Indian students inspired by rich learning experience in New Zealand

Mumbai: Three award-winning Indian students have completed a three-week internship at New Zealand’s world-leading digital design and animation institutions: Massey University, Wellington Institute of Technology and Media Design School.

The interns were inspired by the rich learning experience in New Zealand, the innovative and collaborative approach to teaching and learning, the cutting edge technology available, and the warm welcome they received.

“Education in New Zealand is inspiring, the innovative way of teaching graphics, moviemaking, film design all at the same time and to be able to mold generalists into multitaskers who can contribute in all areas of media production was fascinating,” said Unni Sunny from Bengaluru.

Unni as well as Anwesha Samanta from Trivandrum and Diana Fernandes from Pune were awarded a three-week internship at premier New Zealand institutions as part of an Education New Zealand-led animation showcase challenge ‘My New Zealand Future.’
My New Zealand Future animation showcase winners
The winning entries, selected for their creativity, quality, thematic treatment and originality, were announced in October last year during the former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key’s state visit to India.

Education New Zealand’s Regional Director – South South East Asia and Middle East, John Laxon said, “More and more Indian students are choosing New Zealand as a world-class and safe education destination, including students pursuing specialist careers in industries such as animation and film. As the home of world-wide blockbusters such as The Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings and Avatar, we look forward to providing the future stars of India exciting education opportunities and global career pathways. We congratulate Unni, Diana and Anwesha on their internship, and look forward to welcoming many more aspiring animators and film-makers to our institutions”

The internship programme was designed to focus on developing leadership, communication, creative thinking and problem-solving skills, all of which are increasingly important attributes for graduates associated with the New Zealand education experience.
From (L-R): Anwesha Samanta, Animation competition winner, Chris Gosling, Chief Executive, Whitireia Community Polytechnic (Whitireia) and Wellington Institute of Technology, Diana Fernandes, Animation Competition Winner, Former Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key, Unni Sunny, Animation Competition Winner, Darryn Melrose, Chief Executive, Media Design School

The interns were impressed by the great learning experience offered by New Zealand institutions in a safe and nurturing environment. The teaching approach, focussing on problem solving, collaboration, creativity, communication and team-building, was different from what they had experienced previously.

“In India, I am used to working on my own. Even when we are given group assignments, we usually work on different tasks on our own and then come together at the end. Also Kiwis made me feel very safe, very amicable and caring people,” Anwesha Samanta from Thiruvananthapuram said.

The students enjoyed learning about cross-format design principles such as movement of the eye. A highlight for the students was the opportunity to make comparisons between real-life models and skeletons to get a sense of how exactly muscles worked.

IMG_8158Diana Fernandes from Ahmedabad recalls using a 3D printer at Weltec/Whitireia during the internship, “Brian McLean, director of rapid prototyping at Laika studio said, ‘It is quite amazing to hold a real character in your hand and know that you have built it using computer software’. I truly understood the meaning of the statement when I held my model. It was an astounding experience.”

Unni is a concept artist at Mech Mocha Games Studio at Bengaluru. He completed a year’s programme in animation and digital arts at Toonz Animation Academy before starting with his job.

Diana is currently in her fourth year of an animation programme at MIT Institute of Design, Pune.

Anwesha is pursuing a year’s programme in advanced filmmaking in animation at the Asian Institute of Film & Media Studies Pvt Ltd, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.