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Asifa India celebrates International Animation Day 2023 and presents awards of excellence in Hyderabad

Asifa India, the renowned professional body recognised by Unesco and dedicated to the advancement of animation as an art form and a powerful communication tool, celebrated “International Animation Day ’23” in Hyderabad on 23 November and plans to celebrate it on 1 December ’23 in Bengaluru. Hyderabad’s grand event also marked the presentation of the Annual Awards of Excellence. Asifa (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation), founded in 1960 in Annecy, France, has grown to include representation from over 42 countries and has a global footprint in more than 70 countries.

Throughout the year, Asifa India engages in various activities such as workshops, seminars, case studies, film screenings, the popular monthly CGMeetup series, community activities, and educational events designed to support the Indian artist community.

Recently Asifa India organised its Awards of Excellence & Animation Day at HICC, Hyderabad with an exciting lineup of events in two parallel tracks. After the lamp lighting from dignitaries, the event started with an engaging panel discussion on “The Shaping the Future of Virtual Production” with panelists – Qube Cinema virtual production director Aarthi Videep, Annapurna Studios ANR Virtual Production Stage virtual production producer Swathi P.N., Media.Monks Sr.V.P Gayatri Sethi and Dancing Atoms Studio CEO and creative director Saraswathi Vani Balgam followed by a second panel on “Unreal Engine and the Future of Animation – Storytelling” with experts including Studio VSync founder Mehul Hirani, MetaVfx CEO Dorababu Achanta, WhatWhyHow Studio director Nikhil Chandra, DNEG Unreal technical director Harshit Penamata, Vault Productions founder & CEO Vaishnavi Palleda and Balgam. There was a fireside chat with renowned Bahubali film producer Shobu Yarlagadda with Balgam.

Post lunch session started with third panel of Women leaders who had a candid discussion by ILM executive incharge Kiran Prasad, Annapurna Studios chief executive officer Supriya Yarlagadda, Tau Films sr. producer Rochna Jalan and Balgam on the topic – “The Business of Content Creation: Women CEOs and Executives.” This discussion followed with another technology panel with SuperMicro EMEA MD & president and solutions & business development SVP, WW FAE Vik Malyala, US senior strategy consultant and Unreal Engine International ex. MD Quentin Staes-Polet, Viga Entertainment Tech CEO/co-founder Vivek Reddy and RFX Virtual Infrastructure USA CEO Prashant Buyyala on the topic “From Imagination to Reality: How Technology Empowers and Democratises Animation and VFX Filmmaking.”

Under the parallel track, there was a captivating presentation on the “Future of Global VFX in India” by ILM India CG supervisor Kabir Verma followed by a deep dive into the “Grandeur of Indian Mythology” with Charuvi Design Labs founder/director Charuvi Agrawal. Audiences were further taken to a journey through Indian stories by Vanarsena Studios & School senapati Vivek Ram. Fifth panel was on a very exciting and engaging topic “How to Bridge the Gap Between Academia and Studios” with speakers including IIT Hyderabad DOD Dr. Prasad S. Onkar, NID-AP’s Saurav Sharma, Aptech’s Bhavika Chouhan, Ram, Verma, Hirani, Creative Multimedia’s Raja Sekhar Buggaveeti, and moderated by Siva Kumar Kasetty.

The prestigious Asifa India Awards of Excellence 2023 were presented to five students and five professionals from across India.

Asifa India president Sanjay Khimesara, along with Hyderabad supporter Buggaveeti and a dedicated Core team of Vinod R, Kasetty, Rama Krishna Polina, Priyanka Ajit, managed the event, which was attended by Asifa evangelists & co-ordinators from various cities across India.

The day’s highlights included screenings of the Best of Annecy 2023 and the Best of Animayo 2023, as well as a screening of Siggraph Asia 2022 – Computer Animation Festival (CAF) Travelling Show.

Asifa India’s sponsors included SuperMicro-AMD as Platinum Sponsors, Wacom India as Gold Sponsors, and other supporters such as Diffr, Women in Animation-India Collective, Arena Animation, Dancing Atoms, Creative Multimedia, MAAC, and several more.

Asifa India currently operates in 14 sub-chapters and is introducing Mohali as a new subchapter with plans for additional sub-chapters in the near future. Asifa India is a volunteer-driven organisation with top industry experts as professional members, and it supports colleges, institutes, and universities as institutional members.

On 1 Dec’23, Asifa India is organising International Animation Day at Yuvaka Sangh, Jayangar, Bengaluru with knowledge session from experts Gamitronics CEO Rajat Ojha, Framestore CG supervisor Prashant Nair, Folks VFX head of learning and development Jayanti Mahapatra, chief guest Tejaswi Surya, MP will talk about “Role of Creative Youngsters in Building India” and Kannada cinema director, lyricist Yograj Bhat will talk about requirement of VFX in Kannada Industry. Khimesara will talk about bringing creative professionals together through Asifa India. Bengaluru Asifa India coordinator Indira Gupta.

During April-October ’23 Asifa India, in collaboration with its dedicated team, organised the Awards of Excellence to honour outstanding artistic talent in the animation, visual effects, gaming field. For over two decades, Asifa India has been at the forefront of celebrating excellence in animation through its prestigious “Awards of Excellence” during International Animation Day. These awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional work submitted by both students and professionals who poured their passion and creativity into their animated projects. A distinguished panel of judges, including Cartoon Saloon, Australia production designer & art director Almu Redondo, Mahapatra, PhilmCGI India managing director Anand Bhanushali and Framestore London animation supervisor Binal Shah evaluated the submissions, resulting in 30 nominations and 10 outstanding winners in various categories. During Hyderabad Awards of Excellence, Asifa India honoured the winners in presence of industry experts. Asifa India presented winning trophies specially designed and carved in stone for the prestigious Awards of Excellence.

Student Winners:

  • Experimental Short: “How Are You?” by Deepak Kumar Singh
  • Best Stop Motion: “Ecocide” by Janardhan, Joy, Abhinav, Girish, and Navdeep
  • 3D Animation: “Kumartuli” by Tamoghna Sarkar
  • Best Editing: “Voice Note to My Mother” by Jashan Sehmi
  • Best Music Video: “Ahe Nila Saila” by Shruti Sudha Sahu

Professional Winners:

  • Best Animation Film: “Sri Aurobindo – A New Dawn” by Suresh Eriyat
  • Best Character Animation: “Munna Autowala” by Rudra Ghosh
  • Best Animation in a Series: “Party HQ Raghav & Honey Bunny Party Costume” by Niloy Kanti Biswas
  • Animation in a Feature: “The Canterville Ghost” by Arun S M
  • Best 2D Animation Short: Not selected

Asifa India also honoured its remarkable volunteers during IAD-Hyderabad, who have devoted more than  a decade in building a vibrant animation community across our great nation. These individuals have been the backbone of our organisation, the pillars upon which our dreams and visions have been built. Their unwavering commitment, hard work, and selfless dedication have made Asifa India a thriving community that fosters creativity, innovation, and a shared love for animation. They included Balgam, Sesha Prasad A.R., Khimesara, Polina, Buggaveeti, Vinod Kumar Ramakrishnan, Subhajit Sarkar and Buyyala.