Along with numerous engaging sessions and competitions, GAFX 2022 witnessed the announcement of yet another animated feature film in Sanskrit! Titled as Tat-tvam-asi (Thou Art That), the film has been conceived by Ravishankar Venkataswaran, the writer and director of the first Sanskrit animated feature film, Punyakoti. He will be collaborating with Ashish Kulkarni, an industry pioneer in the animation industry for this project.
The team is likely to bring together top-notch talent from across India into Tat-Tvam-Asi. The 90-minute 2D animated film is going to be about the self-discovery of a small girl who loses her memory in an accident.
Sharing details about this collaboration, Venkataswaran told in an exclusive interview with AnimationXpress, “Ashish and I were having a dinner conversation. He knew my interest in Vedanta and asked me if I could conceive a story that took this philosophy to children. This was so close to my heart and I narrated an idea then and there. Ashish liked the idea. And that is how this concept came about. I am excited at the possibility of this movie as this would be a challenging project.”
Punnaryug Artvision founder and FICCI chairman of AVGC Forum Ashish Kulkarni commented, “I have always encouraged all the artists from all kinds of art forms. Once Ravishankar called me and said that when he did Punyakoti, it was a very difficult process. It was only the passion and collective creative instinct that drives the project. Although he wanted to do another project but was looking at another language. I understood his difficulty and decided to go to Bengaluru to meet him and explain how important it is to continue to tell Indian stories with the same beautiful visuals and narrative. Sanskrit is a mother of all languages, so I insisted that he sticks to creation in animation and Sanskrit language. It’s a unique combination. At the same time, Sanskrit is also a growing language. Ravi was half-convinced, but then the conversation went on and I said if he can do a great Vedant philosophical treatment while keeping the story simple for kids to understand. I told him that I will team up with him to create not only his second film but do a series of projects with him as I really liked his story + creative sense as well as aesthetics. The idea still took a few months to brew into a firm project called ‘Tat-Tvam-Asi’. All creations take time. Now the Indian animation moment is moving in the right direction. We are really happy that we began on this great concept with perfect timing. “
Venkataswaran’s first animated Sanskrit film, Punyakoti, was India’s largest crowdfunded movie and was the first of its kind which has won over 20 national and international awards. He has also won kudos for his innovative movie-production process where he assembled and executed the movie online. Punyakoti was on Netflix until March and is currently streaming online on BookMyShow Stream. Venkataswaran is an IT/ITES sector employee and is the only Sanskrit animated filmmaker in the world!