Award-winning filmmaker Ishaan Shukla's debut feature film ' shirkoa: In Lies We Trust', a dystopian sci-fi animation film will have its world premiere in the Bright Future section at the 2024 International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR). This festival will be organized from 25 January to 4 February.
‘Shirkoa: In Lies, We Trust’ tells the story of a dystopian world where people are forced to wear paper bags over their heads to drown out differences and an anonymous citizen sparks an accidental revolution.
Ishaan's first feature film is based on his award-winning short film of the same name 'Shirkoa' (2016), which screened at over 120 international film festivals and won 33 awards, including Best Animated Short at the LA Shorts Festival it was listed for a long time.
The film has the voices of international artist
The 103-minute film features the lead voices of international film personalities like Golshifteh Farahani, Asia Argento, Soko, King Khan and the Shrines, Denzil Smith, John Sutton, and guest artist voices of Tiboo Fortes and Shahbaz Sarwar and Lav Diaz, Karan Johar Are included. , Shekhar Kapur, Anurag Kashyap, Piyush Mishra and writer filmmaker Gaspar Noé.
The film's diverse, immersive soundtrack is composed by acclaimed Sneha Khanwalkar, who has created iconic compositions for films like Gangs of Wasseypur and Oye Lucky Lucky Oye.
It is a collaboration with different studios
An Indo-French-German co-production between Shirkoa Red Cigarette Media (Ishaan Shukla's Vadodara-based animation studio), Dissidence Films (a Paris-based production company led by Bich-Quan Tran) and Rapid Eye Movies (German production and distribution) Is. a company led by Stephen Hall), in collaboration with Civic Studios (a Mumbai and London-based production studio focused on impactful storytelling) and French Sofiaka Kofinova 18.
The film's Indian executive producer is Anushka Shah
On the Indian side, it is executive-produced by Anushka Shah, founder of Civic Studios, and co-produced by Sameer Sarkar. The film was also supported by CNC Cinemas du Monde, EPIC Megagrants, Film and Medienstiftung NRW, and the French region Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
The film is represented by New Europe Film Sales for international sales and will be co-represented by Anonymous Content for the North American region.
Ishaan Shukla about the film
Debutant filmmaker Ishaan Shukla, who also directed an episode of 'Star Wars: Visions Volume 2', says, “Our film 'Shirkoa: In Lily's We Trust' is the culmination of my decade-long journey dedicated to making a film that is a result that is beyond boundaries and mediums. I am very happy that this story, which reflects our ideology, is on the verge of being revealed to the world.”
The Founder of Civic Studios said
Anushka Shah, Founder of Civic Studios says, “At Civic Studios, we are very excited to premiere Shirkoa at IFFR. It's such an honor to be involved with a project that brings together stunning animation, brilliant voice-overs, and powerful social commentary. At Civic Studios our focus has been on quality content that resonates globally and I think this project succeeds in doing just that.
In a sophisticated, almost perfect society named 'Shirkoa', citizens live with paper bags over their heads to resolve differences of opinion. Tensions rise when whispers of a mythical land without bags begin to float around and a new council member sparks an accidental revolution.
The directors of the film said about their film – “Shirkoa is a symbolic response to the world I live in today. A constant struggle between the two dimensions of our world. Thus, I imagined an alternate timeline where the entire world was concentrated in just two countries. An eclectic mix of cultures, identities, and languages. One nation, Shirkoa, is working hard to achieve perfection and is successfully achieving it through the ‘Bag Act’. The second nation, Konthaka, is more humane, colorful, romantic, sometimes irrational, and ultimately anarchic. Both countries have thought-provoking ideas to run their nation and the better option may only be subject to one person's perception. Against this vast backdrop, it is an intimate story based on events in the life of a humble man whose life spirals to extremes as he straddles these two worlds in an attempt to find meaning between society, spirituality, and family. As the story progresses we are shifted from a relevant contemporary setting to an avant-garde fantasy realm. I see the world through an absurdist lens: for me, animation provocatively combines absurdism and fantasy while still maintaining visual poetry and human moments.
Ishaan created his first comic at the age of just 6
The film's producer Ishaan Shukla has been creative since childhood. Created his first comic at the age of just 6 and created several original comics before finishing school. After working in the Singaporean animation industry for several years, he came back to India and single-handedly managed to complete his first short film. The film titled 'Shirkoa' - on which the animated feature 'Shirkoa: In Lies We Trust' is based - received over 30 awards and became the rarest Indian animated short film to be longlisted for an Academy Award®. There was a tremendous welcome afterward. In over 120 international film festivals. Ishaan Shukla has now set up his animation studio, Red Cigarette Media, which works on highly personal and artistic adult-oriented animated feature films, aimed at both art houses and wider audiences. Ishaan Shukla is also a director. He directed 'The Bandits of Golak', one of the nine short stories in the Lucas film anthology series 'Star Wars: Visions Volume 2', which premiered on Disney in May 2023.
Civic studios co-produce films for both Indian and International markets
Civic Studios is a global media company that aims to create entertainment that creates social impact. Incubated at the MIT Media Lab, USA, it creates authentic stories of change, hope, and pride across all formats of film, web series, and short-form digital content. Civic Studios develops, finances, produces, and co-produces films for the Indian and international markets with distribution access to cinemas, film festivals, and streaming platforms. Civic Studio currently operates from offices in Mumbai and London.
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