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Georges Schwizgebel Shares Insights at Master Class During 18th MIFF

Mumbai: Renowned Swiss animation filmmaker Georges Schwizgebel led an enlightening master class titled “Georges Schwizgebel’s Approach to Animation” at the 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) today. The session, held alongside film screenings, highlighted Schwizgebel’s illustrious career and his distinctive animation techniques.

Schwizgebel, celebrated for his 2004 paint-on-glass animated film “The Man with No Shadow” (L’Homme sans ombre), has been a prominent figure in the animation industry for over five decades. During the interactive session, he expressed his enduring passion for filmmaking, stating, “I like to draw and make films… I don’t know what to do, but make a film.”

The session was introduced by Dhvani Desai, a reputed animation filmmaker, who highlighted the profound influence of various art movements and surrealism evident in Schwizgebel’s work.

Speaking at the event, Schwizgebel shared insights into his creative process, revealing that he continues to use acrylic painting for his frames, along with a digital camera, despite modern animators transitioning to different tools. “It is no longer useful to teach this technique,” he remarked, acknowledging the evolution of animation techniques over the decades. He also mentioned his occasional use of dry pastels.

Schwizgebel elaborated on his filmmaking approach, explaining that most of his films feature music rather than dialogues. He emphasized that animation can convey much through imagery alone. He discussed his method of using loops and cycles at 25 frames per second and the technique of changing backgrounds every 16 frames to create dynamic visual narratives. “The connection between music and imagery is very strong,” he said, underscoring the integral role of music in his films.

In response to an audience question, Schwizgebel reflected on the changes in the animation industry since he began his career in the 1970s. He noted that there were more opportunities for animation shorts in the past but expressed satisfaction that many filmmakers are now creating animation feature films.

The master class provided a rare opportunity for participants to learn from one of the animation world’s most respected figures, offering valuable insights into the art and craft of animation. Schwizgebel’s enduring passion and innovative techniques continue to inspire and influence animators around the globe.

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