BENGALURU: India’s first Sanskrit animated film Punyakoti directed by Bengaluru-based HR consultant Ravi Shanker will be releasing by the end of July. Currently on the post production stage, the 90-minute film is based on a popular folk song from South India. Thirty five animators from across the world are working on the movie with an aim to revive the ancient language, especially among the younger generation. The movie depicts the man-animal conflict which tries to also give out a message to people to live in harmony with nature. The film will be screened at film festival followed by its release on digital channels, theatre and then, television.
The film has many celebrated artists such as Roger Narayan (Hollywood and Indian actor) as the lead, Manoj Kannoth (National Award winning editor), Revathy (National Award Winning actor and film director) as the voice over. Dr SR Leela, a post-graduate in Kannada and lecturer in NMKRV College, is the Sanskrit Advisor for the film. “She has a very deep knowledge of Sanskrit. She is the author of 15 books in English, Kannada and Sanskrit,” he says.
Ravi who works for Infosys claims it to be the largest crowd funded movie in India. The film has raised more than 40 lakh on the crowdfunding platform wishberry. “The total estimated cost of the movie is around `4 to 5 crores. More than 300 people have also pitched in offline and most of them are colleagues, family and friends. The artistes who are working on this film are offering their services either free of cost or at a discount,” he says.
He is adamant to produce the movie globally. “Children are so fond of animated movies and cartoons and they can pick up any language with such ease at young age. So, I want the film to attract the younger generation. In India, we have such a beautiful language that did not undergo any change for more than four thousand hundred years and still the people are willing to forget it. So, this film is an attempt to make the language familiar again,” he says. The movie, produced by Puppetica Media, will have subtitles in English and Ravi is planning to release the film with subtitles in other languages as well to target global audience.
The idea for the film struck him when he saw people in a village Karunadu building a bridge along the banks of river Kaveri in 2014. “They wanted to expand their habitat and destroy all the plants and animals,” he says. He then approached Mohan Das Pai, with the idea for a film, who was the then the CFO (Chief Financial and Operating Officer) at Infosys. He suggested him to do crowd funding and the film collected more than its target of `4 lakh on the online platform.Ravi says, “Making a movie is a very costly affair. We need lot of fund for the promotion of the movie in Sanskrit for it reach the global audience but I am committed towards this goal,” he says.