Greg Acuna Chitrakatha ‘07 Jury Member

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 (Original Article on

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The Final Student Animation Competition

The esteemed jury for the final competition of Student Animation films at the Chitrakatha Fest comprises of 5 very highly regarded people from varying backgrounds.

Greg Acuna

Jose Belmonte

Dr Kavita Punjabi  

Nina Sabnani  

Prakash Moorthy


Know more about the jury…


Greg grew up in Los Angeles and attended the University of Southern California as an undergraduate where he took several film classes while earning his BA in Political Science. He received his MA in Playwriting from San Francisco State. He has written/directed one produced feature film, co-scripted two others, and been a script doctor on a number of projects. Other accomplishments include several productions of his plays, poetry published in four countries, composing songs, directing music videos, writing articles, designing commercial graphics, illustrating picture books for children and last year he completed writing a literary novel. He has taught screenwriting at the university level and been a consultant for Paramount Pictures, Exchange Cubed, Arthur Anderson and CNA.

Greg has traveled the world extensively having lived in quite a few countries. He moved to India in 2001 and now lives full-time in Goa where he recently started Pala Flicks to produce socially conscious content for television, films, web, and interactive media. The company’s first project is “Earthlings” an educational entertainment show for kids ages 6 to 11. It’s a TV Series and website with plans for interactive games, e-books, educational toys and much more. On a magical island live-action children and 3D animated aliens play games of cooperation, explore the world, sing, dance, do yoga, meditation and have wonderful adventures.


Born in San Sebastian (Spain) in 1960, Jose demonstrated his interest for animals and nature at a very young age. These subjects have continued to serve as a major source of inspiration throughout his career. He studied painting at the University of Bilbao in the Basque Country in northern Spain where he earned a degree in Fine Arts and went on to study illustration at the Instituto Europeo di Design in Rome, Italy. Thus equipped, he began his career as an illustrator specializing in print media.

His award-winning work can be found on book covers, in newspapers and in magazines throughout Italy and Spain. He is the recipient of several awards from the Society of Newspaper Design (Los Angeles, USA) for his illustrations in the Spanish newspaper El Pais. His imagination and ironic humor have also lead to great success in the illustration of children’s literature.


Kavita Panjabi is a Reader in Comparative Literature, and also teaches Women’s Studies, at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. She received her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D degrees in Comparative Literature from Smith College, Jadavpur University and Cornell University respectively, and her current fields of interest are oral history, feminist studies, cultural studies, and Latin American literatures. She has been a recipient of the Mellon Fellowship, USA; the Sephis Post-doctoral Fellowship, the Netherlands; and the South Asia Writing Fellowship of the Social Science Research Council, New York.

Her publications include various essays on violence against women, the Gujarat experience, testimonial literature, oral narratives of women in the Tebhaga movement, and Latin American literatures. She has also published Old Maps and New: Legacies of the Partition, and was part of the three member team that visited Gujarat in 2002 and wrote The Next Generation: In the Wake of the Genocide – A Report on the Impact of the Gujarat Programme on Children and the Young.

As chairperson of the Focus Group on Gender Issues in Education for the 2005 National Curriculum Framework Review of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), she compiled the group’s position paper entitled Gender Issues in Education. As a member of the Council of Fellows of ARENA (Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives), she is currently involved in its South Asian Women’s Oral History Project. She is also a trustee of Aman, a Delhi based national institution for research and activism against violence, an Executive Committee member and Editor of the Indian Association of Women’s Studies (IAWS), and a member of the Pakistan India Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD).


Nina Sabnani is an artist, animation director and illustrator based in Mumbai.

Until September 2007 she was a senior designer at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad where she taught in the areas of Animation and Visual Communication for twenty two years. She graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University, Vadodara and trained further at NID in Animation Film Design. She received a UNDP fellowship, which took her to study animation in Belgium, The Netherlands and UK. She was actively involved in setting up the first Advanced Entry Program in Animation at NID in 1985.

Nina pursued her MA at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, NY, USA, as a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship in 1997. At Syracuse she studied Multimedia and Television. On her return she initiated and developed the curriculum for a Post Graduate Programme in New Media, which commenced in 2001. In 2002 she organized Sutra, an International Conference on Storytelling in the Digital Age, jointly with MIT Media Lab and Media Lab Asia following which she was invited by Glorianna Davenport to MIT, USA, to speak about Experiences in Interactive Art. Her interest in primary education and storytelling led her to lead research projects for Ford Foundation at NID. Her last assignment at NID was heading the Post Graduate campus at Gandhinagar.

She has been teaching illustration, script writing and storyboarding, storytelling and simultaneously making films on diverse issues. She has experimented in transposing artistic styles into animation. Her film Shubh Vivah, uses the Madubani style of painting to dwell on the anti-dowry issue. She has also animated K G Subramanyan’s picture book, A Summer Story. Her model animation film on the birth of zero in India called All About Nothing was subsequently turned into an illustrated book for Tulika. Her most recent film “Mukand and Riaz” is an animated documentary about partition based on a true life story, in an unusual technique using textiles, embroidery and appliqué. She has illustrated several books for Tulika publishers, Chennai which have been translated in many languages.

She has been invited to serve as a pre-selection jury member for the Week with the Masters organized by TOONZ Animation, Trivadram in 2003 and as jury member at FRAMES organized by FICCI, Mumbai in March 2004 and 24FPS organized by MAAC in 2006 and 2007.

Currently, she is pursuing her Doctoral Research at the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay. Her area of research is Storytelling models in India, with a particular focus on the Kaavad tradition of Rajasthan.


Born – 28th April 1960 in Trivandrum India


1982 – Bachelor in fine Arts, (BA), College of fine Arts, Trivandrum, India


1984 – Master in Fine Arts (MA), M.S University of Baroda Gujarat, India. (First Class with distinction)


1989 – Diploma (Masters) in Visual Communication, Animation Design, National Institute of Design. India


1997 – Production Designer, “Raison de Cuer”, directed by Markus Imhoof, French/German feature film. Thelma films AG Zurich


1997-98 – Faculty, Animation film Design, Zed Institute of Design

 1999 – Production Designer, VANAPRASTHAM, French/Malayalam feature film,

Directed by Shaji N. Karun. Pierre Arsoline Production Paris


2000 – Art Director, NISHAD, Hindi Feature film, Directed by Shaji N karun

 2004 – Production Designer, KAAYA TARAN Hindi Feature film Directed by Shashi Kumar 

Designer for Information and Interpretation centres for the Forest department at Munnar, Rajamalai and Thekkady (Periyar Tiger Reserve)

2000 – Faculty at the IITC Trivandrum

2003 – Member, Kerala Lalit Kala Akademy

2002 – Faculty at the C Dit Trivandrum

2004 – Project Director “Unsung among Us” New Media project UNDP

2004 – Contributed short story to “Between the earth and the sky” Penguin books. India

2004 – Visiting Faculty, National Institute of Design, Ahemdabad, India. Since 1995

1997 – Travelled and worked in Zurich, Bern, Basle, Locarno, “Raison de Cuer”

1998 – Invited to Hiroshima International Animation film festival

August 1998

2000 – Award for Best Art Direction at Dubai Film Festival for the film “Vanaprastham”

2005 – Wrote “Animating an Indian Story” Biographical study of RamanLal Mistry. Published by NID

AT PRESENT – Head of animation Miditech (Galli Galii Sim Sim- Sesame street) New Delhi, India 

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