- Country: India
- Initial release: July 7, 2020 (India)
- Film Director: Suresh Eriyat
- Running Time: 14 Minutes
- IMDB Grade: 7.1
In the bustling streets of Mumbai, a chance encounter with a young girl selling baskets sparked a profound sense of guilt and empathy within animator Suresh Eriyat. This ordinary moment ignited the creative flame that would eventually lead to the creation of “Tokri,” a captivating stop-motion claymation film. Over the course of eight years, Eriyat and his production company, Studio Eeksaurus, meticulously crafted a heartrending story about family, mistakes, and forgiveness. In this article, we will delve into the remarkable journey behind the making of “Tokri” while exploring the impact of this extraordinary film on the Indian animation industry.
The Genesis of “Tokri”
The inception of “Tokri” can be traced back to that fateful encounter on the streets of Mumbai. As Eriyat drove through the city, a young girl approached him, attempting to sell her handmade baskets. Initially dismissing her, Eriyat was suddenly overwhelmed with guilt, pondering the circumstances that led her to this plight. What if his brusque reaction only perpetuated her struggles? This internal reflection became the seed from which the story of “Tokri” sprouted.
The Labor of Love
Creating “Tokri” was no small feat. Eriyat and his team poured their hearts and souls into this labor-intensive project, spending countless hours meticulously crafting each frame of the film. The attention to detail was paramount, with the team photographing various shops and slum houses to ensure an authentic portrayal of the Mumbai setting. The result is a vibrant and bustling cityscape, filled with intricately designed props, lifelike characters, and a palpable sense of realism.
Tokri: A Story of Redemption
At its core, “Tokri” is a poignant tale of redemption and the unbreakable bond between a father and daughter. When the young girl accidentally breaks her father’s cherished watch, she embarks on a journey to make amends. Through her resourcefulness and determination, she starts weaving and selling baskets to fund the repair. Along the way, she encounters various trials and tribulations, ultimately leading to a powerful revelation about the true value of her father’s most treasured possession.
The Artistry of Stop-Motion Animation
Stop-motion animation is a labor-intensive technique that brings inanimate objects to life through a series of meticulously captured frames. In “Tokri,” this art form takes center stage, showcasing the immense talent and creativity of Suresh Eriyat and his team. The film’s stunning visuals and attention to detail immerse viewers in a world where clay characters walk the streets, ride public transit, and navigate the complexities of life.
Impact on the Indian Animation Industry
As the first Indian winner of the prestigious Annecy Cristal, Eriyat’s “Tokri” has not only garnered international acclaim but has also showcased the immense potential of the Indian animation industry. India, known primarily for its outsourcing services, is slowly emerging as a powerhouse in the animation world. Projects like “Tokri” serve as a catalyst for change, inspiring a new generation of animators and paving the way for original Indian creative content.
A Visionary and Mentor
Suresh Eriyat’s contribution to the Indian animation industry extends far beyond his groundbreaking films. As the founder of Studio Eeksaurus, he has established an incubator to nurture emerging animators, providing them with valuable guidance and mentorship. Eriyat’s dedication to his craft and his commitment to elevating the recognition of quality Indian animation content have earned him numerous accolades and made him a thought leader in the industry.
The Cinematic Experience
While “Tokri” has enjoyed success in various film festivals worldwide, its true impact is best experienced on the big screen. The meticulous attention to detail, the sumptuous sound design, and the deliberate pacing of the film all contribute to a truly immersive cinematic experience. Patient viewers are rewarded with a nuanced and deeply moving story that avoids the pitfalls of maudlin melodrama, leaving a lasting impression of the power of love and forgiveness.
The success of “Tokri” has set the stage for an exciting future for Suresh Eriyat and Studio Eeksaurus. With plans for two feature film projects and two new shorts in development, Eriyat continues to push the boundaries of animation and storytelling. Through his work, he strives to inspire others in the industry and foster a greater appreciation for original Indian animation content.