Kerala-based animator’s short film wins award at Fantasia International Film Festival

Adithi Krishnadas’ Malayalam short ‘Kandittund’ won the Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation

Adithi Krishnadas was intrigued when Suresh Eriyat, her boss and founder of Eeksaurus Studio, told her about his father, who claims to have spotted various supernatural beings. These snippets of anecdotes, which Suresh had recorded, were sort of similar to Spirited Away, one of the most acclaimed works of Adithi’s favourite animator Hayao Miyazaki.

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When she put the recordings together, she saw the possibility of a film.

She worked on the idea for about one and a half years and came up with Kandittund (‘Seen It’ in Malayalam). The 12-minute short won the Satoshi Kon Award For Excellence in Animation at Fantasia International Film Festival (FIFF) Awards 2021. Founded in 1996 in Canada, FIFF is known for highlighting genre films. The last two editions of the fest, due to the pandemic, were online.

Filmmaker and animator Kalp Sanghvi, the jury member who announced the award, said, “This film instantly stuck to me in terms of its graphic style. Lovely visuals and brilliant portrayal of the haunting experiences of a father with the use of humour.”

The animation is black-and-white and appears hand-drawn using charcoal. It helps create an eerie-yet-fantastical world filled with an assortment of supernatural beings. The film, produced by Nilima Eriyat, had Oscar-winner Resul Pookutty along with Vijaykumar working on its sound design.

Adithi, who is from Kochi, has wanted to be an animator since sixth grade. She graduated from the National Institute of Design in 2019 before joining Eeksaurus, where she is a 2D animator and also oversees 3D animation projects. “Kandittund was a passion project for me and Eeksaurus. I worked on it alongside other commercial assignments,” she says.

She is happy about the validation for her first major project, and is looking forward to working on more ideas. One of them is to make an animated series. “The ones we have today look formulaic. I want to make something that gives you a feeling of having read a book,” she says, “Starting small gives you more freedom to try out different things.”

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