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Sri Aurobindo: India’s Freedom and Beyond – A Short Animation Film


Synopsis of the Project


“India moves to a deeper and greater life than the world has yet imagined possible….”
– Sri Aurobindo

Description

A short animation film on Sri Aurobindo, based on our research into his role in India’s freedom. It will cover the period of Sri Aurobindo’s life from when he returned to India after his education in England (1893) to the eventful meeting of the Mother with him (1914). This is the most visible part of Sri Aurobindo’s public life and most thrilling to the youth of India and the world. His further work at Pondicherry will also be suggestively included.


Purpose  

  • Introduce Sri Aurobindo to the youth of India and the world, to inspire them
  • Do this in a modern medium of communication as a work of timeless art


Film Style

  • Animation, of a high artistic quality and aesthesis
  • Technically & technologically on par with international standards


Film Duration

Apprx. 20 min.


Project By 

AuroYouth & SAFIER, the youth & educational initiatives of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry


Timeline

Trailer to be ready by May 2021

Full film to be ready for release on 15th August 2022, the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo


Film Budget

  1. A seed fund of Rs. 16 lakhs is needed immediately for a short trailer. The creation of the trailer will help us to derive the style of art and characters. It will give us a taste of what is being made and can be used as a means for raising funds for the full film.
  2. The full project cost INR 1.4Cr to 1.5Cr.

This is an offering to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by all of us who work for the realisation of Their vision.


Why Are We Making This Animation Film for Youth?

15th Aug. 2022 is the 75th year of India’s independence and also the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, a freedom fighter, writer par-excellence, spiritual poet and Yogi.

As a freedom fighter during the early 20th century, Sri Aurobindo fired up all of India to fight for Her Poorna Swaraj, complete independence, through his brilliant writings and subsequent political actions. His integrity, intense patriotism and political acumen lead to the view of the British Government which was clearly expressed in what Lord Minto, the then Viceroy and Governor-General of India, wrote about Sri Aurobindo: “I can only repeat … that he is the most dangerous man we now have to reckon with.

We are making an animation film on Sri Aurobindo’s role in India’s freedom movement, to inspire the youth and students of our country about the salience and importance of Sri Aurobindo’s contribution as a nation-builder. The upcoming 150th birth anniversary will be the perfect time to bring out this film keeping in mind the spirit of the youth. And in a medium and language that resonates with the young.

Highlights of the Animation Film

The animation film plans to highlight:

  • How Sri Aurobindo brought the power of an active spirituality into politics and worked for the birth of a Free India.
  • How he experienced the source of Indian culture as a spiritual power which constantly guides and renews; recovered the true sense and importance of Vedas
  • His planting the seeds of a revolutionary national education which has its roots in Indian spirituality and is meant to prepare future citizens of India, well-rounded in their growth and capacities, to work for building the nation.

Sri Aurobindo not only lit the fire of complete freedom for his country which was under the rule of the British Raj and worked for the renaissance of its culture, but also, later, opened the doors of the future while living a secluded life in Pondicherry. His life is a vast synthesis of Matter and Spirit, the Ancient and the Modern, the human and the Divine.

About The Animation Style of the Film

Film Style

The medium of animation film allows for fine artistic expressions. Sri Aurobindo has written highly about the Bengal artists like Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose and the renaissance of India’s artistic genius through their work. We wish to derive the art style of the film based on their works to capture the essence of that spirit.  We want to create something of timeless artistic value that can be shown in any of the international film festivals and inspire the generations to come.


Film Director and Production Studio

We have commissioned this film to an animation studio in Mumbai http://studioeeksaurus.com who are well established in this field with many national and international awards. The director and lead animator of the film will be Suresh Eriyath who is the founder of the studio with 20 years of experience.


Inspiration for the Animation Style

We want this film to be a fine work of art expressive of the spirit of India that can be shown in any of the international film festivals for not only its message but also for its artistic value. Besides, we want the film to be of timeless value. To do so, animation is a perfect medium, especially to make it as a work of art. But which artistic style and spirit shall we follow? A guiding light can be found in Sri Aurobindo’s own words.

He wrote in 1909 in Karmayogin under the title ‘The Awakening Soul of India’: “In Bengal, again, the national spirit is seeking to satisfy itself in art and, for the first time since the decline of the Moguls, a new school of national art is developing itself, the school of which Abanindranath Tagore is the founder and master.”

These two paintings, first one by Nandalal Bose and the second by Abanindranath Tagore, are some of the finest examples of the new creation in art in Bengal of that time.

Later in 1918, Sri Aurobindo wrote in his essay ‘The Renaissance in India’:

This [renaissance of national art of India] is a true new creation, and we may expect that the artistic mind of the rest of India will follow through the gate thus opened, but we may expect it too to take on there other characteristics and find other ways of expression; ….”

This is the spirit we wish to express through the film and the art style of the animation is to be closely derived from these examples representing the timeless spirit of India in new forms.


For more information, please write to:

Shivakumar – Director, AuroYouth & SAFIER

Sri Aurobindo Society

No. 11, Saint Martin Street

Puducherry – 605 001, India

M: +91 94426 25637

E-mail: [email protected]

Website: www.aurosociety.org

 

One-Day AuroYouth Camps Conducted in Mumbai and Varanasi Branches

Start Date: 24-Feb-2019

Location: The Studio, Fort, Mumbai & Arya Mahila PG College, Chetganj, Varanasi

Mumbai

On February 24, 2019, Sri Aurobindo Society’s Mumbai branch organized an AuroYouth Camp held at The Studio, Fort. Twenty-three people between the age group of 18 to 30 years participated in the on-day camp conducted by Ms. Anahita Sanjana and her team comprising Tanushka Vaid, Ashumi Mehta, Jasmine Sampat, Dolly Desai and Kadambari Shah.

The session started with an introduction to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, with a brief description of their goal and work. Following this, various concepts about the mind, body and the purpose of yoga were explained – each with an accompanying activity for better understanding.

Starting with an exercise to control the mind, an art activity on converting our inner weaknesses into strengths and an exercise on gratitude were held.

Later, exercises of breathing, meditation and the techniques of Metta were demonstrated. These helped improve everyone’s concentration, calm the mind, and let go of past grievances. A few basic yoga postures were also shown.

Discussions were held on how to decide the Aim of Life; how to deal with various Emotions; and on how to attain Success in Work and in Relationships.  To conclude the day, everyone learnt the Mother’s chant ‘Anandamayi Chaitanyamayi Satyamayi Parame’ and were given copies of her guidance book Seeds of Light.

Feedback received from all the participants was very encouraging, and all the camp participants went home feeling energized and connected with their inner selves.

Varanasi

On February 24, 2019, Sri Aurobindo Society’s Varanasi branch organized an AuroYouth Camp held at Arya Mahila PG College (affiliated to B.H.U) in Chetganj, Varanasi, U.P.

Thirty-one students between the age group of 18 to 20 years from UG students of AMPGC participated in interactive sessions of the one-day Camp. This is the sixth AuroYouth Camp conducted by the AYE in this college with its B.Com first year students.

The following PPTs were shared at the Varanasi Camp:

1) Aim of Life, 2) Values for Success and 3) Introduction to Sri Aurobindo & the Mother

The session started with an introduction and welcome note. During the discussion on Aim of Life, the students’ individual aims underwent a review towards the end of the session and it became deeper in meaning and profundity. The level of participation by the students was very high; they were very receptive and open.

Guided meditation began following the ‘Aim of Life’ session. The participants appreciated it a lot; everyone felt that after the meditation, a different energy was noted in the room.

The session on ‘Values for Success’ was amazing and the most interesting. They learnt about the qualities required for success. Following lunch, with meditation music, the third session on introduction to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother began.

From the feedback of participating students, it was noted that they were all glad to be part of the Camp.

The following executive members of the branch conducted the camp: Dr. Swapna Bandopadhyay, Dr. Sunita Yadav, Dr. Deepika Baranwal, Dr. Bandana Balchandnani.

One-Day AuroYouth Camp Conducted in Mumbai

Start Date: 25-Nov-2018

Location: The Studio, Fort, Mumbai

The second edition of Sri Aurobindo Society’s AuroYouth Camp was held on November 25, 2018, at The Studio, Fort in Mumbai, which saw the participation of around 32 people between the age group of 18 and 30 years. It was organized by the Mumbai branch of Sri Aurobindo Society and conducted by Ms. Anahita Sanjana and her team: Shailaja Munshi, Tanushka Vaid, Ashumi Mehta, Jasmine Sampat, Dolly Desai and Kadambari Shah.

The session started by introducing The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, with a brief description of their goal and work.

Then the 5 Koshas were explained – each with an accompanying activity for better understanding.

With the Manomaya Kosha, there was an exercise of realizing the futility of our mental judgments about people.

In the Pranamaya Kosha, an art activity was conducted on converting our inner weakness into strengths, which was followed by an exercise on gratitude.

In the Anamaya Kosha, we spoke about the importance of good sleep, food and exercise.

Then the Vigyanmaya Kosha and Anandamaya Koshas were discussed and an exercise of writing to our inner self was conducted.

An exercise of breathing, meditation and using the techniques of Metta were then shown.

Following this, the resource persons spoke on how to decide the Aim of Life, how to deal with various emotions and how to attain ‘Success in Work’ and ‘Success in Relationships’.

To conclude the day, the participants were taught The Mother’s chant and were given copies of her guidance book Seeds of Light

 

One-day AuroYouth Camp in Konnagar, West Bengal

Date: 17-Feb-2017

Location: Konnagar Branch of Sri Aurobindo Society, West Bengal

An AuroYouth one-day camp was organized by the Konnagar Branch of Sri Aurobindo Society on February 17, 2017 in which 22 young women participated. This camp was held on the auspicious day of foundation of the Branch. Konnagar being the ancestral place of Sri Aurobindo has its own charm, and the presence of the young students of Serampore Girls College (affiliated to the University of Calcutta) made the premises even more vibrant.

The programme began with the hoisting of the Mother’s flag by Shri Salil Kumar Banerjee, Secretary of Sri Aurobindo Society, Konnagar Branch. A collective pranayama exercise and meditation with music was conducted by Shri Kinkar Das, which was followed by an Introduction to the camp, conducted by the Smt Jayantika Basu, AuroYouth Director of West Bengal and Secretary of Sri Aurobindo Society West Bengal State Committee, wherein she introduced the speakers to the participants of the camp.

Thereafter a session on ‘Introduction to Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Sri Aurobindo Society’ was taken up by Shri Sourav Chattoraj, AuroYouth Executive, followed by ‘Aim in Life’ session by Shri Kinkar Das, AuroYouth Executive. A session on ‘Inner Awareness’ was divided into three parts—‘Physical Being, Vital Being and Mental Being—and was discussed by Ashok Basak, Mithumita Bardhan (newly selected AuroYouth Executive at the ‘Train The Trainers’ Camp held at Pyradanga on September 9–11, 2016) and Sourav Chattoraj. Ashok Basak took up the ‘Physical Being’ while Mithumita Bardhan and Sourav Chattoraj discussed the ‘Vital Being’ and ‘Mental Being’ respectively.

The post-lunch session began with a participatory activity wherein the participants were divided into four groups and were shown a presentation on ‘Flowers and their Messages’, wherein 10 different flowers were shown and their spiritual significance was elaborated by Shri Sudhendu Shaha, Joint Secretary of Sri Aurobindo Society West Bengal State Committee. The students were then quizzed by Smt Jayantika Basu on the basis of the aforementioned presentation, followed by a feedback and question and answer session. The programme concluded with distribution of certificates to the participants and a photo session.