Gitanjali Rao’s ‘True Love Story’ wins hearts at Anifest India 2014

AniFest’s third session started with the screening of MIFF’s- Golden Conch Best Animation Award winner Gitanjali Rao’s movie: True Love Story.

This 18 minutes film is a coming-of-age romantic, set in the streets of Mumbai, where a flower-seller (Salim) falls in love with a bar dancer(Kamala), that too in Bollywood-fantasy style.

“From 2008-2009 we were working on Girgit which was supposed to be a feature film, but due to budget constraints we couldn’t move ahead, but our characters were already designed that is Salim and Kamala , that’s when we decided to use these two actors for True Love Story,” says she.

Gitanjali has independently produced, directed and animated two award winning short films, Orange and Printed Rainbow. But this would have not been possible without her team which includes – Rupali, the production designer, Sangeeta (animator), Satish (sound designer) and her mother Anjana Rao.

With 25 international awards already in her bag, Gitanjali reveals to the audience, the secret behind her success.  “I am not an organised person when it comes to work. I write scripts and make storyboards. If you are an animation person then visualising is very important.  If you are making films for Indian audience the background of the story should look real, each character should have a background,” expounds Gitanjali.

Gitanjali and her team feel that if the movie would have been a live action they would have not got the same response. Post the screening the auditorium echoed with loud cheers and applause and when one of the members very innocently asked why did she kill off the hero she reasons, “If it’s not a tragedy it’s not a love story.”

Animators’ direct movie on the basis of scripts, but this lady is unique. She believes in building the story through equal weightage for images and sound. “I like to play around with the look. I like using and mixing sound with visuals and without dialogues. Puppet animation was new for me, I just love the organic feel of brushes when I hold it and paint it. I want my movies to look like live action characters and not animated ones,” Gitanjali exults.

Now we know why this movie took more than a year as it involves no photographs or rotoscopy. The movie is the result of pure sketches portrayed through animation.

“My motto was to connect with the emotions of the audience. Love should come out from every frame of the film, and I guess I have succeeded in achieving it.” ends Gitanjali.