Studio Eeksaurus team visits Puducherry
The idea of the animation film was conceived sometime in November 2020. Because of the pandemic, the project team and the film team (from Studio Eeksaurus, Mumbai) had to work at their own locations with all the interactions being conducted over the Internet. After the release of the trailer and with the possibility of a travel to Puducherry, the film team was invited for a short visit so that they and the project team could align their goals on the remaining work of the film. Here's a quick walk-through of the visit.
Day 1: 28th October 2021
Welcoming the team
Priti, Manoj, Rahul, Shivakumar and Srinivas from the project team welcomed the film team who had arrived from Mumbai. The interactions started with Srinivas Mulugu giving a brief overview of Sri Aurobindo Society and its activities.
Interaction with Sushanto
In the evening, the film team met Sushanto (an artist) from Sri Aurobindo Society. They discussed the artistic nuances of the trailer, portraying Sri Aurobindo and how the uniqueness and richness of the Indian cultural heritage comes from something deep and profound.
Visit to the Samadhi at Sri Aurobindo Ashram
After the discussion with Sushanto, Shivakumar lead the film team on a tour of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram main building and a visit to the Samadhi. On the way, they were informed about the various facets of the Ashram life - how Sri Aurobindo was in constant touch with his disciples (which is very well documented in the four volumes of Letters on Yoga). He also explained The Mother's role in building up and organising the daily activities of the Ashram.
Day 2: 29th October 2021
Visit to Park Guest House
Day 2 started with a visit to the Park Guest House which is known for its innovative landscaping. Devasish (member of Sri Aurobindo Ashram) showed the team, how over the years he has developed the landscape of the guest house using discarded things by transforming them into beautiful artistic creations.
Interaction with Shivakumar
In this interaction Shivakumar spoke about Sri Aurobindo's spiritual development - how Sri Aurobindo's younger brother Barin's illness sparked more interest in him about the use of the yogic power, his experiences with Vishnu Bhaskar Lele and his prison experiences and the relevance of spirituality in India's past, her freedom and her future.
Interaction with Srinivas
In this interaction Srinivas spoke about the idea of Spiritual Nationalism envisioned by Sri Aurobindo. He emphasized on the need to make the Indian youth aware of this ideal and its importance for the future role of India in the world.
Interaction with Pradeep bhai
In this interaction with Pradeep bhai (Chairman, SAS), the film team discussed the challenges faced so far especially because of the pandemic and the amount of effort that has been put in. Pradeep bhai shared about his journey with Sri Aurobindo Society and his association with Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
Interaction with Divyanshi
In this interaction, Divyanshi, a young Aurovillian shared about her journey with Sri Aurobindo and The Mother - how she came to them, what attracted her to them and the challanges she has come across on her journey before and after meeting them.
Day 3: 30th October 2021
Interaction with Narad
Manoj led the film team on a visit to Auroville which started with an interaction with Narad (Richard Eggenberger, a member of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville as well as a musician, poet and landscaper). During the interaction, Narad welcomed the idea and objective of this project. He then shared about his journey with Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and spoke about his involvement in the creation of a new music under the inspiration of The Mother.
Interaction with Aurelio
In this interaction Aurelio, an innovative musician, shared about his journey at Auroville, specifically at SVARAM Musical Instruments - how it evolved over the years and the challenges they came across. He also shared about how he got introduced to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and his journey as an Integral Yoga practitioner.
Interaction with Jyoti
The team met Jyoti Naoki Eri (a Japanese artist & designer residing in Auroville) in his studio at Auroville where he showed them his various art works and creations which he had developed under the inspiration of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. He shared about his journey with art in Japan and here in Auroville and his various explorations.
Interaction with Anu
Anu Majumdar (an author, dancer and choreographer residing in Auroville) shared about her journey starting from the days when she was involved in the construction of Matrimandir and on how Auroville has evolved over time.
Day 4: 31st October 2021
Priti interviews Suresh and Nilima
In this interview, Suresh (Director of the film) spoke about the benefits of using animation - how it removes the limitations that are brought in by an actor playing a character. Suresh and Nilima also shared about the difficulties they had to overcome for producing the trailer during the pandemic.
Interaction with Dr Ananda Reddy
In this interaction, Dr Ananda Reddy (Director, SACAR) answered some questions from the film team. He also shared his feedback about the work done so far and elaborated on the challenges that the production team has to overcome while making the film. He laid stress on bringing out the deeper personality of Sri Aurobindo in the film rather than his actions, and explained this with several examples.
Interaction with Dr Alok Pandey
In this interaction, Dr Alok Pandey (a psychiatrist and a member of Sri Aurobindo Ashram) shared some deep insights into Sri Aurobindo's life bringing out the essence of his personality, his sadhana and his Yoga. He also shared about his journey with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and how he came to them.
Narad interviews Suresh and Nilima
In this interview, Suresh and Nilima shared about the work done so far in the making of the trailer. They also shared about the future work for the film and their journey in the animation industry. Compared to the other projects that they had done, Suresh shared that this was a more experiential and reflective journey for them.
Sharing by the film team
In this interaction, the film team shared the learnings and insights that they had received during the visit, which emerged through the interactions that they had with various people during the last couple of days.
Day 5: 1st November 2021
Interaction with Vijay bhai
In this interaction, the film team shared the highlights of the visit with Vijay bhai (member of the executive committee of Sri Aurobindo Society). Suresh shared about the inspirations, views and insights that emerged through the interactions during the visit.
In the final meeting where all the project team members and the film team members were present, the next steps involved in the production of the film were discussed in detail. The Eeksaurus team joyfully expressed how this visit has inspired them and helped them develop a deeper understanding of Sri Aurobindo and a more profound vision for the film.