ATN Signs “The Legend of Ponnivala” for Canadian Broadcast
– Animated epic series to air spring 2013 –
GORE’S LANDING, ON (March, 2013) – The Sophia Hilton Foundation of Canada and Soft Science Associates, Ltd., creators of the animated “Legend of Ponnivala” series, have signed on with the Asian Television Network for Canadian broadcast of the 26-episode series. The series is slated to launch in English on ATN in late April, with a Tamil-language broadcast planned for the summer.
“The Legend of Ponnivala” tells the story of the epic South Indian heroes Ponnar and Shankar. It also relates the origins of their family, back to the founding of the region two generations earlier. It is a surprisingly expansive tale for a local legend, and includes a wealth of historical and social insights into medieval Indian culture. It draws inspiration and characters from the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, while keeping its focus on farming, the lifestyle central to its place of origin.
“The Legend of Ponnivala” has previously been seen only as a feature film in select international settings. One extended excerpt received a nomination for Best Animated Film (Home Video) at the 2012 FICCI BAF Awards in India. Another extract was a featured presentation at the MOSAIC International South Asian Film Festival in Mississauga, Ontario.
“The Legend of Ponnivala” is derived from a vast, ancient Hindu folktale tradition from South India’s Kongu region. The story has traditionally been told through song and passed down through generations of singing bards. One such performance was captured on over forty hours of audio tape in 1965 by Dr. Brenda Beck, who directed the series. Art and animation on the project began in 2008. Animator Ravichandran Arumugam, whose grandfather was a traditional singer of the epic, was brought on board to lead the art and animation team.
Also involved in the project is award-winning Celtic musician and world music expert Steafan Hannigan, along with the voice talents of Afroz Khan, Sivakumar, Sumit Bhatia, Lata Pada, Ishwar and Sanjay Talreja.
“The Legend of Ponnivala” is an epic adventure story for all ages. Part mythology, part fairytale, part historical drama and part action series, Ponnivala promises to delight and entertain viewers of all ages and across all cultures.
Social Media Links
Asian Television Network (ATN): http://www.asiantelevision.com
About the Sophia Hilton Foundation of Canada
We produce animated and documentary video materials that both inform and educate. We use a variety of styles designed to entertain our audience while we try to deepen viewer understanding of a given topic. We are especially interested in themes that cross cultural divides, with mutual appreciation being our key goal. We develop materials for use by other foundations and charitable organizations. We also distribute our products to schools, universities and cultural organizations whenever possible.
Bards in the Tamil Nadu region of South India have sung The Legend of Ponnivala for centuries. Now, for the first time, this exciting epic is available in print and on DVD from Ponnivala Publishing. Join three generations of a great farming family as they lay the foundations for a new land, facing hunger, rivalry, magic, and monsters. Anthropologist Dr. Brenda E.F. Beck has spent close to fifty years studying this remarkable but little known oral history. She now brings it to audiences around the world through animation, storybooks, and colourful comics.
About ATN (Asian Television Network International Limited)
ATN (TSX-SAT) serves Canada’s Asian community with 35 premium specialty television channels. ATN offers its flagship general interest service, several Bollywood movie channels with 800 movies a month, sports channels, news channels, music channels, a lifestyle channel, spiritual channel and several Regional Language channels. ATN operates the only South Asian Radio Service on XM across The United States and Canada. ATN is also the first and only broadcaster in Canada to deliver South Asian Content on a Mobile Platform in Canada. ATN has programming alliances with leading international broadcasters. (www.asiantelevision.com)
Media Contact for the Sophia Hilton Foundation of Canada:
Steve Baric, Social Media and Communications
Available for Interviews:
Dr. Brenda E.F. Beck