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Colorado to ring in 2008 with Indian fables

world Updated: Dec 18, 2007 15:40 IST
Sujoy Dhar
Highlight Story

It is not Tom & Jerry, Sesame Street, or even Harry Potter. Colorado will ring in New Year this time with an animation series based on Indian fables and nonsense rhymes made by renowned US-based Indian animator Manick Sorcar.

"Starting at 6.30 am on January 1, the prime time for children during holidays and weekends, the continuous one-and-a-half hour programme will be telecast by a number of Colorado TV stations of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)," Sorcar told IANS from Denver, the capital of Colorado state in the US.

Manick Sorcar is the son of legendary Indian magician PC Sorcar and brother of PC Sorcar (Junior).

The series will contain Deepa and Rupa: A Fairy Tale From India, the winner of the Gold Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival; The Sage and the Mouse, winner of the Gold Medal at the International Film Festival of New York; Sniff, the winner of the CINE Golden Eagle, and The Woodcutter's Daughter, a finalist at the New York Festival.

Deepa & Rupa... is based on a story from the Bengali fable Thakurmar Jhooli, The Sage and The Mouse and The Woodcutter's Daughter are from The Panchatantra, and Sniff is based a popular nonsense poem from Sukumar Ray's Aabol Taabol.

Acclaimed as cultural bridges between the East and West, Sorcar's animation films are highly popular at US elementary schools, and have been telecast for the last 15 years on the PBS stations during year-end holidays.

Two years ago, "Manick Sorcar Animations that Teach Indian Culture" was the research paper for an American student's bachelor's degree in fine arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia.

Sorcar shot to fame in the early 1990s when his Deepa and Rupa: A Fairy Tale From India, recognised as India's very first animation mixed with live action, received a host of prestigious international film festival awards, including in New York, where it outdid Children's Workshop's Sesame Street and Hanna Barbera's The Greatest Adventure.

Shifting gear from traditional animation to laser animation, his Enlightenment of Buddha, an extravaganza of live action with life-size laser animation on stage, won the first place in an international contest in 2005 and received the prestigious The Artistic Award from Italy's International Laser Display Association, recognised as the Oscar of the laser industry.

An author of several university texts in lighting design, Sorcar holds a master's degree in electrical engineering and is the full time CEO/owner of a highly successful engineering company in Denver.

So how does he find time to create the artistic miracles?

"It is my brand of magic," smiles the son of legendary magician PC Sorcar. "Creating miracles is my birthright. Who says it has to be done with traditional magic?"