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SPIRIT OF THE FOREST
A short animated film set in the Myristica (wild nutmeg) swamps of southern India
Recipient of a 2020 National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship
In collaboration with Lighter Studio and Ghost Animation
Spirit of the Forest attempts to make plants more than just background scenery, with all flora and fauna accurate to the habitat. It is inspired by ‘sacred groves’ — relict forests found in pockets all over the world that have been preserved by indigenous communities through folklore grounded in scientific principle. The Myristica Swamps of south India, with their bizarre tangle of aerial roots, are especially interesting because their origin coincides with the very formation of the Indian subctontinent. Telling the story of the evolution of these ecosystems from Gondwanaland to the present, the film challenges the girl’s presumption that what she was about to take from the grove was ‘just a stupid seed.’ It concludes with a message of hope that what she will carry forward instead is the legacy of her forefathers into the future.
Dubbed in both English and Kannada, Spirit of the Forest has been an official selection at Dharamshala International Film Festival, Chicago International Children's Film Festival, Cinekid and others. Follow our social media accounts for updates on its wider release.
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