Anifest India 2011 is here!

The Animation Society of India, TASI’s annual animation festival “Anifest India” is the original ‘animation festival’ to have started in India. This year’s edition will take place from 25th to 27th August at the Fine Arts Society Auditorium in Chembur, Mumbai and excited animation enthusiasts from across the country will be congregating there in large numbers to celebrate TASI’s 10th birthday during the fest.

“Anifest India” was started in 2005. It was just an evening affair and had a turnout of 220+ people from all over the country. It was an exhausting experience for the folks at TASI since it was a first for most of them. Organising something at that scale with limited resources was a huge task. Apparently, the entire budget for the event that year was less than 1.5Lakhs, which included the rent for the place – Ramada Palm Grove in Mumbai, food, refreshments for all the attendees and all other event related expenses. The TASI team comprising of Ram Mohan, Kireet, Ranjit (Tony), Yogi, Mohenish, Vaibhav, Anil Chopra and Sanjeev Waeerkar, still managed to pull it off as a grand success! The event was co-hosted by Asifa India, so Bill Dennis, Vani and Shrirang also took on huge responsibilities. There was a team from Animation Xpress (which was still in its infancy) that helped with the arrangements as well. So it was truly a collaborative beginning.

The last edition held in Mumbai in August 2010 was a superhit with three full days of interactive sessions, record entries in the film festival, record daily and overall attendance, and an all-time high in terms of national presence.

This success is a direct result of TASI’s year round efforts at promotion and engagement. In the last two years, they have ventured outside Mumbai to hold substantial monthly events, and created an enthusiastic awareness across cities like Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Goa and Delhi.

The highlight of any TASI event is their selection of topics and speakers. Extended session durations permit in-depth coverage and TASI’s famously lively open-mic Q&As. The keynote presenter at Anifest India 2010 was a French student filmmaker named Bastien Dubois. He subsequently rose to international fame with an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short Film for his film “Madagascar – A Journey Diary”, which he screened at Anifest India 2010.

That’s not all. There is no “class-distinction” at Anifest India, or for that matter, any TASI event. Students, professionals, stars, studio heads, international artists and animators, teachers, fans, all mix and mingle, talking, learning, sharing, eating and enjoying the festival. A lion’s share of the event management on those 3 days is handled by volunteers – young students & professionals who want to create a successful event for the community. This kind of bonding and camaraderie is rarely seen in the bigger, formal industry events like FICCI Frames and NASSCOM’s events. At Anifest India, everyone is equally entitled to learn, enjoy and share their viewpoints.

The popularity of Anifest India is evident in the increasing participation at the event year on year. Outstation participation rose from 40% in 2009 to 60% in 2010, enhancing the national status of the event. It was a stunning sight to see busloads of participants descending straight from all over India to be a part of the event.

This year too Anifest India promises to be an exciting experience. So mark your calendars and take the time out to come, be part of this special, 3-day event that is truly “For the Animators – By the Animators”.

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