Civic Studios announces world premiere of animation feature ‘Schirkoa: In Lies We Trust’ at Rotterdam Film Festival in 2024


29th November 2023: Civic Studios, a global media company creating entertainment that drives social impact, proudly announces the world premiere of Indo-French-German production ‘Schirkoa: In Lies We Trust’ at the 2024 edition of the Rotterdam Film Festival in its Bright Future section, aimed at up-and-coming filmmakers with innovative, original, and daring work. This marks the feature debut of the award-winning Indian filmmaker Ishan Shukla, whose 2016 animated short “Schirkoa” played at more than 120 international film festivals and won 33 awards, including Best Animated Short award at LA Shorts Fest.

‘Schirkoa: In Lies We Trust’ tells the story of a dystopian world where people are made to wear paper bags over their heads to dissolve differences, and an anonymous citizen sparks an accidental revolution.


The film features a powerful, diverse voice cast, including Golshifteh Farahani, Asia Argento, SoKo, King Khan, Denzil Smith, John Sutton, and introducing Tibu Fortes and Shahbaz Sarwar. The guest voices will also include iconic Indian talents like Karan Johar, Shekhar Kapur, Anurag Kashyap, and Piyush Mishra. The film’s eclectic, immersive soundtrack is composed by the acclaimed Sneha Khanwalkar, who has created iconic scores for films like Gangs of Wasseypur and Oye Lucky Lucky Oye.

On the announcement of its Rotterdam world premiere, Civic Studios founder, Anushka Shah, expressed, “With ‘Schirkoa: In Lies We Trust,’ we knew the film and Ishan’s vision will push the boundaries of animation and storytelling, celebrating a harmonious blend of diverse cultures, ideas and creative heft. It is thrilling to receive that recognition and premiere on a prestigious stage like Rotterdam.”

'Schirkoa 2

This film is a co-production between Red Cigarette Media (Ishan Shukla’s Vadodara-based animation studio), Dissidenz Films (Paris-based production company), and Rapid Eye Movies (German production and distribution company), in association with Civic Studios (Mumbai and London-based production studio focused on impact storytelling) and French Sofica Cofinova 18. On the Indian side, it has been Executive-Produced by Civic Studios’ founder, Anushka Shah and co-produced by Samir Sarkar.

The film was also supported by CNC Cinémas du Monde, Epic MegaGrants, Film¬ und Medienstiftung NRW and French region Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

‘Schirkoa: In Lies We Trust’ is a crucial milestone for India to put out unique, inventive, and original IP on the global animation landscape. It has already secured representation by New Europe Film Sales for its international sales, and will be co-repped by Anonymous Content for the North America region. So the global stage is set for this visual spectacle that is ‘Schirkoa: In Lies We Trust’

As this animation feature promises to be a conversation starter on pressing, contemporary themes like free will and autocracy, Civic Studios continues to back stories that are on the cutting edge of culture, creativity and social change.

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