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An award winning animated short film about a journey in a local train of Mumbai showing the universal human behaviour where an outsider struggles to make space for himself.

09:09 F

Girgit Studios


Making of 09:09 F

Story and Concept Development

Conceptualised by Avinash Medhe as his Post-graduation thesis while at NID in 2009, the film was completed with the Girgit Studios team and released in 2019. The origin of the film as described by the director, Avinash Medhe:

"Way back in 2009, while having a political debate with my friends over a cup of tea, we were discussing the issue of “Outsiders” overpopulating Mumbai. I commented saying “Immigrants and fight for space is a universal issue...exists in every part of the world. Then why single out Mumbai? It is human instinct to become self centered once in comfort.” While explaining my stand I happened to use the example of the Mumbai Locals...Suddenly I realized it can be a good idea for an animation short to reach out to a wider audience with this omnipresent global issue. 

" I’ve been a regular commuter in mumbai locals...I’ve experiences how people behave, react and struggle to get those few inches to place a foot and grab the handle. I’ve used this opportunity to in a way document the journey in mumbai locals as an additional layer.

" Using the example of journey in a Mumbai’s local train I am presenting a slice of life  trying to point at the attitude of people and allow the audience to get an objective 3rd point of view to realize how overlapping right and wrong can be and judge where they stand."

The film was named09:09 F’, which is the time and type of the local train indicated on the indicator. ‘09:09 F’ is the fast local at 9 : 09 am. The idea behind this title is to show the time factor which drives the Mumbai life and everybody is bound to time. Nine, this number gives a feel that its finishing or its on the verge of end.


Research and Explorations

During the conceptualisation of the film, Avinash visited Mumbai to have a fresh sight of the railway platforms, trains and people around them and took lot of photographs; travelled by trains, talked to people about their first experience with Mumbai local trains. Also, we asked them what all problems they had faced and what their reaction was initially seeing so much of rush and their overall experience of travelling by locals over the years. Every person had their own interesting story.

We also referred to documentaries like BBC's 'Bombay Railway' and National Geographic's 'Mega Cities' to learn more about the local train system and how our population creates an extra burden on such local transport systems.


Art and Style Treatment

As the story is based on Mumbai Local train, it involves a lot of crowd, chaos, motion, elements on platform etc. The boiling lines effect that 2D hand-drawn treatment gives, could give us that sense of chaos and motion. We felt a lot of colors and detailing will unnecessarily distract the audience and distance them from the universal story we intended to tell. 


Character Development

In the film, there are three main characters that play an identifying role; but the crowd also plays a major role in the whole film as it is story about people and train. So looked for a common structure and minimal details which give that character a look and a personality at same time, it would be good to animate too. The main idea behind keeping the basic structure same is to show we are different as individuals but we all are same in the crowd, we are all humans.


Joshi is the principle character in the film. He is a 30 year old guy living in the suburbs of Mumbai. Daily in the morning he catches the 09:09 fast train from Andheri local station to Churchgate for his office.

He is a middleclass man, soft in nature and having an attitude of ‘do your work sincerely you will be out of problem for sure.’


Rane is 35 year old man. He Lives in the suburbs of Mumbai and travels everyday from Borivali to Charchgate for his job. Rane is peon in Mantra- laya. He is always surrounded by big political personnages and he is used to having a conversation with them, so his attitude towards other is a bit arrogant and very proud, since he knows powerful people.


Kumar is a 25 year old young man who has just shifted in to the city for a job. He is alone in the city and is living in PG with other two people. He has graduated and has arrived in the city in search of better future. He is shy guy but very determined.

Crowd also plays a major character in the film on the whole. On railway station we can’t avoid crowd and we are the crowd. At station we can see lots of characters and behaviors within people. During my reserch we observed lots of people and tried find out uniqness which make them differnt.


Animation Production

For the film we wanted to experiment with a style that seamlessly merges both styles. Avinash had cracked a unique character design and art treatment and animated one complete sequence as part of his design thesis. 

As we continued the film at Girgit, we started exploring blender for 3D animation and our technical team managed to match the art style in 2D animated sequence entirely using blender 3D pipeline. So finally the entire film is made in 3D using blender except for one sequence in the film that Avinash animated using hand drawn 2D technique.

Procedure for the 2D sequence to achieve the treatment was as follows

• Draw on photoshop and give stamp effect.

• Vectorise it in flash.

• Time it and composite in premier.

Enrico Moras led the technical explorations in Blender along with Supriya who was heading the CG art and Production management. Multiple animators worked on the film as mentioned above as we used this train project of ours to train our animators on blender.


Sound Design and Music

“Even if one doesn't see the visuals, the music and sound should tell the audience that the film is based in Mumbai.”

That was the brief for the sound design of the Film to super talented Roto Shah who has done the sound design and music for the film and he nailed it. We have been fascinated with the bhajan mandli in the Locals and find it unique to mumbai local. So we wanted to integrate those instruments within the film soundscape. While working on the sound design Roto came up with a musical track for the end credit which can sum up the film. His authentic tune, and Avinash's lyrics captured the feel of Mumbai. Lalit Deshpande’s voice gave this bhajan its soul that stays with you even after the film.


Release and Reception

To our great delight, 09:09 F  had been selected in Anima Mundi Festival, the largest animation festival of the Americas and the second biggest of the world.

Anima Mundi is one of the Academy Awards qualifier festivals and in 2019 our film was the only selected entry from India.

Concept & Director: Avinash Medhe
Executive Producer: Swarup Deb
Creative Producer: Anuj Kumar
Music and Sound Design by: Roto Shah
Lyrics: Avinash Medhe
Singer: Lalit Deshpande
Animation Mentor: Shekhar Mukherjee

Project Manager & CG Art: Supriya Mamarde
Technical Director: Enrico Moras
Compositing: Dhiraj Moolya

3D Team: Vinay Sudhindran, Pritwish Roy Chowdhury, Swapnil Aswar, Enrico Moras, Ajinkya Deshpande, Mandeep Arora, Ranjeet Rathod, Rajdeep Dutta, Ankush Chavan, Mandeep Arora, Anoop Kotwale,

2D Animation: Avinash Medhe, Jishnav Iyer



09:09 F

Girgit Studios

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