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Interview : Nishith Takia

''DELHI SAFARI is first of its kind 3D stereoscopic animation film of India''

Krayon Pictures, a 3D animation studio in Pune, set up to create original stories for the global market, is ready with its first project DELHI SAFARI - a 3D stereoscopic animation film directed by Nikhil Advani. The film that took around four years to complete is finally up for release, having done rounds of some prestigious film festivals like Annecy Film Festival 2012 in France, FICCI FRAMES, American Film Market (AFM), Cannes etc.

Recently, we caught up with the Director & Co-founder of Krayon Pictures, Nishith Takia, who spoke at length about the film, the reasons behind the delayed release, the animation market in India and much more. Here are the excerpts:


DELHI SAFARI was in the making for last four years. Why it took long to decide upon its release?
Yes, we are now ready to release the film. Making an animated film is a long drawn procedure. We set up with this film. So we had two things to concentrate upon; the film and the operations of the studio.

Since DELHI SAFARI is first of its kind Indian 3D stereoscopic animation film, technically it was a tedious task. Since our film is going to be released worldwide, we have also worked on the English version of the film, which took quite some time. The project started around four years back. The last one-year we have been strategically showcasing the film in various festivals and business markets worldwide. We have closed various territories world wide and also talking to a lot of other countries as a result of this global marketing initiative. We have a very reputed sales agent in LA, USA who has been an integral part of our film marketing effort.

Since the film was in the making for long time, do you think it will lose its relevance?
I don't think so. DELHI SAFARI has a very global story, and its a very relevant and a topical film. The film talks about deforestation and saving the animal life which very well has got relevance to the present day. I believe that audience would very easily connect with the storyline and the relevance of the film

Why DELHI SAFARI is being touted first of its kind or why it has an edge over other animation films?

"DELHI SAFARI has a very global story"

There are a couple of things unique about DELHI SAFARI. This is the first time we will see a 3D stereoscopic animation film made completely out of India. It is not a typical mythological film, unlike a lot that have been released. Technically, it is a very high end stereoscopic 3D film. The film has a typical Bollywood story telling with voices by stars like Govinda, Akshaye Khanna, Boman Irani, Urmila Matondkar and Suniel Shetty.. We have music in the film by noted music director, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

The English version of the film features voices by well-known names like Jason Alexander, Brad Garret, Vanessa Williams, Jane Lynch, Christopher Lloyd and Cary Elwiss.

The film has been screened at the coveted festivals like Cannes, Annecy film festival (which happens to be Oscar of animation industry), American film festival, Goa film festival, etc. Around 180-200 films are sent for screening at Annecy film festival and some 8-10 films are selected. DELHI SAFARI was one among them. It was chosen for the 'official selection' section at the Annecy Film Festival 2012 in France, which I think is a big feat.

How has been the response all over?
We have screened the film to viewers across the globe and have received very encouraging response. It resonates with the emotion of the people, and the storytelling works. The audience seems to be connecting with the characters of the film very well. Besides the film being showcased at various film fests to gauge the response of people we have done various test screenings for different age group of people - from kids and their parents to mid 20-30s.

view more DELHI SAFARI videos

What is your take on animation films in India? Do animation films have a market in India?

Culturally, people in India are not inclined to watch animation films. They are more inclined to live action films. Animation is not very matured market in India, as of today. Popular films like MADAGASCAR, SHREK, ICE AGE etc are doing business in millions of dollars worldwide, but the numbers are much smaller in comparison in India. But the trend is growing and it is very encouraging to see that.

Why DELHI SAFARI has global appeal or what makes it globally appealing
The characters in DELHI SAFARI are very generic. And the story telling is very global. Animated films have the good fortune of having characters that easily transcend cultures and boundaries. Most of these animated characters can travel anywhere, they can cross boundaries and culture, so the connect with the audience becomes easy. DELHI SAFARI also has an English dub which makes it more accessible to the global audience. We would have multiple language releases worldwide making it more regional and acceptable.

What was the idea to have 3D stereoscopic film?
I think our film had the potential to exploit the new technology of stereoscopy. Lots of animated films are already in 3D and audiences are quite used to watching it. So, we decided to give the audience a similar engaging viewing experience.

"The faith of people in animation films will increase after DELHI SAFARI"

What was the need to have known faces for mere voiceovers?
Stars like Govinda, Akshaye Khanna, Boman Irani, Urmila or the well-known Hollywood stars are easily recognized and that gives a strong audience connect to the film. It also helps in marketing of the film. In an animated film, the actors have to act without the cameras on. And our actors have done a tremendous job of emoting the characters through their performances.

Can you tell us about the budgets of the film?
I would rather not disclose it. I can say it's a decent budget film and we have spared no expenses in the making of the film.

Can you tell us about the plans sketched out for promotions?
We do have some interesting plans to promote the film. We shall take the film to schools, malls conduct various audience contact programmes. We shall soon start the promotion and would be happy to discuss them when the plans are put to action.

Tell us about the challenges faced while making DELHI SAFARI?
We spent lot of time in writing the film, making it interesting not only to the children but also to the parents. It's hard to write an animated film. Also since our studio began with the film, we had to build a pipeline from scratch to produce the film, which was also a task by itself. It has been challenging but a very enjoyable and a fun journey.

Do you think DELHI SAFARI will break the pre-conceived notion about animation films in India? It will improve the status of animation films?
DELHI SAFARI has a look and story telling that is certainly first of its kind out of an Indian animation studio. We are optimistic and hoping it succeeds. Nikhil Advani has worked hard on this film and so has the whole team at Krayon. All I can say is the faith of people in animation films will increase after this from the responses that we have seen in all the places where the film has been screened. If any animation film does well, the faith, trust and the stake of the industry in this space will only increase.

It was a great journey making this film. With nice songs, a good story, a completely relevant subject DELHI SAFARI has all the ingredients of an entertaining fun adventure film.

-- By Rachana Sheth, Bollywood Trade Editorial

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