Young Designers 2011

Nanku aur Aji: People of the Forests of Central India
Animation Film Design | GDPD
Sekhar Mukherjee
NID-Tata grant, Ahmedabad
Central India
Cultural beliefs
Search for identity
Tribal tale
I wanted to make a short fictional film that would describe the past and current situation of a tribe in the forests of Central India. This film is an endeavor to discover stories from within our country. It is a humble attempt to make something for the child who spends his/her time playing violent videogames, watching reality shows and baseless soaps on TV.

In the age of the internet, fast money and fast-food, people keep searching for their identities and often head the wrong way. They donít have the time to preserve or look back at their own heritage and traditions. Amidst this urban chaos, in the forests of Central India, the Baiga Adivasis are still clinging on to their age-old traditions, fighting the tide of modernity, depleting forests, diseases and exploitation.

Short or feature length, animation or live action, every film contains a social message, which may be direct or discreet. In this 13-minute animated short, I have included some Baiga beliefs. The story revolves around a strong-headed grandmother. Other characters include innocent and illiterate daughters-in-law who dig well, drunks who laze around and tourists. The dried-up jungle in the film is a depiction of what is left of the jungles of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar after Sal Borer attacks. Research says it could be one of the effects of global warming.

While reaching out to an audience that responds well to digital media but has a minimal attention-span may be difficult, I do hope this film will create awareness about Baigatola that lies at the heart of India. This film may also be adapted to television and pitched as a mini-series. I thank every person who has helped me in this endeavour.
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