At the 2021 edition of Animation Masters Summit, renowned filmmaker, media entrepreneur, and pioneer for the Indian animation industry Ketan Mehta and artist-academic Nina Sabnani will be honoured. The virtual Summit, organised by Toonz Media Group, will take place on the Zoom network from May 4 to 8, according to a company release. 

Prof Sabnani will receive the "Legend of Indian Animation Award" at Animation Masters Summit 2021 for her invaluable contributions to animation and other visual art forms over a career spanning more than two decades. 

The Legend of Animation Award is given away every year at Animation Masters Summit to honour a legend from the field of animation in India. 

Sabnani, who now teaches at IIT Bombay's IDC School of Design, is one of the country's first female animators. 

She won the National Award for Best Animation Film for her film "Hum Chitra Banate Hai." She is a talented visual storyteller who has won several national and international awards. 

Prof. Sabnani, a Fulbright Fellow, has conducted extensive research in the fields of folklore, visual ethnography, participatory filmmaking, and traditional artist learning pedagogies, among others. 

Ketan Mehta, an internationally acclaimed filmmaker best known for award-winning films such as "Bhavni Bhavai" (Gujarati), "Mirch Masala", "Maya Memsab", "Mangal Pandey", and "Holiand Sardar" (all Hindi), will receive the "Special Contribution to Indian Animation Industry Award" for his overall contributions. 

Mehta is also the founder of Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics, India's leading visual arts academy, and Cosmos Maya Studios, one of the country's top animation studios best known for iconic animation IPs such as "Motu Patlu," "Kisna," "Vir- the robot kid," "Een-Meena-Deeka," and others.

Both the awards will be presented at the inaugural session of the Summit on May 4, it said. "Every year at Animation Masters Summit we give away the Legend Award to a legendary animation master in recognition of their life-long contribution to Indian Animation. Prof Nina Sabnani is one of the most revered figures in Indian animation today. She is like a guru to all of us in the fraternity," says P.Jayakumar, CEO, Toonz Media Group. 

"Ketan Mehta, who is being awarded the Special Contribution Award, has helped put the Indian animation community on the global map by founding one of the most successful animation studios in India." 

"He also played a significant role in fostering new talent by establishing the Maya Academy," Jayakumar added. 

A galaxy of stalwarts from diverse fields of media and entertainment from around the world will speak at the five-day gathering. 

The theme for this edition of the Summit is ''Embracing Diversity: Finding beauty in our differences.'' 

The conference will also feature two-panel discussions, one on the role of animation in Education Technology (EdTech) and the other, curated by Animation World Network (AWN), on diversity in the children's entertainment industry.