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Shri Piyush Goyal

India’s AVGC Sector Can Be Global Power for Creative Talent: Piyush Goyal

admin   September 7, 2021

The AVGC sector has the potential to transform India into a global power for creative talent and help Indian society evolve by pushing it to reach the next level of learning, as well as engaging with the rest of the world by expanding in multiple dimensions, said Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles.

Addressing the second edition of CII Summit FX 2021 – Global AVGC and Immersive Media Summit, the Minister said, “”AVGC is truly one area which has India’s creative talent at its very best. India’s agility and resilience that you have already demonstrated in the last 16-17 months through the COVID period has shown to the world that we are a trusted partner.”

Underscoring India’s “phenomenal success story” in service sector, the Minister said that India was able to fulfill all its service commitments throughout the COVID pandemic period, and is now growing at a very fast pace. “Despite facing losses in travel, tourism, and entertainment sector that we had last year, we were able to meet our service export commitments by about 97%. Indian service sector really came up to the world’s expectations, literally uninterrupted. Not a day or hour was lost in terms of whatever commitments our Indian industry had made to the rest of the world. It was astounding the way in which India responded to the COVID challenge,” he added in his address at the valedictory session.

Speaking on the potential of the sector, Goyal said that the AVGC sector can expand in multiple dimensions. “It can become multilingual, multicultural, and help Indian society evolve, and go to the next level of learning, as well as engaging with the rest of the world.” He added, that the world is looking for new avenues to meet their growing needs and Indian AVGC sector can gain the maximum as a trusted partner and become a global power for creative talent.

Citing the example of ‘Amar Chitra Katha’, he said that Indian stories can impact learning outcomes of the youth of India and can also have international appeal. “The children of today are growing up with animation, audio visuals, and comics in the form of animation. If we can expand our scope in the AVGC sector, we can actually impact learning outcomes of the youth of India, because we’ll be taking this to the rural areas of India, and really helping them understand what’s happening in the rest of the world. And you will also find a lot of hidden talent in the villages of India,” he suggested.

He encouraged the AVGC sector to look beyond boundaries and truly become an important segment in India’s global outreach in an effort to reach a trillion dollars of service export in the next 10 years. “Services sector is at a relatively smaller number today, compared to merchandise. But looking at the current speed of growth both the services and trading goods can easily achieve a trillion dollar export target. And in that M&E’s 100 billion dollar industry output will also contribute significantly to India’s exports,” the Minister added.

Hailing the efforts made by CII in promoting the AVGC sector, he invited the industry body for a meeting on Government of India’s Dubai Expo initiative, where India Pavilion would showcase the country’s diversity, its achievements and the future opportunities. “I call on all our experts from the AVGC segment from CII (and FICCI, ASSOCHAM) so that we can do an update on the curtain raiser. We can benefit from their expertise and their involvement in the larger vision to make India a success story at Dubai Expo. And going forward, I want to duplicate that in India also. I want to create a permanent pavilion like that in India,” Goyal said.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, highlighted AVGC sector’s contribution to India’s growth towards the $5 trillion economy target. “The sector can really double its growth rate and easily become about a trillion rupees sector by 2025. And the amount of jobs it can create is such a powerful tool. We can easily create about 2.5 million additional jobs, making it one of the most important and exciting sunrise sectors to nurture,” he said.

K Madhavan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Media and Entertainment and Country Manager & President The Walt Disney Company India & Star India, said that the goal of India’s media and entertainment industry is to reach $100 billion by 2030. “The growth target remains ambitious but not difficult to achieve, provided we get the right support from policymakers and the government. India already produces 160,000 hours of online video content every year , which is the highest in the world. We’ll see the demand for original and regional content to grow every day and more and more consumers getting access to the internet in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.”

He added that India has a massive strength of storytelling talent in the country, and the country should be able to create stories that resonate around the world. Madhavan said that there are few issues to be addressed like a clear cut roadmap for AVGC exports, creating a global b2b opportunities, encouraging increasing convergence initiative between creators and tech innovators, job creation, regional content creation and distribution hubs and support from government on various matters including the reversal of GST. “The soft power that would come from having a globally recognized media industry will have a large and multiple effects on GDP and employment,” he said.

CII SUMMIT FX 2021

Rajan Navani, Chairman, CII’s India@ 75 Council and Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Jet Line Group of Companies, said that Indian AVGC sector grew at a fast pace during the pandemic, as “we have a strong 300 million Gen Z population that probably no other country has”. He added that India has now positioned itself for being able to be a part of the explosive growth. “eSports, where we look at professional sports gamers, is an area that is increasingly becoming popular around the world. It’s a very unique confluence of technology, youth culture, social networking, entertainment, community, sportsmanship, sports, entertainment, all coming together,” he observed.

Biren Ghose, Vice Chairman, CII National Committee on M&E and Chair, CII Sub Committee on AVGC and Immersive Media and Country Head, Technicolor India, said that the 2021 edition of the CII Summit FX has seven states or representative associations on board. “We requested for a National AVGC Policy and an AVGC Skills Council. We have the draft ready for serious consideration of the government. A wonderful thing that has happened is that this industry now has become multi-ministerial,” Ghose added. He also pointed out primary grassroots level initiatives that have happened as a result of the platform provided by the CII Summit FX.

The second edition of the Animation, Visual effects and Gaming sector (AVGC) Summit is organised by CII in partnership with the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB); State Government of Karnataka and Software Technology Parks of India from 24th August to 29th August. The Summit which will end on August 29 has participation from over 4000 delegates, 114 expert panelists in 34 knowledge sessions. There were 21 international speakers from eight countries – USA, UK, Australia, Netherlands, Singapore, UAE, Canada, and Japan, who covered various issues concerning the global AVGC sector.


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Neerja Sekhar

I&B Ministry Promises All Support to AVGC Sector

admin   September 7, 2021

The AVGC sector will be the superstar of the new era and the Ministry of Information  & Broadcasting is committed to support the Indian AVGC sector and play a facilitator’s role, said Neerja Sekhar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

“We would like to know the expectations of the industry from the government to which we are committed to support as a facilitator,” said Neerja Sekhar at the second edition of CII Summit FX 2021.  

CII has been advocating for a National AVGC Policy to give a strong fillip to the AVGC sector by keeping in mind the requirements of 21st century. This resonated at the CII Summit FX 2021.

“We also need to collaborate with the states to promote AVGC businesses through various policy inputs. Promotion of skill sets in the sector has already been done by the Government of India through the Media and Entertainment Council,” stated Neerja Sekhar.

Neerja Sekhar emphasized that India has audiovisual coproduction treaties with 15 countries. “This can be a key for growth in this AVGC sector. We expect that these treaties will be leveraged with industry to strike more global partnerships.”

In 2020, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting granted official co-production status to Noah’s Ark– A Musical Adventure under the Indo Brazil Audio Visual Co-Production Treaty.

In 2021, animation feature film Mia & Me — The Hero of Centopia was given the recognition as a co-production film by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting under the Indo-German audiovisual Treaty.

Noah’s Ark– A Musical Adventure, a  co-production among Walter Salles’ Video Filmes and Caio and Fabiano Gullane’s production company Gullane, partnered with Indian animation studio Symbiosys Technologies, headed by CEO Naresh Kumar with studios in Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad.

The Hero of Centopia, is a co-production between Studio 100 Media GmbH, Studio B Animation Pty Ltd. and Broadvision Services Private Ltd.

“We hope that we can move further in this area to come up with extraordinary content, loved by not only the two co producing countries, but the rest of global audiences as well,” noted Neerja Sekhar.

“There’s so much content in our culture that we can actually learn about. Let’s look forward for promoting production of more creative and homespun stories, our  indigenous narratives and local languages, this sector can make India a hub for the toy industry, encouraging creation of digital games based on Indian characters and culture,” said Neerja Sekhar.

Speaking on the National Centre of Excellence for AVGC, Neerja Sekhar said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is setting up in Mumbai in partnership with the IIT Bombay is moving ahead and with  large number of courses for specialists, practitioners and beginners have been visualized and charted out.


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CII SUMMIT FX 2021 INAUGURAL

Nuggets and Highlights from the CII Summit FX 2021

admin   August 25, 2021

  • The six-day Summit FX (August 24-29) has been organised by CII in partnership with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; State Government of Karnataka and Software Technology Parks of India.
  • India needs an AVGC Council to integrate all the efforts being made by various State Governments, Central agencies and private combined learnings and avoid reinventing the wheel to maximize
    the availability of resources being deployed by these institutions.
  • Advocating the need for a National AVGC Skills Council, CII has emphasized that focus on education and skills will be a major pivot for the growth of the Indian AVGC sector
  • India has audiovisual coproduction treaties with 15 countries. This can be a key for growth in this AVGC sector. These treaties will be leveraged with industry to strike more global partnerships.
  • The global market size of AVGC sector is close to $260 billion to $275 billion, India’s market share is 1 per cent which comes to $2.5 Billion.  Some of the key issues for deliberation at Summit FX 2021 included defining a roadmap for exports as a key initiative and roadmap to leapfrog from current $2 billion to $20 billion creating global B2B opportunities.
  • AVGC produced locally attracts 18 per cent GST in India while there is no GST on AVGC content produced from outside the country. The government needs to abolish GST or
    reduce it to a minimum level to encourage local production.
  • eSports and Gaming are growing at a galloping speed in India. Focus on IP creation, skilling, training are key elements for the growth of the AVGC sector.
  • eSports is becoming mainstream, the cross platform play in gaming is enhancing both the opportunity and the monetization potential of this sector, 5G is set to boost cloud gaming, and more and more women will be seen playing online games in a few years from now.
  • Service exports from Animation, VFX and Gaming account for over 70%. It is a major source of export revenue for the country. Therefore, focus in the National AVGC policy should be to develop a special package to achieve higher exports and scale infrastructure facilities for the AVGC sector across every state.
  • Seeing the way that the Game Engine can function and the benefits it offers is going to be quite revolutionary for the film industry going forward. By embracing Game Engine filmmakers might actually be able to do world class work without having to dedicate huge production budgets. Unreal and Unity among others are advancing these technologies significantly.
  • The success of AVGC sector is fuelled by the respective AVGC policies and actions by the state governments of Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala, Maharashtra and  Madhya Pradesh can be emulated
    on a national level. Many other state governments are currently advancing such an agenda.
  • Each state can specialize in one particular segment of the AVGC industry, and should ensure that Indian MSMEs are given special incentives in that segment venture capital funding and startup
    labs etc.
  • The six-day virtual summit will see over 40+ Knowledge Sessions and over 100 speakers deliberating on a wide range of issues that cut across the spectrum looking to develop a cohesive industry engagement with core cross-sectoral policy dialogues and strategic exchanges.
  • CII SummitFX 2021 will see experts from the UK, the USA, Japan and key states like Telangana, Karnataka, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir coming together to discuss the AVGC segment, and its transformation of India into a global leader. This platform will seek to curate and create an environment conducive to helping build a better future and achieve the targets of the segment.

(Highlights will be updated regularly during the CII Summit FX 2021)


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Biren Ghose

Focus on Education & Skills: Biren Ghose

admin   August 25, 2021

Advocating the need for a National AVGC Skills Council, Biren Ghose, Vice-Chairman, CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment and Country Head, Technicolor India, emphasized that focus on education and skills will be a major pivot for the growth of the Indian AVGC sector.

Presenting curtain raiser for CII Summit FX 2021, Biren Ghose said policy sessions on the AVGC sector, with focus on games in emerging verticals, sessions on eSports, virtual production, content pipeline, AVGC startup ecosystem, interaction with global masters and talents on behind the scene presentations on how to win an Oscar and talent will be major talking points this year.

Biren Ghose explained the rationale behind this year’s Summit FX theme — The Reset. “A new era of a continuing growing opportunity has emerged. The AVGC sector had so far grown in India as a B2B industry, and revenue had come from global services. The last 18 months saw a major B2C agenda and consumers embraced entertainment (streaming platforms or games) and revenues have grown exponentially higher.”

“We have the ability to increase our business by 100 per cent. But we are constrained only by the fact that we cannot, across the board, get the skill sets,” said Biren Ghose. “I think with the new education policy, we’ve got now the ability to plant the seeds at an even earlier stage.”

Biren Ghose called for the need for industry participation in at least one or two international festivals of animation, visual effects, gaming and e-sports, on the lines of participation in international film festivals. “This is where we will get the opportunity for India to present what it’s doing and how things are shaping up. It is very important to us.”

Biren Ghose called for a stable climate to attract investments as the industry has a robust ability to absorb international investments. “I will not go into detail except to say hundreds of millions of dollars of venture money has come into India in the last 24 to 36 months, just fueling the new economy in AVGC. And I think those investors are looking for a more stable and more enabling climate, in the confluence between government, industry and academia in order to redouble those efforts, because this is like the startup round of what they put in. And I think it opens the door for a lot of enlightened conversation and a spotlight on what we can do even further.”


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K Madhavan

AVGC Can Help Achieve $100 bn Target: K Madhavan

admin   August 25, 2021

The Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming Comics (AVGC) sector has the potential to be a global success story for India and can transform the same way the IT revolution did, said K Madhavan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment and President, The Walt Disney Company India & Star India.

Addressing industry leaders at the second edition of CII Summit FX 2021 (Global AVGC & Immersive Media Summit), Madhavan emphasized that AVGC sector can play a major role in achieving the Indian Media & Entertainment target of $100 Billion by the end of the decade.

“The question is how fast we can travel and how fast we can aim for 5 per cent global market share with an annual growth of 30 to 35 per cent,” asked Madhavan. “This is possible if the industry, government, regulator and policy makers work together with the definite agenda and we can help achieve this target.”

The global market size of AVGC sector is close to $260 billion to $275 billion, India’s market share is 1 per cent which comes to $2.5 Billion. Some of the key issues for deliberation at Summit FX 2021 included defining a roadmap for exports as a key initiative and a roadmap to leapfrog from current $2 billion to $20 billion creating global B2B opportunities.

“We should encourage convergence initiative between the creators and technology innovators. That is very critical as the technology is changing minute by minute and how are we equipped to address this. There is huge demand for VFX and animation locally and unfortunately, we are not in a position to meet the (global) requirements,” stated Madhavan.

Madhavan was optimistic of emerging job creation and pointed out that skill and labour is a key factor in the AVGC space. “We have over 400,000 engineers coming out every year from the engineering colleges. We need to train and get them into this industry.”

Madhavan also called for a relook at GST for AVGC Sector. “We are still charging GST at the rate of 18 per cent. That’s why local production studios are forced to move the service outside India and import back to India – so that they don’t have to pay GST. This is a long waiting agenda for the industry. I request the policy makers to look at this seriously.”


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Siddharth Roy Kapur

Siddharth Roy Kapur Decodes Future of AVGC

admin   August 25, 2021

It has been a tough time for the film industry in particular the last couple of years with theaters being shut across the country. But the bright spark is obviously been the OTT platforms for making it much more accessible for audiences who’ve been in such desperate need of entertainment over the last two years, said Siddharth Roy Kapur, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment , President – Producers Guild of India, and Founder & Managing Director of Roy Kapur Films.

Speaking at the CII Summit FX 2021, he said, “I think a lot of us in the film industry are scratching our heads and wondering what the future will hold. Now that such convenience has been so widely available to people and they’re so used to it at their fingertips, what does the future of theatrical entertainment really look like?”

He said that a big screen theatrical experience are really things that the film industry needs to focus on when it comes to creating content for the big screen. “And of course, intimate dramas and relationship movies and light comedies, etc., are more likely to be consumed on OTT platforms in the future,” he added.

According to Kapur, “And that, therefore brings me to the AVGC part of it. If we have to make these big ticket entertainers, which involve new worlds, fantasy, magic, realism, VFX, all those things that make a big screen experience really compelling, I think it’s important for filmmakers to really be able to embrace this technology and realise what it can do for their storytelling, I have to admit that the level of training in the industry, when it comes to being able to use these tools is still very, very low. And I think if we really have to move forward as a creative industry, we know we’ve got the skill sets, we know we’ve got the people to actually get the work done, but it’s about the creators embracing this as a way to tell their stories.”

Giving an example of what he meant in terms of training and skill development, he said, “I got the creator of Narcos, a show that is a global hit on Netflix down to talk to our writers and directors here in India about how to structure a series, because we’re used to making movies. And then we’re used to making daily soaps. And we haven’t ever been used to making premium quality digital content. That’s a confluence of both these, the quality of a film, but the length of storytelling and the breadth of storytelling that a series involves.”

Kapur said Narcos creator was very appreciative of the talent and he felt that there was a lot of great talent in the room. “But he did say that as with most things in India, we realise we are skipping multiple generations of growth. We are going straight from daily soaps and movies into creating long form digital premium content.”

He went on to add: “I think if there is one thing that I think that we need to focus on, it is skill development in training. When it comes to our creative people, we should be able to give them the opportunity to use the tools available to them today to be able to fly and tell the stories that they have to tell. So if there’s anything that we can do going forward in that regard, I think that’s where our focus and our attention should be. Because there are stories from India that we can take to the world and get the world to resonate with.”

Kapur concluded by saying that we need to have a Parasite, we need to have a Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, we need to have our movies that are able to go out into the world and do the sort of business and create the sort of popular culture and soft power that so many other countries have managed to do. “I’m sure we will do it. But it needs to happen in a more structured way. And not by default, but by design.”


MIFA 2021: A Celebration of Creativity

admin   June 15, 2021

With COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the shift towards animation, the world’s top animation studios are participating at Annecy International Film Festival and MIFA 2021 with full vigour in anticipation of discovering new creative ideas, talent and collaborate with the right set of people. Interview with  Véronique Encrenaz, head of MIFA, CITIA

Amidst the challenges posed by the ongoing global pandemic, Annecy International Film Festival and International Animation Film Market (Mifa) will be among the first on-site market filmmakers will be attending in over 15 months. In a chat with Pickle, MIFA’s head Véronique Encrenaz,  explains how they seek to provide a platform for networking, pitch projects, engage in co-production and distribution, scout for talent and celebrate animation films on big screens. Here are the excerpts from the interview…

It’s fantastic to see Annecy International Film Festival and MIFA 2021 happening in physical and virtual format this year?

It is very challenging. But at the same time, it is extremely satisfactory. It is great to have Annecy and Mifa happening in this hybrid format. It is lovely to see theatres begin screening films and content in the Competition Section of Annecy International Film Festival. Mifa market is providing an opportunity for professionals to meet face to face at our venues. We have also provided rich content and tools on our online platform as many professionals will be unable to visit Annecy. We are thrilled to discover and celebrate animation films on big screen.

The major objective of Annecy and Mifa is to promote animation, especially among young directors and creators. What we do at Annecy is to put together all the right ingredients in one place to prepare a perfect recipe that allows film industry professionals find the right set of people to go ahead with. Among participants, we have content creators, studios, service providers, technology providers, students, and buyers, among others.  Through the festival and market, we seek to provide a platform that allows networking, pitching projects, scouting for talent, and understanding global markets, co-production opportunities and so on.

For sure, there is an excitement as virtual production audio-visual content in computers has been scaled to new levels…

Yes, you’re absolutely right. Animation content is produced virtually and virtual production is trending. Professionals from across the world are participating (most of them outside of Europe). Buyers and platforms are looking for new content. Broadcasters and streaming platforms need fresh content. We have a number of panels, studio focused sessions, keynotes, meeting buyers, festival programmers, recruiters looking for talent and participation from educational institutions.  We have received the maximum number of projects to pitch at Mifa. We have at least 20 pitching sessions, which is unprecedented at Mifa.

Many countries are focusing on animation, as during the pandemic it has been the only way to express oneself for many artists. The world’s top animation studios, including the ones from America and Canada, are participating with full vigour. For many French and European audio- visual professionals, Annecy and Mifa will be one of the first on-site markets they will attend in over 15 months.

Animation from Africa seems to be a major focus area both at Annecy Festival and Mifa.

This year tribute to African animation industry, plus the Festival’s 60th anniversary, mean so much for Mifa. Besides, it offers return to a semblance of normal life and meetings at the lakeshore.

We are very proud to have focus on Africa animation, which we should have had in 2020. We have been supporting projects from Arica for more than 10 years at Annecy, to help them organise themselves, make progress, and be recognised by the world community. In France , Africa 2020 is taking place from December 2020 to July 2021 (instead of June to December 2020 as formerly planned).

South Africa has emerged big in animation and all the major studios from there will be participating at Mifa and African competition film section of the Festival. It’s a great moment to celebrate African artists, and the young generation coming out with new stories. Things are changing fast in Africa, and younger generation from the continent is willing to tell their own stories. So it will be great to hear them out. It is also a great opportunity for additional visibility to African animation and tribute to artists from Africa.

Through the course of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival’s 60-year history, 47 African films have been in the Official Selection. But animation is currently booming on the African continent, and the 2021 programming will reflect this.

A glimpse at the 2021 Mifa Africa programme

As many as 22 African project pitches from across the African continent will be presented in partnership with our on-site partners: Meknès International Animation Film Festival, animatex, Nigerian Animation Association, CairoComix, Tshimologong, Digital Lab Africa, etc.

A conference to “Understand African Animation: Collaboration at the Heart of Today’s and Tomorrow’s Strategies”.

A Focus on Africa spotlights the distribution opportunities within the continent and internationally.

Meetings with publishers, broadcasters, distributors, and festival programmers from the continent during the Meet the… sessions. We are greeting the notable CairoComix, Meknès International Animation Film Festival, Dakar Court, the Rencontres du Film Court in Madagascar, and the Fespaco.

Everything About MIFA 2021

Mifa with a new twist

Meetings take priority in complete safety, with health precautions, adapted equipment, and more.

Exhibition Area

Private tables for companies, mini-stands for delegations and pavilions. The entire Impérial Palace is providing meeting and viewing areas, as well as the La Voile and Brasserie’s upstairs lounges, restaurants and terraces.

Annecy Network and Virtual Stands

Set up your profile and meet professionals, who are there individually or in delegations, that include Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Mexico, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, etc. and connect with them live in your specific virtual room.

Mifa Pitches: 20 SESSIONS

As many as 36 unique projects reflecting uninhibited creativity, galvanized by their storytelling and aesthetic diversity from all over the world: France, Argentina, Brazil, Ireland, Greece, Latvia, Canada, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Iran, USA, Madagascar, Germany, Belgium, and more.

Partners Pitches

More than 70 projects spread across 13 sessions, each one identified by its geographical zone: Africa (Digital Lab Africa, Nigeria Focus@Mifa, Africa2020 Season, NFVF Market Readiness Program), Latin America (La Liga, Chile, Colombia, Animation! Women), Asia (South East Asia Focus 2021, Taiwan, Japan), Middle East (Israel), as well as Europe (Aura in Motion, CEE Animation Forum)

Meet the Talent

Participate in these online targeted meetings dedicated to the Talents (the Pitch sessions’ project leaders), festival programmers, book publishers and producers (Gap Financing).

Focus

Come and discover a country or a continent’s ecosystem, an association or a scheme’s latest news, to have a global understanding of the animation industry: the Baltic states, United Kingdom, Greece, China, Korea, etc. will be on the programme, as well as Asifa’s 60th and a focus on the animation Residencies.

Recruitment – New Formula!

Take advantage of a Virtual Recruitment Area and reveal your studios’ working environment, thanks to a special virtual stand and Recruiters Talk sessions.

Nickelodeon, USA

Fortiche Prod, France

Laika, USA

The Third Floor, United Kingdom

Blue-Zoo, United Kingdom

GO-N, France

Axis, United Kingdom

Lighthouse, Ireland

Netflix, USA

Cartoon Saloon, Ireland

Mifa Campus

In partnership with Unity, the Mifa Campus will take place this year on Friday 18th June and will offer an opportunity to showcase talents from the African continent, from the Festival, as well as the biggest names in animation, who will be there to share their knowledge and expertise and inspire the participants.


To Meet Again

admin   June 15, 2021

By MICKAËL MARIN
CEO of CITIA
Annecy International Animation Film Festival

Annecy seems thoroughly determined to stand its ground as animated cinema’s radiating center

With this single goal in mind, for nearly a year the CITIA team has been rallying to welcome the animation film community, betwixt lake and mountains. Since the 2019 edition and its impressive turnout, the path forward has been long and bumpy, and in spite of everything is still strewn with uncertainty.

If Annecy 2020 was the epitome of resilience, Annecy 2021 will be that of combat. And is there any more noble battle than fighting to reposition Culture at the core of our existences? Is there any more illustrious hope than that of extolling works and their authors again, under the best possible conditions? Annecy seems thoroughly determined to stand its ground as animated cinema’s radiating center.

All hail to those like us who never gave up and placed their trust in this project. We’re thinking of the CITIA team, of course, and their resolve to see Annecy and its cinemas once again thrumming with life. We’re also thinking of our partners, both institutional and private, steadfast at our sides even when the going is rough.

But we send our regards, as well, to all professionals and artists worldwide who with their many expressions of support have encouraged us so much these past few months. This invisible thread binding generations of animation lovers has never snapped, and this unprecedented crisis might even – who knows – have reinforced the “yearning for Annecy”.

Lastly, if today Annecy is the world animation film capital that we know, let’s not forget the pioneers who, in 1960, cradled the destiny of this infant festival in the “Venice of the Alps”. And we must also remember those who strove one after another, year after year, to turn this festival into an annual and unmissable event.

Annecy 2021 will be an opportunity to thank them and to wander down memory lane through this singular history that owes nothing to chance but is the fruit of a far-reaching cultural policy and vision. While this past both honors and enthralls us, we are also turned toward the future with – for the first time – a tribute to African animation and especially to the young talents raising it up.

May this edition of the Festival and Mifa – the very first hybrid one – allow us to meet again and to glory in all the things we have missed so dearly.

Long live animation cinema, long live Annecy!


Do You Know Who Made Annecy 2021 Poster?

admin   June 15, 2021

An Explosive Colourful Paint-Party Annecy International Film Festival 2021 Poster is done by artist Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo

After last year’s completely online 2020 edition, the Annecy Festival wanted to call on Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo’s talents again to enjoy the same explosion of colour and energy that he released for the 2020 poster.

“I am immensely honoured to work on the poster again for the 2021 edition. I would really have loved to collaborate a second time with Simon Roussin, like last year, but he was already committed to a personal project. I felt the need to do this poster on paper, maybe to push myself to return to a more traditional art form on a daily basis, but also because screens have taken up even more place in our lives since the current health crisis began. The theme is similar to 2020, so I kept to our guideline, the pantsula, a traditional South African dance that symbolises the modern view I have of Africa,” says Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo.

“I wanted to link this with a unique character: an older woman, independent, free and joyous, who is enjoying the sun’s rays reflecting on the lake. Last year’s Festival was online, let’s hope we can all join the pantsula dancers on the Annecy pontoons this June 2021!,” he added.

“Annecy loves supporting creators. It’s an integral part of our DNA. Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo is a regular at Annecy and his latest film Make It Soul, presented at the 2018 Festival, summarised the festive and energetic spirit of the event. We will remember when Jean-Charles and his friends invaded the stage to dance joyously as the credits finished rolling out, carrying the spectators along for the ride. This poster is also a reminder of this magical moment that only Annecy holds the secret,” says Marcel Jean, Artistic Director, Annecy

Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo primary passion is drawing, even if dance has always played a role in his mode of expression. He is a regular at the Festival and his short film The Sense of Touch made a notable passage at Annecy, as well as his latest film Make It Soul, which he presented in 2018 and was nominated for the 2020 César for Best Short Animation Film.

Les Mots is the first stage show choreographed by Jean-Charles – a solo for two performers – that sees the light of day in early 2017. He continues this working journey using non-verbal communication.

He is currently working on a hybrid documentary series (animation and live shots).

At Annecy 2021, Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo joins the jury of the Contrechamp Feature Films, and you can meet him at a Signing Session of the official poster.


The 12 Principles of Animation by Titmouse

admin   June 15, 2021

The 12 principles of animation, established in 1941, have now become widely adopted as the theoretical foundation for all artists working in the animation industry. Though you may be familiar with these guiding principles, a few talented animators at Titmouse put together an instructional video to help contextualize these techniques.

The first method explored is Anticipation. Anticipation prepares the viewer for the main action. If you were to jump, for example, the anticipatory action is the bending of the knees. This helps the action look much more natural. Next is the Squash and Stretch, which provides the illusion of elasticity, gravity, mass, and flexibility. Upon impact with the ground, the figure smooshes and stretches, the distortion providing a life-like quality.

Subsequent methods of retaining the illusion of realism in animation are Follow Throughs, the Overshoot and Scuttle, and Trace-backing. The former two principles see the character throwing their body into action. In the video, when the arm and the buttocks stop moving, the forward momentum causes different parts of the body to stop at different rates. Thus, the hand sort of goes limp and retracts and the butt essentially becomes its own autonomous organism, jiggling independently of the rest of the body.

The Traceback is the act of tracing multiple versions of the same drawing to provide the illusion of movement. Seen here, a figure appears to walk into an infinite terra-cotta abyss. Then, of course, there is Hitting the Stump, which imitates the very real and often ignored phenomenon of cork-screwing. Mag Womblin’ conceptualizes the reality of manically gallivanting through the laser void, morphing slowly but surely into a lecherous bunny. For this effect to really land, read Mac McMac’s Theory of Womble.

Catch and Release ensures that your character centipedes in accordance with human movement. And Don’t Doing Bad Draw is crucial for making your subject feel shame.

The Seven Arms of Shandoo, the Hawaiian Shirt, Slippin’ the Chicken, and The Walter Disney will all help with gribble prippems, and if you’re not implementing Don’t Moon the Werewolf, then you may as well light a million dollars on fire, because you’re not putting your animation degree to use. This is a Dooooo, This is What My Dad Looks Like, and Lord of Shapes are incredibly effective in giving your animation that snarg quality. And of course, last but never least – The Paper Airplane. If you want your animation to speak to the audience on an emotional level, then don’t hesitate to contort your character into a gorgeous paper airplane with bulging eyes and strong, muscular biceps, because there is literally nothing more resonant to the human condition.

Titmouse is an independent, award-winning cartoon clone factory committed to sizzling your brain and melting your eyeballs. Founded by the husband-wife duo, Chris and Shannon Prynoski, Titmouse has offices in LA, NY, Vancouver, and everywhere that books are sold.