India, 1991, 11 min
Director: B. Narsing Rao
One of the earliest filmic attempts to artfully capture the rocks and rock-formations of the Deccan Plateau, Akruti brings to the fore the significance of the world of rocks to human beings and the mesmerism of their myriad forms and formations.
The musical genius of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia lends a rare and mystical fillip to this languorous, artful journey. Akruti also makes a subtle end-statement on how man has now recklessly begun to destroy the rocks.
Special Jury Award, National Film festival, India, 1991
Silver Nandi, Government of Andhra Pradesh, India, 1991
Hindi, India, 2010, 5 min
Directors: Paritosh Bhole & Deep Panjwani
Johnny is an obsessive young guy who wants to be a great director. “Johnny drinks, eats and thinks movies. Let us hope that he becomes a great director like Steven Spielberg, Scorsese or Kubrick!” Has he lost touch with reality?
Rajiv Masand : “Excellent film, very cleverly done. It bangs on the charm and novelty of the character who brought out it very well. Very cheeky & brave film. It’s always good to see a film that pokes fun at itself!”
- Winner, GET SHORTY competition organised by Zee Studio
- Official entry of Zee Studio to Cannes Film Festival
English, USA, 2008, 23min
Director: Jay Rosenblatt
It has been two-and-a half years since Ella said she wanted to be a filmmaker. Now she is turning 4, and her filmmaker dad has given her a video camera for her birthday. Beginning Filmmaking takes us through one year of trying to teach a preschooler how to make a film. Ella rises to the challenge, but on her own terms. We experience the joys and frustrations both of being a parent and of being a child, and find that you do have to be careful what you wish for.
JAY ROSENBLATT has been making films for over 20 years. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim and a Rockefeller Fellowship. His films have received many awards and have screened throughout the world.
The EMPA Work Life Award, Ann Arbor Film Festival
MY DEAR GAY TEACHER
English, India, 2011, 46 min
Director : Saraswati Kavula (Hyderabad)
My Dear Gay Teacher is my attempt to explore the personality behind the Persona called Hoshang Merchant. What lies beneath the exterior and what has been the influences that make Hoshang. A person who is loved, hated, loathed or cared, he brings out different reactions from different People. More well known as the First Declared Gay of Hyderabad, is his continuance in Public Life as a poet and a professor in one of the country’s best universities, HCU, a reflection on acceptability of homosexuality in this hitherto conservative society? More than that, to me, Hoshang’s life is worth a multitude of films, and I have only managed to make just one, and perhaps, just managed to capture a few aspects of his life. Does this write up, say that my film was partial towards my subject and not rested objective? May be so, but I do hope with this film, I manage to say, “that all is not what it seems to be, and that each of us is a result of our life’s experiences”.
Animation 2010 – shorts
- ALL CREATIVE WORK IS DERIVATIVE, USA, 2010, 3min
Director: Nina Paley, Composer: Todd Michaelsen
The history of human culture evolves through copying, making tiny transformations with each replication. Copying is the engine of cultural progress. It is not “stealing.” It is, in fact, quite beautiful, and leads to a cultural diversity that inspires awe. One person’s “influence” is another’s “infringement.” A time-traveling lawyer could find all kinds of infringements at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example. Greeks, Egyptians and South Asians influenced each other heavily; was this “borrowing,” “stealing” or “copyright infringement?”
With that in mind, filmmaker/animator Nina Paley embarked on a journey through the Met Museum in search of clear examples of visual language evolution. In two visits to the museum, she focused on the Greek/Roman, Asian (South, South East and Central), Medieval European, Egyptian, Oceanic and North and Latin American galleries, taking a total of 914 photos.
Paley then carefully examined and adjusted almost every photo, sorting them into categories of different kinds of poses and making further adjustments and embellishments through Flash and Photoshop software programs. She ended up using 112 photos and animated them at three frames per image, eight images per second.
- THE STORK , USA, 2002, 3min
Director: Nina Paley
Biologists estimate 20,000 to 40,000 species go extinct every year, many times higher than the expected rate built into the evolutionary process. The cause? Human environmental impact, the product of consumption times population. Many environmentalists focus on our excessive consumption, but discussing the latter factor in the equation—population—has fallen out of vogue. Most scientists agree that the Earth cannot sustain even the six billion humans already here, but pro-growth ideology, cultural elevation of childbearing, and social and political marginalization of non-parents sometimes make stating the obvious taboo. Thus, some of non-procreation’s most outspoken advocates turn instead to humor, performance art and a willingness to not be taken seriously.
The predicament of overpopulation and over-consumption is encapsulated in the animated film The Stork. Grieg’s Morning (Pier Gynt) plays over a classically animated stork carrying a bundle in its bill. As it sails over a peaceful, natural setting of trees, rivers and wildlife, another stork appears, then another and another. The formation of storks drops a bundle on the unsuspecting landscape: It explodes like a bomb, leaving not a crater, but a tract home and an SUV. More storks assemble into warplane formations, dropping bundles that turn forests into cookie-cutter housing developments. We pull out to a growing flock of storks from above, over a satellite image of a sprawling city. From outer space the Earth grows redder and hotter, until a final explosion reduces the planet to a cute, smiling baby head.
EarthVision Environmental Film Festival: First Prize
- THE BALLAD OF JOHN HENRY UNICORN, USA, 2009, 6 min
Director/Composer: Jim Lujan
Cult cartoon about a cartoon cult. The Ballad of John Henry Unicorn is the fictional tale of a charismatic American Southern cult leader and his fanatical followers. The Reverend John Henry Unicorn is the founder and leader of the Unicornian Church. Money, power and ego all play a part in Unicorn’s rise and eventually lead to his fall in Jim Lujan’s mini-epic cartoon.
- UNNATURAL HISTORY OF WALL STREET ,USA, 2008, 1 min
Director: Gary Leib
Unnatural History of Wall Street is an animated financial history of New York City, one of a series of short animations created for The New York Times called Concrete Jumble. These minute-long cartoons highlight different neighborhoods and aspects of life in New York. Others in the series have been History of the Meatpacking District, Second Ave and King Xmas.
Design and animation for Unnatural History of Wall Street started in the summer of 2008, as the US stock market was on a rapid decline. The piece was completed in early fall, and appeared on The New York Times website on October 5, 2008. The next day, the market dropped 370 points. The day after that, the market plunged 508 points and two days later the Dow was down 867 points more. Release of Leib’s cartoon history of finance coincided with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing over 21 percent of its value in four days.
Awards: ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film D’Animation) East Excellence in Design Award