Manhole Trailer (Video Link)
Unreal Engine by Epic Games, the real-time 3D creation tool & game engine, announced the winners of its ‘Shorts India Program’, successfully concluding its inaugural edition in India. To show the prowess of real-time workflows in filmmaking, the four-month program had fourteen teams of established studios and artists compete to make a short film. The distinguished jury from the Indian film industry consisted of Ayan Mukerji, Dibakar Banerjee, Bharat Bala, and Karen Dufilho-Rosen.
‘Manhole’, the 3D animated short film is a cinematic precursor to larger experiential narratives - a VR film, and a feature-length film. The project team started forming in January 2020, which further expanded to be called the Manhole Collective. The collective’s objective was to create an experiential narrative that would communicate the difficulties and inhumanity being faced by manual scavengers in India, hoping to ignite conversations and spread awareness about this topic. The aim was to highlight the dangers they face while entering hazardous manholes without any safety equipment or protective gear and the numerous deaths that occurred over the years.
Screenshots from the film.
Abhishek Verma, an alumnus of IDC School of Design and Jayesh Pillai, Associate Professor at IDC School of Design co-directed the film ‘Manhole’. They formed the core team with Amarnath Murugan as the technical director and Amal Dev as the art director.
Aman Bhaduria and his team at Deckor joined the collective to create the mini ‘Delhi street’ that is seen in the film, through realistic 3D assets. Shantanu Yennemadi, a prolific sound editor with projects such as Bajirao Mastani, Pink and Ghoul under his belt, joined the collective and made the film immersive through his sound design. Few students and alumni of IIT Bombay, especially from the School of Design (Gokul CJ, Srivatsav Cheruku, Sai Kiran Lavudiya), also contributed to the final outcome.