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 se1ect 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, 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.
Check out the series teaser below: