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The National Cartoon Festival

The National Cartoon Festival is an event that took place between 28-Oct-2000 and 30-Oct-2000 in Hyderabad.
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"Stop the world," screamed Mario, "I want to get off!" But if you have to live on it, you might as well laugh your way through it. And as we write this on the last day of a hilarious celebration of a get-together of toon-makers, we find ourselves in a rather cheerless mood. This unique festival is leaving the Hyderabadis and the cartoonists themselves who gathered from round the country, in splits of laughter and in melancholy at the same time. Its always this way when something nice comes to an end, like you always have to find out afresh.

The National Cartoon Festival was one hell of a sarcastic, uproarious and funny way of looking at and contemplating life, our surroundings and ourselves! It never ceases to amaze you how a cartoonist's mind works to create such facades of life in those simple spontaneous and effortless strokes. "The men behind those humorous strokes are on a constant search for that little needle of humour in the haystack of confusion called life." Thus spake once the country's most famous cartoonist R K Laxman. How true!

From the mammoth image of Karnam Malleshwari and the blindfolded modern mediator Nakeeran Gopal to Laloo Prasad and anything and everything else under the sky, the festival offered perceptions and visuals of amazing quality. Not always did the visuals delight you, at times the cartoons actually make you feel sad about our own impotency in several situations. Like one cartoon that has a young 'Puli Veshagadu' (an person donned as a tiger for a street play) being cautioned by his mother not to venture anywhere near the Zoo, for they might skin him alive! And another of the two governments of Karnataka and Tamilnadu depending on a mediator called Nakkeran Gopal…

The displays included works of the foremost cartoonists of the country, all working for ace newspapers, like Ponnappa (The Times of India, Bangalore), Unni (Indian Express, Delhi), Keshav (The Hindu, Chennai), Maya Kamath (Asian Age, Bangalore), etc., apart from renowned cartoonists like Abu Abraham, R K Laxman, Mario and Gopulu among many others. There were works of a host of Andhra Pradesh cartoonists like Bapu, Jayadev, Sridhar and over 30 others.

The festival got inaugurated on 28th Oct with B V Ramamurthy dashing off those whooshes of the brush, etching the cartoon of the Prime Minister. Cartoon workshops, spot cartooning and interactive sessions were a part of the festival, which had both professional and amateur cartoonists participating. And on the last day of the festival, the audience was treated to animation demonstrations and documentary film shows, apart from seminars starting at 10 am and going on to 8 pm.

The festival was organized by the Press Academy of A P in collaboration with Samaikya Bharathi and the Forum for Political Cartoonists, A P.
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