Annecy Projects ‘Hide & Seek,’ ‘Rising Tides’ Find Producers

India‘s Handmade Films has boarded two Indian shorts pitching at Annecy, “Hide & Seek” and “Rising Tides,” as producer. In addition, France’s NoJo Studio Animation will also serve as a producer on “Hide & Seek.”

Both films are at the Annecy Animation Festival‘s MIFA Pitch and the Namaste MIFA initiative that focuses on India.

“Rising Tides” is directed by Pari Satarkar and produced by India’s Studio Mikudi and Satarkar. In the film, when a marine researcher strains her friendship with a young fisherman’s daughter over industrial fishing, she realizes she needs to change her own perspective to share the beauty and value of the marine world.

“I firmly believe that the protection of our planet must not happen in isolation and should be everyone’s business. The engineers, the businesses, the architects, the lawyers, the artists, the children — all have a role to play in bringing change, and one must be empowered with the knowledge to do so. I believe that a versatile and boundless medium like animation is a great opportunity to increase the accessibility of research, allowing crucial information to bleed out of scientific reports and articles into something creative and engaging,” Satarkar told Variety.

“Hide & Seek” is directed by Krishna Chandran Nair. In the film, in the wake of a tragic accident during a game of hide and seek, a guilt-stricken 10-year-old boy is pursued by his guilt, embodied as the mystical mythological being Garuda, interweaving the realms of ancient ritual and childhood innocence.

“This short film delves into the impact of childhood fears on the adult psyche, capturing a transformative day in a young boy’s life through the lens of a haunting game of hide and seek. Beyond the personal narrative, ‘Hide & Seek’ explores subtle class distinctions in India, shedding light on the accompanying power dynamics. The universal themes of childhood fears, family dynamics, and the titular game converge against the backdrop of Kerala’s culture, offering a uniquely compelling narrative,” Nair told Variety.

The projects were part of the international MIFA Campus in India, organized by Annecy-backed Indian animation festival AniMela, at Mumbai earlier this year.

Handmade’s Sunil Doshi has previously served as a jury member at Annecy. In the past, Doshi has distributed the entire Studio Ghibli catalogue in India besides Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis,” Michel Ocelot’s “Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest” and Alê Abreu’s “The Boy and the World.” He has also adapted “The Jungle Book” alongside Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar during a stint at the Children’s Film Society, India.

“I was invited for the AniMela Pitch session organized with support of Annecy Film Festival in Mumbai and I was seduced by both these projects for its style, innovation and story telling of the subject which concerns all of humanity in a different way. In a way, my interest in animation films re-kindled hearing these wonderful pitches,” Doshi told Variety.

“The moment we saw Krishna Chandran Nair’s project for his short film ‘Hide & Seek’ we saw a really great potential and were positively enthusiastic,” added NoJo’s Noémie Flecher. “We love the character design, the colors, the traditional 2D animation… Working with Handmade films and Krishna has been really promising so far and we look forward to pursuit this adventure with their team.”

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