Exclusive: Adithi Krishnadas is now working on a spin-off of her National Award-winning animation film ‘Kandittund’

The 12-minute Malayalam short film has been screened at 12 film festivals so far. It features supernatural stories narrated by PNK Panicker.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published Aug 30, 2023 | 10:30 AMUpdatedAug 30, 2023 | 11:26 AM

Adithi Krishnadas Kandittund

Malayalam animation movie Kandittund (Seen It!, 2021) bagged the Best Animation Film award at the 69th National Film Awards 2023. Produced by Studio Eeksaurus, the 12-minute short film narrates an amazing tale.

It features supernatural stories narrated by PNK Panicker, the father of Eeksaurus Studio founder Suresh Eriyat. Eriyat is the creative producer of the short film.

It was directed by Adithi Krishnadas and produced by Nilima Eriyat.

The sound designing was by Academy Award winner Resul Pookutty along with Vijaykumar.

Nandhu Kartha composed the original BGM and Bibin Dev was the re-recording mixer.

In an exclusive chat with South First, Adithi Krishnadas talks about the challenges she faced while doing the animation movie.

Didn’t expect National Award

Adithi, visibly thrilled, said she wasn’t expecting a National Award for her film and is happy about the recognition given to her work.

Adithi Krishnadas is a Kochi-based animator

Adithi Krishnadas is a Kochi-based animator. (Supplied)

She completed her undergraduate animation course at the National Institute of Designs (NID) in Ahmedabad. She did Kandittund soon after finishing her studies.

About the theme, the filmmaker explained that she and her team had the recordings of Panicker’s stories.

“The narration in the movie is actually the original sound recording of Panicker. I found those stories interesting and thought of converting those supernatural characters into a cartoon format.”

Adithi Krishnadas added, “He (Panicker) had this habit of narrating stories. He recorded it casually when his family went on a family trip. While doing Kandittund, we exaggerated those stories to meet our requirements.”

As regards the appearance of the character, the director stated that she saw a video of Panicker sitting and narrating stories. She made a caricature out of that appearance.

“First, I did the voice clip and storyboard and then the animation part. The visual beauty was appealing as we preferred a Black-and-White background. Since the story happens in the night, the Black-and-White mode elevated the scenes,” she elucidated.

In Kandittund, all the supernatural characters are introduced by Panicker and his narration makes those horror stories quite interesting.

“Panicker liked the work and his portrayal as a narrator in a funny way. It made the audience think that all his stories are just a joke. The National Award made his day,” she said.

Also Read: ‘King of Kotha’ team speaks out against targeted negative campaign

2D hand-drawn animation

A Kochi-based animator, Adithi Krishnadas drew every minute movement of the characters. She admits that she faced several challenges while working on the animated movie.

“Though a 12-minute short film, Kandittund was a 2D hand-drawn animation. I drew the characters frame-to-frame. It was a laborious job,” she recalled.

Adithi Krishnadas working at her office

Adithi Krishnadas drawing characters for her project. (Supplied)

The young director explained, “For example, when a character is walking from one direction to another, we have to calculate the time taken and get it separated in the storyboard. Then, we have to make the background and layout ready. Later, we have to animate the character and everything else, including moving leaves and flowing water.”

She further added, “If a character raises his/her hand, we have to draw the movement in each frame and give appropriate time. There weren’t any references to the figures for supernatural characters. When I started drawing them, I decided to go on with certain images. I didn’t do much research. The story isn’t scary. So, I didn’t make any gory characters.”

About the editing part, she stated that the short film hardly needed any editing as there was no need for extra images. “We drew only certain characters and divided the shots.”

Also Read: Title song of ‘Kushi’ was the toughest to compose: Music director Hesham Abdul Wahab

Future projects

Kandittund has been screened at 12 film festivals so far. Adithi says she only got positive feedback from everywhere.

“They found the theme unique. Moreover, the viewers connected well with the content and found it entertaining,” she said.

Adithi is now busy with a couple of projects. She is working on an extension to Kandittund. “But this time, it’s a film with a duration of only three minutes. It’s a spin-off of Kandittund.”

The filmmaker is also working on her new animation series.

She has a lot of ideas and is waiting for the appropriate time to execute them.

Well, here’s wishing her the best!

Also Read: ‘Kushi’ isn’t a love failure story, says director Shiva Nirvana