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Toonz films walk away with top awards at Kafi international fete news
Our Convergence Bureau
07 June 2003
Thiruvananthapuram: Toonz Animation India says four of its films have made a clean sweep of the top honours in the Student-Directed Category at the prestigious second Kalamazoo Animation Festival International (Kafi) held from 16-18 May 2003 at Kalamazoo, Southwest Michigan, USA.

Cute Bunny, written and directed by Manasa Rao and currently making waves in the animation world, won the gold at the fete. 123 Math Toon, written and directed by Akhilesh Anandh bagged the silver and The Flame Who Loved To Dance written and directed by Ujwal Nair picked up the bronze. Penguins To The Zoo written and directed by Arun V walked away with the honour''s award.

Toonz had entered six films at the festival in the Student-Director Category. All the films were the outcome of the Childrenz Animation Workshop 2002, organised by Toonz during the summer vacation of 2002.

Gold award winner Cute Bunny was selected as the Best Animated Film by Children by Latvian International Animated Film Festival Bimni 2003 earlier during the year. It has been produced using Claymation technique. The film is a funny story showing how a banana peel tries to make a bunny slip. Simultaneously, it is also a public interest message against littering. Rao, writer-director of the film, is a 13-year-old native of Hyderabad.

"We''re thrilled that four of our films have walked away with the top honours at this prestigious event. We''re very proud of these talented young filmmakers. They brought their fresh ideas to our artists and together we produced these entertaining short films. I congratulate my entire team at Toonz Animation India," says Toonz CEO Bill Dennis, proud at Toonz'' sterling show at the festival.

Silver award winner 1-2-3 Math Toon is a film about a teacher who takes his student on an excursion to the Math land. It is the film''s writer-director Anand''s love for mathematics that inspired him to come up with the film.

The Flame Who Loved To Dance, the bronze award winner, is a beautiful story of how a flame loved to dance especially when the lights go out. The film''s writer-director Nair hails from Chennai and is also adept in Tanjavoor painting, a traditional South Indian school of painting.

Honour''s award winning film Penguins To The Zoo by writer-director V Arun, a class-IV student of St Mary''s School, Thiruvananthapuram, is based on the funniest story of the Children''s Animation Workshop. It''s a short film is about a man and his penguins in a city. A highly creative child, Arun was instrumental in the design and feel of his story from the beginning till the end.

Kafi 2003, regarded as the only one of its kind in the US Midwest, attracted more students and professional animators than it saw in the first festival last year. Student and professional animators from many nations including India, France, Germany, Bulgaria, the UK, Canada, Japan, China, and throughout the US participated in the fete.

After the Kafi 2003, the festival turn into a biennial event in 2005, sharing the every-other-year format with the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival that brings world-famous performers to downtown Kalamazoo for two weeks in May of even-numbered years.

Toonz Animation India is rated among the top 10 most progressive animation studios in the world. Opened in the fall of 1999, Toonz Animation occupies more than 10,000 square feet of space inside Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram. Toonz Animation is the most advanced studio to open in India since the country emerged as a potential player in the international animation industry.

With a staff of over 400 Indian and international artists, Toonz is the host of Week with the Masters. Toonz is also a publisher of comic books and comic strips. Toonz'' own television series, The Adventures of Tenali Raman, is all set to hit the TV screens and its series on Hanuman, Adventures of Hanuman, has moved to the post-production stage. Recently, Toonz improved its presence in Japan and Australia, setting up offices in Tokyo and Brisbane.


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Toonz films walk away with top awards at Kafi international fete