A whacky set of ‪#WomenMakingFilms‬ excelling in animation. Shilpa Ranade in today's feature

Director Shilpa Ranade, whose animation film “Goopi Gawaiyaa Bagha Bajaiyaa” is being screened at the 18th International Children’s Film Festival, India (ICFFI), says that one needs to go further than cute animation that has been a trend for long.

Produced by Children’s Film Society, India, Ranade’s movie features melancholic ghosts.
“We are used to cute and clean animation. We need to break out from that,” said the director, who was one of the panelists of open forum on animation in India: seeking original.

The director believes animation is a magical medium and animators should try something other than films based on mythology. http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/report-animation-should-be-beyond-cute-and-clean-shilpa-ranade-1920373

All the funding that I got to make my films came from the UK, mostly from channel 4. I then established my studio here. I also did a commercial for bodyshop. While at RCA I wrote a thesis on ‘Indigenous images and narratives for socially relevant animation’. Writing the thesis was tough and I made 2 films to support my thesis.

The first film was called The Harvest. It was based on Warli painting. I went to where these paintings are done. I interacted with the painters and it was amazing to see how contemporary the stories that these artists tell through their paintings are. The stories tackle even issues like gender politics.
The second film, Mani’s Dying, was from a 1960’s path breaking marathi novel called Kosala written by Dr Nemade. The novel which is very modern in its narrative moves back and forth in time, breaking linearity.

My film is based on an excerpt from the book.The story is about coming to terms with suffering and death. The take off point for the look of the film was the cave paintings at Ajanta. Ultimately the movie turned out to be a very personal film and I was very happy to do it, it was made without any preconceived notions of what animation was supposed to be.

The impact that this 7 minute film had on the western audience was immense. It was very strange for me to look at the audience moved to tears and reacting strongly – people found the palette very unlike what they had ever seen in their films before. They were struck by the vividness of the colors. The film went all across the world to many festivals and was nominated as best british student film. That’s another reason why I feel our work has great potential if we do it our way and do it with conviction.