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Friday June 21, 2024

Pakistan’s first hand-drawn film ‘The Glassworker’ selected for Annecy Animation Festival 2024

By News Desk
April 27, 2024
A representational image showing the poster of the movie The Glassworker. — APP/File
A representational image showing the poster of the movie "The Glassworker". — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s first hand-drawn animated movie ‘The Glassworker’ is the first film from the subcontinent to have ever been selected for official competition at the world-renowned Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2024.

The Glassworker will screen at the event alongside Hollywood and Japanese animated films, as well as films from other countries. The film’s world premiere will take place at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the world’s oldest and most prestigious animation festival, in June 2024.

The other films in the competition include Sultana’s Dream (Spain), Gill South (Korea), The Missing (Philippines), Living Large (Czech Republic), Black Butterflies (Spain, Panama), Our Crazy Love (Brazil), Pelikan Blue (Hungary), Journey of Shadows (Switzerland), Sunburnt Unicorn (Canada), and The Birth of Kitaro (Japan).

‘The Glassworker’ is being presented by Geo Films. Created by Mano Animation Studios, the film will be released across Pakistan under the banner of Geo Films and Mandviwalla Entertainment this summer.

Geo Films has been playing a vital role in reviving Pakistani cinema. Iconic films like ‘Khuda Kay Liye’, ‘Bol’, ‘Teefa in Trouble’, ‘The Legend of Maula Jutt’ and ‘Donkey King’ are some of the projects Geo Films has brought to Pakistani audiences. Director of ‘The Glassworker’ Usman Riaz says: “I started this journey 10 years ago in 2014. No one believed it would be possible.

To have the film’s premiere at Annecy 2024 alongside some of the best-animated films in the world is a matter of happiness I cannot really describe. I am overjoyed and in awe. No one had ever attempted to make a hand-drawn animated film in Pakistan for a very good reason – it is impossible. We have all worked extremely hard to make this possible.

I am grateful to the Annecy team for believing in ‘The Glassworker’, not just as a film, but for what it represents: the power of perseverance.” The producer of ‘The Glassworker’, Khizer Riaz, adds: “It is a huge honour to have our first animated feature film be selected at Annecy.

We have created a studio alongside a film in Pakistan through grit and passion for the craft. What started as an idea by Usman Riaz has snowballed into a full-fledged studio and hopefully the beginning of a new name in the animation industry. To be acknowledged by the international animation industry is a dream come true. We hope to continue telling original South Asian stories with Mano’s unique perspective for the years to come.”Based in Karachi, Mano Animation Studios is Pakistan’s first hand-drawn animation studio. The studio is run by its three partners — founder Usman Riaz, co-founder Mariam Paracha, and CEO Khizer Riaz.

The studio aims to have a seat at the table in the film and animation world and hopes to continue telling South Asian stories through its unique perspective.