Pakistan's first hand-drawn film The Glassworker selected for Annecy Animation Festival 2022

Pakistan's first hand-drawn film The Glassworker selected for Annecy Animation Festival 2022

Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, Klaus and How to Train Your Dragon 2 are films that have been featured in the same category.
09 May, 2022

Pakistan's first hand-drawn film, Mano Animation Studios' The Glassworker, is among eight feature films from all over the globe selected for the Work In Progress category at France's Annecy International Animation Festival 2022.

"It is truly an honour to represent Pakistan at Annecy 2022. To have our first feature film, The Glassworker, on the same stage as so many incredible and inspiring animated films that have come before us is genuinely humbling," said Usman Riaz, the director.

Calling it an amazing opportunity, he said this will open up avenues for expansion in the animation world. "To be the first hand-drawn feature film to come from Pakistan and for it to be acknowledged by our peers is extremely encouraging. I love the craft of animation more than anything in the world, I have dedicated my life to it. With Annecy Work in Progress, we are in the incredible position to share my love for the craft with the most outstanding studios, artists and animators in the world."

The Film Festival is recognised globally and is always on the lookout for anything that stands out in the world of animation. The Work in Progress list determines and narrows down films bursting with the potential for future awards and box office success. Some of the high-profile films that have made the cut include Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, Klaus and How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Usman's feature film is an original story about young Vincent and his father Tomas, who run the finest glass workshop in the country and find their lives upended by an impending war in which they want no part. The arrival in their town of an army colonel and his young, talented violinist daughter, Alliz, shakes their reality and tests the relationship between father and son.

Annecy Work in Progress will be a 75-minute detailed showcase to industry professionals on Mano Animation Studios and The Glassworker.

Renowned Spanish producer Manuel Cristóbal will be joining the team. Calling Usman "a new voice worth recovering," he was moved by the story and taken aback by the quality of the film. He called the director the "driving force" behind the project, saying he was excited for the film and the fresh voice breaking through.

Inspired by Japanese animation film studio, Studio Ghibli, Usman followed suit and founded Mano Animation Studios in Karachi alongside Khizer Riaz and Mariam Riaz Paracha. He adopted Ghibli's co-founder Hayao Miyazaki's hand-drawn animation preference that's revered by people all over the world for The Glassworker. “One of my proudest accomplishments was when Studio Ghibli bought my film Wrinkles and distributed it in Japan. Wrinkles was the first and only Spanish film Ghibli bought," he shared.

The Glassworker project involves young and talented artists with a median age of 27 years and 52 per cent of the team is female. It's been described as a project full of surprises that encourages diversity in animation. Mano Animation has built a collaboration network that extends to Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Peru, Argentina, the United States and the United Kingdom.


Bilal May 09, 2022 01:48pm
Now I can die in peace.
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Imran Islam May 09, 2022 02:17pm
MA AND I. A!!!! Great work!!! praying for you all!!!
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Shahida Tasneem May 09, 2022 03:02pm
Proud of you all
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JM May 09, 2022 03:37pm
Great going Usman Riaz! You've done Pakistan proud. I'd love to visit Mano Animation studios. Would like to see the magic happening in person.
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Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad May 09, 2022 03:41pm
Great move and wonderful news.
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Subhana May 09, 2022 03:47pm
I like the work of Mr. Riaz and I also used to sketch short animations on my tablet. This is my pashion.
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Siva Digavalli May 09, 2022 04:08pm
Awesome, congratulations!
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Jigen.m19 May 09, 2022 04:13pm
Amazing talent. This needs to take root in Pakistan. Great job
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Rebirth May 09, 2022 05:36pm
Took them more than 5 years to pull this off when we need our own Urdu kids channel to dilute the influence of Hindi-dubbed Anime shows. A step in the right direction but at a snail’s pace. Mixed emotions.
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Duped Again May 09, 2022 05:52pm
Amazing creative work guys! Bravo...Proud of you!!
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Aiza May 09, 2022 10:11pm
Usman Riaz is a genius. I remember him as this young teenager who played self composed piano music on concert level. He is self taught classic gitarist as well and now after finishing his degree at Berkley he is representing Pakistan at Annecy animation festival. A real asset to our country!
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Javed May 09, 2022 10:43pm
Keep going great work guys
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shubs May 10, 2022 03:02am
Great work!! But why does the artwork look EXACTLY like Japanese manga? I think to stand out as a work of Pakistani art it should have its own look and characteristic?
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Jiya shah May 10, 2022 08:48am
Wow wow wow. Wonderful and unique indeed. So much hard-work and it was rewarded.. it truly represents the positive side of our country and talents it holds. We are proud of you all. Keep it up
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Sana May 10, 2022 09:07am
Talent shows no doubt. But where is the Pakistani culture in it; where is the originality?
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Mohsin Raza khan May 10, 2022 11:17am
A great feat of artistic creativity. Felicitations to the director and his team for a job well done. Best of luck guys.
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Bilal May 10, 2022 11:31am
I have been following his work for more than two years , i saw him play guitar in unorthodox way which caught my eye many many years back best of luck champ
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