An art studio for social issues

Artist Aarthi Parthasarathy works towards creating films and comic strips that engages, educate and informs people

Published: 14th March 2018 11:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2018 06:19 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The filmmaker and web comic artist is the brain behind the web comic series, Royal Existentials. She co-founded it with Chaitanya Krishnan, illustrator and animator who does the layout and additional art.

The comic series uses vintage art and imagery to tell stories of historical and contemporary angst. The film was released under Falana Films, founded by the two friends as a studio space for filmmakers and animators. It was set up with the objective of creating a space where people can dedicatedly practice their respective art forms. Here’s an excerpt of the conversation we had with the artist.

Tell us about Falana films
The studio has become very utilitarian, in terms of making a living. There’s a lot of emphasis on the commercial aspect. We wanted a space, where we would explore and interact with other disciplines and evolve, learn and grow. We have 3D modelers, a 3D printer, people who do different things in the studio such as singers, musicians.

What made you set up the studio? And when did you set it up?
Before setting up, I worked in advertising for a couple of years as an assistant director and Chaitanya was working as an illustrator cum designer. We both felt that we needed to create a different kind of creative space. We set up a place around three years ago but found a proper studio space in Kamanahali only two years ago.

We also created a team two years ago.
What made you choose topics like waste segregation in Bengaluru, gender equality?
After setting up the studio we wanted to work with individuals, organisations and themes related to social change, we had the option of taking up corporate projects, but refused. Essentially we were trying to work on projects that meant something, both to the larger community and us. We generally like to work on themes which we feel passionate about and try and support individuals and communities that are doing good work.

Have got any critical feedback for your work?
Royal Existential as a comic is very niche; I took a lot of care to write it. I didn’t get very critical feedback on it, other than my parents who would complain about me using complicated words. With our other work like the Chhattisgarh coal mining issue, we were called anti-nationasl a lot. It is critical but we took at as a positive feedback.

Who were these people who called you anti-nationals?
Facebook commenters. As filmmakers you are trying to elicit some reaction, some filmmakers feel whether positive or negative, as long as you get a reaction you’re doing a good job. In that way it is good.

Tell us about your video on the Bengaluru Pride March?
We did an animated video of pride, which is a brief history of the LGBTQI community. It was work that was made on the occasion of 10 years of the Pride Marches in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. We felt that often there’s this attitude of non-participation that creeps in slowly, where people are like - we understand the issue but why should we go? This work was to address that. Also people don’t understand the graph of history that brings these issues to a certain point and to show the significance of events that have occurred within a community. We just wanted to create something that could be engaging, that could inform and educate. That video worked quite well.

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