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Traveling and Animating with the Cintiq Companion

Animator Til Gold and his colleagues at NowHere Media wanted to tell the stories of those who have chosen silence. He and his team travelled to India to tell the stories of farmers who chose suicide to ease the suffering they and their families felt. Gold didn’t just wanted to tell the stories posthumously, he wanted the farmers to inhabit the film. The solution was to animate the farmers to bring their voices to the film.

Gold and his team brought the Cintiq Companion on their journey. In this series of blog posts, Gold fills us in on his travels, challenges and insights into this project.



Where has this project taken you?

We met up in Kerala – it provided the perfect scenic backdrop for all the thinking and brainstorming. For days (and nights) on end, we spoke of different research angles to the story and began conceptualising the visual and animated aspects of the story. For the first time, we felt like we had something special going here. It was fascinating to see the seed of an idea being sown.



We then traveled to Vidarbha, India, an area that is infamous for its farmer suicides. More than 10,000 farmers have taken their lives in this small region in the past decade alone. 

It’s my first time in India and it continues to overwhelm and inspire me with its colours, energy, beauty and its paradoxes. 




Who is your team at NowHere Media?

My collaborators in this project are Felix Gaedtke and Gayatri Parameswaran from NowHere Media. Felix and Gayatri have been travelling to a lot of under-covered regions around the world covering issues of social justice, human rights, war and conflict. I will sketch and animate the stories we hear.

We are all here because we want to understand the reasons behind these high suicide figures and to know how the families left behind are surviving.




What are some of your favorite sights so far?

In between all the hardcore thinking and discussing, we kayaked through the winding backwaters of Kerala and managed a hike through the mountains of Thekkady. The birds and beasts were fabulous company! 




Where are you off to next?

Next, we're heading up north to Vidarbha for the first round of meetings with journalists and experts in the region. The subject and its complexities are baffling and I'm really looking forward to some clarity on the issue.



In our next post, Gold will share his first steps of filming the farmers’ stories.