Tigers are cuddly and lovable, suggests Annecy festival short
Spare Me (intro), a CGI short film by Morph Information Technologies of New Delhi, India, has been selected for the 2012 Annecy International Animation Film Festival on 4-9 June 2012. The story/press release, in Animation Xpress (Mumbai), 30 April 2012, reads:
Save the Tiger Spare Me short film by Morph Information Technologies Incorporating Gecko Academy of Digital Arts is selected at the 2012 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France. The story revolves around the tigers who are portrayed as emotional, sad, lovable animals appealing directly to the audiences. Pleading with humans to spare them and stop killing them for carpets and medicines. Such a majestic animal – humiliated and stripped of all dignity – should stir emotions in the hearts of the viewers and inspire them to take action and stop this unwanted slaughter of one of God’s beautiful creatures. The film employs a Monologue – like structure, presenting a series of interviews with tigers about their lives and homes.
Talking to Animationxpress.com about the idea, Taruna Ummatt, CEO, Morph Information Technologies Gecko Academy of Digital Arts, said that “Curiously enough, the idea came initially from the father of our Chief Creative Officer, Paresh Mehta. Senior Mehta is a retired wildlife photographer who has won five national awards, three of which were in succession to each other.”
The extinction of entire species of animals is unfortunately a truism. To potray this on the bases of ethics and social responsibility, Morph Information Technologies picked up save the tigers issue. They have made three short films on this topic.
“Since the selection committee for Annecy is drawn from various cultural backgrounds this selection is a substance vote of confidence in us as an animation studio, by the international animation community. Secondly since we are the sole selection from production studios in India among 2374 entries from 84 countries, it is a great image builder for our country’s animation industry in general. As professionals, the benefit gained from being critiqued by the leading lights from our line of work is invaluable, since it helps us to understand our craft better, and to continually raise our game.” said Taruna.
The film has used 3D animation which is a very effective tool for widening audience bases for this issue for two reasons. Firstly it is a usually very appealing medium. Secondly, being culture-agnostic, it helps to communicate with audiences which may otherwise be resistant.
When asked about challenging part in the file Taruna shared, “The lack of any government support and funding issues certainly played a part in affecting Morph’s blood pressure, metaphorically speaking, but these hurdles were cleared using internal resources alone.”
It took ten artists of various specializations, a month to complete this short film. Gecko has also won 2 Assocham EME Awards for Excellence in Media and Entertainment for two consecutive years 2011 and 2012.
I support saving the tigers (there are more in zoos today than in the wild, and tiger poaching is a major problem throughout Southeast Asia), and I am more in favor of computer generated imagery (CGI) animation than a lot of animation purists seem to be, judging by the current reviews for Aardman Animations’ stop-motion feature The Pirates! (Band of Misfits!) which dismiss CGI as cold and impersonal.
But there seems to be something WRONG with presenting real tigers as cute and lovable, “humiliated and stripped of all dignity”, to promote their protection from hunters. For all their "majesty" and rarity, tigers kill people. Period. Tiger preservation should acknowledge this and work with it, not try to sugarcoat it.