Bunnyhood: Mansi Maheshwari's Animated Masterpiece Premieres at Cannes

Meerut-born Mansi Maheshwari, representing the UK, is in contention for a La Cinef prize at Cannes with her animated film 'Bunnyhood.' The film, a horror comedy, explores the transition from childhood to adulthood and premiered amidst much anticipation. Maheshwari is an NFTS graduate and aims to blend fashion and animation.

PTI | Cannes | Updated: 23-05-2024 18:24 IST | Created: 23-05-2024 18:24 IST
Bunnyhood: Mansi Maheshwari's Animated Masterpiece Premieres at Cannes
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Meerut-born Mansi Maheshwari, representing the United Kingdom as a graduate of the National Film and Television School (NFTS), is in contention for a La Cinef prize at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

Maheshwari's ''Bunnyhood'', a nine-minute-long animated film, premiered here on Thursday, a day on which all eyes were on the world premiere of Payal Kapadia's highly anticipated ''All We Imagine As Light'', the first Indian title in Cannes Competition in 30 years. ''Bunnyhood'' is, in the filmmaker's words, ''a horror comedy in which I tell a coming-of-age story about me and my mother''. She says: "The title refers to the stage of transition that separates childhood and adulthood. The film seeks to understand why people feel the need to lie." ''Bunnyhood'' is the 25-year-old's graduation film. Maheshwari passed out of NFTS this year after completing a course in Directing Animation. Prior to enrolling in NFTS, Maheshwari was a Knitwear Design student at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi. During the course, she sharpened her artistic streak and took to making animated short films.

"I designed a fashion collection based on the animation that I did," she says, adding that she hopes to continue to combine fashion and animation in the future.

"In 'Bunnyhood', I used cel animation, the oldest form of animation, and butter paper and frosted acetate," says Maheshwari, "to give the film a vintage look and feel. That is why it has limited colours." Growing up, Maheshwari was a voracious consumer of cartoon films. She recalls: "My elder brother would say to me: how will you ever grow up if you only watch cartoons?" "My father is a businessman in Meerut," says Maheshwari. "I am the first artist in the family. Although my parents had some reservations initially about my choice of career, they have been incredibly supportive." "I think in drawings," she says to explain why she will continue making animated films. "My next short film will blend animation and live action." Maheshwari hopes to set up an animation studio in Goa, where, she says, "there is a thriving community of artists".

La Cinef was created by the Cannes Film Festival in 1998 with the aim of spotting and promoting the next generation of international filmmakers. Every year, the section selects between 15 and 20 short and medium-length films made by film school students from across the word.

With the selection this year of Chidananda S. Naik's ''Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know…'', India has completed a La Cinef hattrick.

In 2022, Whistling Woods International's Pratham Khurana was in La Cinef with ''Nauha'', while the Film and Television Institute of India's Yudhajit Basu's ''Nehemich'' made the cut in 2023.

In 2020, FTII's Ashmita Guha Neogi's ''CatDog'' won the La Cinef first prize.

The La Cinef 2024 awards are scheduled to be presented at a closing ceremony on Thursday evening.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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