Published: 20th September 2017
This Bengaluru-based studio has gained attention for social causes by routing animation and film in one path
Aarthi Parthasarathy and Chaitanya Krishna, the brains behind Falana Films, talk about how they took Bengaluru by storm
Aarthi Parthasarathy, a student of film and Chaitanya Krishna, a student of animation, found each other at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. "Our sensibilities just fused like wine and cheese. Later, when we worked for a design company, we got so accustomed to each other's workflow that we knew we had to start something together," explains Aarthi. The two managed to merge animation and film direction so artfully, that they create something entirely new. Falana Films is their brainchild.
We use graphic elements like 3D and various storytelling elements to create stories that will capture people's imagination
Aarthi Parthasarathy, Co-Founder of Falana Films
"We have always been open to experimenting with our content," says Chaitanya. "With our self-initiated projects, we mix elements like 3D and various story-telling devices to create different types of products." As Falana took shape, their content ranged from film, animation, comics and illustration. The idea was to mix their specialisations of video and animation to create something unique every day.
Do they have a particular vision? "We don't work with specific goals!" they both chime in. "We like to keep it light and funny. When we sprinkle a bit of humour into the visuals or dialogues of an issue that is otherwise very serious, it draws people in and they are invested in what we are talking about." They are also the creators of the Royal Existentials, a series of cartoon strips that take a hilarious look at the 'futility of life'.
When we work with social issues, it is important to do the research first. We need to do enough groundwork so that what we write does not alienate people
Chaitanya Krishna, Co-Founder of Falana Films
The duo has worked closely with a number of social causes and organisations. They are the brains behind the Delhi-based NGO, Breakthrough's animation projects highlighting gender and sex issues, Daily Dump's project on waste segregation and most recently, they worked with Amnesty International to create awareness about the process of coal mining and its impact on local communities.
Falana Dimka: An Indian phrase which means 'Etcetra Etcetra'
Although they are flexible with their content, they do not gamble when it comes to their creative freedom. "We only work with people with whom we are free to ideate and write our own scripts," says Chaitanya. "Some clients may have seen a fun ad on the internet and they insist on recreating it," she adds.
I think that the whole thing would just be self-defeating. Why would anyone employ artists just to execute someone else's idea? We need to feel connected to what we are working with."
The duo started Royal Existentials, a weekly webcomic series that uses Indian vintage art and imagery to tell stories of historical angst. Also, the team have benefitted greatly with their online interaction with clients and customers
Just like their work, Falana's team is undefinable. When they started out, their biggest struggle was to find a name for themselves, Aarthi confesses. They decided to borrow from a favourite word in the streets of Bombay, Falana Dimka, meaning etcetera, etcetera.
"Our team is too diverse to label it just one thing. So the only thing we could agree on was Falana!" she smiles. The team gleams with excitement for their future. And for now, it seems as unbridled as their talent.