A clear cut above celluloid, on paper

The tool: a pair of scissors. The product: an animation film.

All that the unconventional craft of paper-cutting animation requires is one basic tool and a skilled pair of hands. No computer, no graphics software, drawings or tracings — only paper cuttings by an artist like Prabal Pramanik.

Born into the ancient tradition of Devasthanakala Sanjhi, Pramanik has dedicated himself to the preservation and growth of this dying art form of paper-cutting animation. During the times of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, many Vaishnava temples and Nat Mandirs were decorated with silhouette and filigree paper-cut designs during festivals such as Raash, Dol, Janmashtami and Jhulan.

Now, Pramanik has reintroduced this rare form in the sphere of modern cinematography. Some of the notable short animation films made by Pramanik and Chandra have been The Mahabharata, Jayadeva’s Geetagovinda and The Life of Buddha.