Gitanjali Rao is one of the most talented directors who created Printed Rainbow, Shorts, True Love Story, and Bombay Rose. Now, she once again amazes the audience with her short film Tomorrow My Love. The short film will be screened at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) to be held April 28 – May 1 at Regal LA LIVE.
The director won awards and recognition – Kodak Short Film Award, Small Golden Rail, Young Critics Award in the Critics Week section at Cannes. Also, the Golden Conch for Best Animation Film in the 2006 Mumbai International Film Festival. She has served on the judge’s panel at various festivals, including the 2011 Cannes Critic’s Week short films jury.
In an exclusive conversation with Urban Asian, Gitanjali talks about the creative process of Tomorrow My Love, her passion for animation, creating a black and white love story, and more!
The 4-minute short is rich in detail and emotion, and the hand-drawn animation is exquisite. Do share the creative process that gave shape to this deeply moving film – how it evolved.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I had a lot of free time on my hands like most of us. I read a few stories about how the medical staff and family members tried to make the passing away of older people a little less painful. About playing their favourite song in the last few minutes. I found the theory very interesting that ‘hearing’ is the last sense to leave our bodies as we die. This was the core idea behind “Tomorrow My Love”. To let sound, music be the accompaniment for someone destined to leave this life and die. I decided to use two old friends, companions as my protagonists and I could not think of a better idea than reusing my characters from one of my earliest short films ‘Printed Rainbow’,
Why black and white?
As I decided to reuse my characters from Printed Rainbow which is a world of black and white, I also used the same graphic style of charcoal on paper, albeit made completely on the computer.
The story of this old couple filled our hearts with quiet hope! Do you relate to such tender love in real life?
Oh yes, I’m always filled with emotions when I read or see or encounter stories about love. Not just the lust and love of youth, but love that lasts. Love that transcends time and situations and even wars or disease. After all, at the core, all of us are searching and desiring for love that lasts.
You have made short and feature length animated films. What are the joys and challenges of each?
I find the process of making short animation films far more liberating and less stressful than a feature. I do not need to look for finance to start making a short film, unlike a feature. Having said that, and having made a feature animation film just before the pandemic, I cannot deny the huge outreach a feature has. The process of working with a team is the most rewarding experience which I miss when making shorts. In jest I often say, A feature film is like entering into a marriage, but a short film is like having an affair!
For you, what’s the appeal of animation versus live action?
I have always been and enjoyed being a painter who moves paintings to tell a story. Live action is a completely different medium of telling stories that I cannot say i have the expertise to make. A lifetime is not enough to tell all the stories I have in my mind in animation! Maybe if i had one more lifetime…I ‘d still do animation!!!
What is your next project? Is it a love story?
ALL my stories are love stories. I cannot think of stories devoid of love. Its like the breath. Love is what breathes life into my stories so yes, whatever be my next, love will always be in it!
Check out the trailer of Tomorrow My Love here:
For more information on the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), https://www.