Music video Deewana, produced by Flirting Vision - an ad film production house based in Mumbai - has been selected for a special screening of the Best of SICAF (Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival), & #BANNER1 & # Asia's largest animation event.
Earlier this year, Deewana had won the prestigious Annecy award for Best Music Video of 2004. The Annecy awards, held in France, are considered the 'Oscars' of animation films. It was the first time the award has been won by India. What's more, this year there were over 1,400 entries from across the world, from which 263 were selected for the final screening.
What makes such recognition really special is because India is not really known for its creativity in animation, and much of its animation production is linked to foreign interests that are attracted by the region's inexpensive labour supplies.
However, at festivals like SICAF, there is an attempt to showcase works with a genuine Asian conscience. The use of indigenous Asian artistic styles and techniques such as paperfold in Japan, ink and wash in China, or shadow theatre in Indonesia have been explored in the past.
Taking this tradition forward, the Indian entry 'Deewana' employed a style inspired by classical Indian miniature paintings.
Benaifer Mallik, director of Flirting Vision, says: "It's a tremendous high for us when an idea, that has essentially Indian core values, wins international recognition. We were always keen to do a music video, despite being really busy with our TVC work. But we wanted to approach it differently from the usual fare that's shown on air."
"So, when Bageshree Vaze, a singer-cum-dancer from Canada approached us, we began exploring ways of blending Indian and Western elements which were reflected in her music," she explains.
Mallik's partner Rajiv Rajamani, surgeon-turned-film-maker, visualised the unique animation style that echoes Indian miniatures. "The film depicts a courtesan trying to keep her royal suitor at bay. We juxtaposed the exotic with the contemporary, using Canadian elements such as ice hockey and the Toronto skyline along with Indian court scenes and Bollywood gyrations in a colourful, rather kitschy mix," he says.
Srirang, Suhail and Mehul, the cell animators, were really enthusiastic about the idea and worked for almost 10 weeks meticulously detailing out the intricately painted backdrops and designs, which are a unique feature of Indian miniature paintings. Binod Pradhan, one of the country's leading cinematographers (of Devdas fame), shot the live dance sequences.
Flirting Vision ranks among the well regarded advertising film production houses based in Mumbai. In the last six years, the firm has produced over 100 TVCs. Its clients include Johnsons, Unilever, P&G, Cadburys, Heinz, Coca Cola, Goa tourism, Onida & Godrej to name a few.
The agency's recent film for Johnsons Baby Milk Soap, which depicts a mother bathing her child in milk, almost reverentially took an unabashedly Indian route. The film has been universally well received by the client across the world and also by Lowe, New York.
Flirting Vision is currently in the process of expanding its geographical presence beyond India and setting up an overseas base, based on the positive response to their work from
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