Nagamation, a small yet dynamic creative hub, is among the first in Nagaland attempting to tell stories using 2D animation.  Founded by Maipangnok Longkumer, an animator, and Kibulong Imsong, a sound designer, in 2021, Nagamation emerged from a shared love for storytelling and the enchanting world of animation.

Nagamation - narrating stories through animation
Maipangnok Longkumer and Kibulong Imsong

Nagamation first gained recognition in 2024 when their debut short film, Epicinium – Essence of the Past, was featured at the Northeast Film Festival in Kohima.

Following this, Nagamation is currently working on an exciting new project, a short series titled “Once Upon a Time.” The series is available for viewing on their official YouTube channel @Nagamation.
Here is an exclusive interview with Mokokchung Times.

MT: Could you give us a sneak peek into your upcoming short series “Once Upon a Time”? What are some of the themes and messages you aim to convey through “Once Upon a Time?”

Nagamation: The “Once upon a time” series is a fun attempt to create something wacky, out of the box story. And the narrative style storytelling felt like the right way to enhance that vibe.
At its initial stage the story was a bit darker, less humorous in tone. But as the story progressed, the tone shifted to a more fun, light-hearted vibe.

There is no specific theme or a meaningful message to the story at the moment, since it’s still in the process of making.

MT: How has the response been so far to the series on your YouTube channel?

Nagamation: So far, the response from the channel is pretty amazing since we started way back in 2021. Along the way we were even privileged to be featured in the 4th Nagaland Film Festival for the short film “Epicinium”.
Regarding “Once upon a time”, we got a lot of positive responses as well as well-wishers. We hope that we bring out the best of our potential to bring more of the contents for the viewers.

MT: What influences or inspirations do you draw from when creating your stories and animations?

Maipangnok Longkumer: My love for animation and its influence came from the legend Mr Hayao Miyazaki. He is a Japanese animator, filmmaker, Manga artist and the director of Ghibili Studios.

Also my Grandma plays a vital role in implanting the storytelling seeds inside of me. When I was a child, she used to tell me bizarre stories about monsters and mythical creatures, like a talking tree. Yes, a talking tree. I remember it clearly because she literally looked dead into my eyes and said “it was a talking tree.”

Anyways, now, when I look back at that time, I feel like it really had an impact upon my life and really cemented this craze for storytelling.

Like my grandma, I love to tell stories and with the help of animation those stories come to live.

Nagamation

MT: How do you see the animation industry evolving in Nagaland?

Nagamation: Since it is a very new venture to the industry out here in Nagaland, it will take some time.

In Nagaland, we see that our young generations are into anime and its characters so much that we have events organized in different parts of our districts promoting this culture, so, if we just give a little spark to this animation world, there is a high potential that this industry will grow exponentially.

We are even planning to train up individuals who have this passion so that we can build this industry together. We believe that our culture, folk tales and tradition be displayed through the art of animation.

MT: Can you share the story and themes behind your first short film, “Epicinium – Essence of the Past”?
Nagamation: In a harrowing tale of global catastrophe, a deadly and mysterious plague sweeps across continents, leaving in its wake a world plunged into chaos.

A curious and resourceful boy stumbles upon a weathered map that holds the key to unraveling the mysteries of the world before its downfall.

The theme of the story is about hope. Amidst all the destruction and terror looming over the world, a small glimmer of hope is all that is needed to turn the tide.

MT: What inspired you both to start Nagamation? How did your individual backgrounds in animation and sound design contribute to the creation of Nagamation?
Nagamation: In the early of 2021 lockdown period, we started off with a small project for a music video which turned into a similar vision towards the same goal. After a long conversation between us, we decided that we will join forces to create this platform to create a new way of telling stories by animating and designing the sound which lead to the formation of this production.

Out here in Nagaland, we don’t have a solid foundation when it comes to animation production. And comparing it to the other artistic fields, animation is a bit lacking behind. So, this is one of the reasons why we created Nagamation. Our passion for storytelling and the urge to bring something new and fresh to the table through the medium of animation, with the hope that we inspire the newer generation to take up interest and feel a bit curious to learn art of animation. We personally feel that it’s about time we had our own set of animation content.

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