Wednesday, November 17, 2010

San Francisco International Animation Festival

I made the badge!

This past Saturday I attended the San Francisco International Animation Festival. Unfortunately, due to a technical issue with the tape, Topi couldn't be played in its scheduled block of films. Despite my initial disappointment, I was impressed by and appreciated SFIAF programmer Sean Uyehara's efforts to make sure that the film was shown, and it eventually screened the following day. The festival itself is awesome, very filmmaker-centric and a great line-up.

A local blogger liked Topi and called it 'very powerful' :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Upcoming/Recent screenings

Filmi Mississauga Minifest, Mississauga, Canada: July 8-10, 2010
New Orleans Intnl Children's Film Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana: July 31 - August 1, 2010  - also screened my film 'Abridged'
Temecula Valley International Film Festival, Temecula, California: September 15-19, 2010
Hench-DADA Animation Showcase, Los Angeles: September 17, 2010 - a screening organized by my school
Great Wall of Oakland, Oakland, California: October 1, 2010 - a neat outdoor screening projected onto a wall
DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, Washington DC: October 7-16, 2010 - Topi continues to do well in Asian-themed festivals
Big Cartoon Fest, Moscow: Russia, October 28 - November 7, 2010  - Russian Premiere!
Ojai Film Festival, Ojai, California: November 4-7, 2010
San Francisco International Animation Festival, San Francisco: November 11 - 14, 2010 - organized by the San Francisco Film Society.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

1947 Partition Archive

I recently learned of this really interesting Bay Area-based project to document and archive personal accounts of partition  -

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nice ink on 'Of Indian Origin'

Topi just got a mention on this neat Indian-themed creative blog.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Electronic Theater!

Topi got into Siggraph's Electronic Theater! I was stunned to hear that it will be playing alongside clips from Avatar, Tron, Pixar's Day & Night, and other awesome CG.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Topi on Youtube

Topi is now online!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Busan International Short Film Festival

Just received some pics of Topi's South Korean premiere!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Honorable Mention at ASIFA-East Animation Festival

Nice to be recognized by ASIFA, and one member said:
"Rich in texture and spirit, and plush with great models and thoughtful lighting, Topi serves as proof that CG can be engaging and compelling."

ASIFA-East President David Levy (whom I met at Hiroshima 2008) blogged:
"It's a very serious and moving film, lovingly staged and executed".

More from another attendee:
"The Festival began with a film, Topi, whose break from the traditional genre of animation comedy was a pleasure to watch... Being confined to only comedy or commercialism sometimes makes animation dull. Breaking from this tradition, the student filmmaker, Arjun Rihan, gave the audience a glimpse into a culture and world many of us in America do not understand, but all of us could relate to the humanitarian approach of the characters. The comedy of animation has been explored vastly over the past century, and this film deserved mention due to its exceptional difference."


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Notre Dame

Last weekend, I was invited to present Topi at the Center of Ethics & Culture at the University of Notre Dame, as part of a screening of films from last year's Angelus Film Festival.

It was a fantastic trip that included a well-attended screening and panel discussion. The highlight was hearing from someone that they had been using 'Topi' as part of a religion class.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Siggraph Computer Animation Festival 2010

This is the first time I've managed to get into the Siggraph Computer Animation Festival. Stoked that Topi holds up technically with the best.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

Forgot to post this earlier - I was excited to have Topi be included in the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and also on their website.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

College TV Awards Runner-up

Last weekend, I was down in LA to receive the 2nd Prize in the College Television Awards Animation category (aka the 'Student Emmys'). The awards are given out to the producers of each film by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and this is Topi's first 'industry' award.

The event was fun and included a gala dinner as well as the full red-carpet treatment. I was joined by several members of the cast, crew, and USC faculty.

Above: me with crew members Joanna Griebel, Sarah Zerina Usmen, and John Helton.

USC's animation department also placed this awesome ad in the programme:

Topi at Sala Parpalló

As I've mentioned elsewhere, Sala Parpalló is a contemporary art gallery in Valencia, Spain that has included 'Topi' in an audiovisual program about India that will run during May 2010. I just received a copy of their program:

Wish I could see it in person, the place looks really cool:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Topi on Japanese TV

Topi was recently featured on 'Gat Chane', a program that airs on public television in Japan. The show features the work of both students and researchers, and is aimed at college students.

An excerpt from Topi was included in their episode on motion capture at USC:

The motion capture stage shown is where I shot all the mocap for the film - it's at the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts at USC. Zemeckis was also the co-instructor of my my mocap class and is featured right before Topi in the clip above.

Now if only I knew what they were saying...

Best Animation at International Short Film Festival of India

Topi won its first Indian award(!) in the animated film category at ISFFI 2010, which was held in Chennai, India.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Screening Update

Quite a few exciting events coming up:

Epiphany Children's Film Festival, New York: March 5, 2010
The interesting story about this festival (which is organized by The Epiphany School) is that they initially told me that my entry would most likely be rejected unless I edited out sections of the film that were deemed too violent for young children. I considered this, but decided against it for both creative and logistical reasons. I was therefore delighted when the festival subsequently chose both to screen 'Topi' and to include the film in the school's curriculum:
' There are a few films that had an extra element that would be wonderful for the guidance program and for the Religious Education program because of the thought provoking issues they raise, Topi, being one in particular.'

Tiburon International Film Festival, Tiburon, California: March 18-26, 2010

Indian Short Film Festival of India, Chennai, India: March 20-21, 2010

San Francisco International Children's Film Festival, San Francisco Moscone Center: April 2-4, 2010

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, ArcLight Hollywood: April 20-25, 2010

Delta International Film and Video Festival, Delta State University, Cleveland, Mississippi: April 21-23, 2010

Lancaster Area Film Festival, Lititz, Pennyslvania: April 24, 2010

Adobe First Frame, Los Angeles: May 6, 2010

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival: April 29-May 8, 2010

Busan International Short Film Festival, Busan, South Korea, May 2010

In addition, the Angelus Student Film Festival and the University of Notre Dame's Center for Ethics and Culture are showcasing Topi along with a few other Angelus films on May 1. They've generously provided transportation and accommodation, and I'm looking forward to being there in person.

Finally, Sala Parpalló is a contemporary art gallery in Valencia, Spain that has included 'Topi' in an audiovisual program about India that will run during May 2010.

It's nice to see Topi being recognized outside the festival realm in both academic and institutional settings.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Best Animated Short at Oxford Film Festival

Topi screened at the Oxford Film Festival (February 4-7) in Mississippi, and won the animated short category!

The award statues are sweet - the design is inspired by the Native American princess 'Hoka'.

In addition, the organizers featured me on their blog recently:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Animation Reporter article

Animation Report is an Indian magazine that featured Topi in their latest issue.

Add Video

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Topi featured on Windrider forum

Topi will be featured on this forum for a month -

From the site:

“Topi,” based on a conflict that took place over 60 years ago, seems eerily relevant today, as religion continues to serve as a flashpoint for conflict around the globe. Rihan’s visual fundamentals, combined with a solid directorial prism, lay the foundation for a well-developed storyline that cuts across cultural barriers and stimulates conversation. When done well, animated storytelling is a fine and beautiful art form. “Topi” is an example of this form at its best.


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