Graphic Narrative Project in Gujarat

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Jacques-Rémy Girerd, one of the most renowned French animator and founder of Folimage Studios was in Ahmedabad recently at the National Institute of Design (NID) for the 2nd edition of the Graphic Narrative Project, an initiative of the Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad, organised in collaboration with the NID.

Mia and the Migou

Internationally acclaimed French animator and founder of Folimage Studios, Jacques-Rémy Girerd has given several hits such as Raining Cats and Frogs, Mia and the Migou, Charlie’s Christmas and My Little Planet. Raining Cats and Frogs was one of the biggest hit with one million of spectators in France. The numbers related to this film are simply amazing: 6 years of production, 200 artists and technicians, 1500 GB of digital files, 38 000 crayons, 850 000 hours of work, 900 000 hand-drawing! Girerd is also a novelist and has given us Cœur de trèfle (Gallimard, 2004) and Preuves d’amour et d’ailleurs (La maison blanche/Folimage, 2008)

The primary objective behind organising the Graphic Narrative Project at NID is to stimulate the activities and interactions pertaining to the graphic novel and animation movies in India. The NID as the premier institution of the country is expected to play a pivotal role on the Indian graphic scene. On his visit to India, Jacques-Rémy Girerd is amazed with the potential in the young talent of India. However, his first observation was the lack of ‘Indianness’ in the works of young to-be-animators. Most their works carried a strong influence from the West which was little coherent in the Indian context.

“Where is the use of Indian languages or Indian accents ?” “Where are the Indian motifs ?” “Where are the contemporary Indian situations ?” – These were the few questions raised during the feedback session when the students showed their classroom and graduation projects. Jacques-Rémy Girerd admired a great deal the quality of work and the originality of the subject and story. At the same time, he emphasised on mastering the form and proportion of human body which are the basics for any graphics or drawings. It is important to note here that most institutions in India don’t offer a live-sketching class, especially the nude live-sketching because of the social constraints in a conservative and orthodox environment.

Jacques-Rémy Girerd is currently working on Tante Hilda and showed extracts of both the animation and the animatics of this film in progress. He also showed the trailer of an upcoming Folimage production Phantom Boy by Alain Gagnol & Jean-Loup Felicioli who made the famous A Cat in Paris in 2010. Besides Jacques-Rémy Girerd, Pratheek Thomas of Manta Ray, Sekhar Mukherjee, Rajesh Thakare and Sudhir Mudgal participated in interactive sessions to mentor on different specialisations related to the field with the hope of a new, stronger and more expressive emerge of Indian Graphic Novels.

Raining Cats and Frogs

It is also important to question the readership of the graphic novels which is still not very popular in Indian markets however playful or expressive they are in their nature. “A graphic novel is visually more expressive, takes less time to read and, quite surprisingly, don’t even need reading skills as the images say everything. It can be the best way to initiate the kids to reading where the images express better the text” says Philippe Martin, the director of Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad.

Along with the screenings of Jacques-Rémy Girerd’s films, there were 4 exhibitions as part of this project which included “Constellation” sent by the Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l’Image (International Centre of Graphic Novel and Images – Angoulême) and 3 exhibitions by the Folimage Studio. The best part of this project was that it was open to all and thus, it grew more interactive in its nature and people from different background could come and appreciate these activities.

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...