The Green Chic Movie PosterApurva Shah, the producer of the forthcoming animation film, The Green Chic, is a busy man these days. Having tied up with PETA India, Apurva is now busy promoting his film, among other things, through a contest which gives the audience a chance to win a Tata Nano car!’s Mrigank Dhaniwala caught up with Shah to talk about the film, his promotional plans and his take on the animation genre.

Your company, Koffee Break Pictures, had stepped into the animation genre with MY FRIEND GANESHA in 2006 while THE GREEN CHIC releases on June 24 this year. Why the long gap?
Lots of animation films were announced by various studios but most of these projects were given up midway. At Koffee Break, we were very clear that we wanted to concentrate on delivering the best quality animation possible, and this process takes a lot of time.

For The Green Chic, we had a dedicated team of 80-100 artistes putting in a lot of effort over the last three years. The film is also probably one of the few animation films that have been produced and animated completely in India, that too, by an Indian studio.

Given the global trend of producing animation films in 3D, why did you choose to make THE GREEN CHIC in 2D?
You have to understand that animation is a growing trend in India. So it is important to gain complete mastery over the 2D medium first. No doubt that 3D is the emerging technology with lots of advantages. But it is not necessary to always use 3D to tell a story well. Don’t you like the story of the TV series, ‘Tom & Jerry’, in spite of it being in 2D animation? The content is what matters, not the medium.

You chose children over professional voice-over artistes to dub the characters in the film…
It’s not that we didn’t try to work with professional child voice-artistes. But there were so few of them and the voices of the children who have finally dubbed, matched so well with the characters in the film, that we went with our gut feeling. The results are there for all to see. Of course, we conducted proper auditions and training sessions before doing the final voice-overs.

Globally, a lot of animation IPs (intellectual properties) are leveraged through the merchandising route. Do you have any such plans for THE GREEN CHIC?
Certainly. But you have to take into consideration the fact that just like animation, merchandising and licensing of animation IPs is also a nascent market in India. We, as a country, are just taking baby steps in that direction.

The Green Chic Promo

What is the film about?
The film has a cute story. It is about this chicken whose father is kidnapped and mother, killed. How this little chicken, along with two friends (a monkey and a duck) in the jungle, rescues its dad is what the film is all about. Hence, ‘Finding dad’ is the tag line of our title. In Hindi, the tag line reads as, ‘Papa tum kahan ho?’

Do you have songs in the animation film?
We have six songs in the film. They’ve been rendered by acclaimed singers like Kunal Ganjawala, Hariharan, Jagjit Singh and Umashankar. The music is bound to appeal to the kids.

From 2006 to now, how much has changed in the budgeting of animation films?
Quite a lot. Our budget for this film is more than thrice the budget of My Friend Ganesha. But having said that, I must add, our first film was a composite film with just about 18-20 minutes of animation while this one is cent per cent animation for 90 minutes.

MY FRIEND GANESHA was your baby. Yet, you were not associated with the second and third parts of the film. How is that?
Actually, when we sold the distribution rights of My Friend Ganesha to Gordhan Tanwani, we also sold the other rights including the rights to the brand and the title, ‘My Friend Ganesha’. Therefore, we were not a part of Gordhanbhai’s My Friend Ganesha 2 and My Friend Ganesha 3.

What do you plan to do next?
Koffee Break Pictures intends to create its own niche in animation. We are passionate about the medium and want to create India’s very own Mickey Mouse. But for now, it is all about promoting The Green Chic. We have tied up with PETA from the script stage itself as, besides entertaining, the film also carries a very noble message about the protection of our flora and fauna. In fact, Pamela Anderson has seen our film and she had good words to say about it. The film is also PETA’s movie of the year.

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