Feel special: Indian-American director on Oscar nomination

By Natalia Ningthoujam  

New Delhi: Sanjay Patel’s animated short, “Sanjay’s Super Team”, which tells the story of an immigrant community and “a family of colour”, is up against movies like “Bear Story” and “World of Tomorrow” for the Best Animated Short Film at this year’s Oscars. The Indian-American Pixar artist and director says it feels special just to be in the company of “incredibly deserving” nominees.

He feels proud that Pixar was “so supportive in letting me tell a story from an immigrant community… a story of family of colour and give me that opportunity to tell the truth”.

Born in Britain to Gujarati parents, Patel moved to the United States in the 1980s. The 41-year-old joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1996 as an animator on “A Bug’s Life”, and has animated on many of Pixar’s feature films, including “Ratatouille”, “Cars” and “Toy Story 3”.

Patel also storyboarded extensively for “Monster’s Inc.”, “The Incredibles” and “Toy Story 2”.

“My father has always been proud of me. The truth is I was always very embarrassed of him… of his Indianness. So, I am really proud that my father was patient for me to grow up, for me to come to appreciate who we really are,” said Patel.

In fact, his “big wish” is to visit India with his parents.

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