Arafat Mazhar’s Swipe has become the first Pakistani animated film to have made it to the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the makers revealed on its social media pages.
Announcing the news on Instagram, they wrote, “Celebrations! Swipe has officially been selected at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2021!”
Introducing the festival to their followers, they added, “Annecy Festival is the oldest and the highest-profile animation festival in the world, dating back to the 1960s with the biggest animation studios in attendance every year. This is momentous not only because Swipe is the first Pakistani animated film to ever be featured at Annecy, but also because for an animation studio like ours, that was launched merely two years ago, making it to Annecy is an absolute dream come true!”
They continued to express their gratitude by assuring they’d be proud to represent Pakistan at the prestigious platform. “Team Puff Ball Studios want to thank all of its fans for their continued support and love and invite them to celebrate this huge win. We’re absolutely buzzing with renewed zeal to continue making stirring, exciting, honest Pakistani stories that inspire hope.”
Mazhar’s Swipe presents a fictionalised, digitalised alternative reality of Pakistan, where unlike swiping left or right to find your perfect match; a child is addicted to swiping on iFatwa. The app crowdsources religious death sentences by allowing its users to decide the fate of the accused, who have been brought for trial in the court of public opinion.
According to the film’s official synopsis, Swipe is a hand-painted animated short film about Pakistan made by a team of 20 Pakistani animators, musicians, storytellers, and actors over the course of one year. It has been written, drawn, animated, composed [and] acted under the banner of Puffball Studios.
“Swipe is our attempt at confronting a growing crisis resulting from a culmination of the nexus of technology, extremism and fascism. At the heart of this story, is a confrontation with increasingly hostile, alienating, divisive circumstances and a plea for greater empathy, before it’s too late,” adds the official description.
The short film has been directed and produced by Mazhar and co-produced by Rasti Farooq.
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