators shared their experience of the technical processes of creating animation, and there was the knowledge and wisdom that is inherently embedded in the local stories about community and environment. It was an enriching journey for all of us”.
International directors that have sent their films to inspire and inform festival participants include the Native American filmmakers Joseph Erb and Victor Masayesva, indigenous filmmakers Amanda Strong and Banchi Hanuse from Canada, Ezra Wube from Ethiopia, Jean Michel Kibushi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Pritt Tender from Estonia. From the Russian Arctic comes the film How Nyanchedo Myniku Taught Man to Fly by Mikhael Korobov and from Australia, the award-winning animated series The Dreaming, based on Australian Aboriginal storytelling.
Scottish animation film director Leslie Mackenzie will share insights about her lifelong work to adapt Gaelic folklore for animation in workshops with young people in Scotland. The experimental films by independent film makers Joan Ashworth, Emma Calder, Christopher Eales and Benjamin Fox from the UK extend the boundaries of the medium.
The Festival aims to attract scholars, artists and storytellers from across the region and to provide networking opportunities for film-makers and students from the NE states with the media community in the rest of the country.
In the opening on March 1 from 12 noon to 1 p.m Meren Imchen’s award winning short film ‘Nokpokliba’ will be screened, which is the first animated film to be made from Nagaland.
The event will be free, however registration is required. For more information one can visit https://www.facebook.com/events/309755102969376
(Page News Service)