Deepa & Anoop, along with Mighty Little Bheem, both being Netflix Originals, will inspire other global OTT players and broadcasters to seek out more shows created by Indian creators says veteran industry leader and AVGC Taskforce member Munjal Shroff, Director & COO of Graphiti
How can we scale the “Create in India for the World” concept?
I believe that the Indian Animation Industry should capitalize on the success of shows like Deepa&Anoop, which have been created by Indian creators. I am pleased to share that our show, Deepa&Anoop, a Netflix Original produced by Mattel, was launched in 27 international languages. Right from the beginning, when my co-creator Lisa Goldman and I developed the show, we had a clear focus on the global audience. Winning four awards at the Kidscreen Awards, including Best New Show, Best Inclusivity, Best Music, and Best Voice Talent, is a testament to the show’s global success. We are grateful to Netflix and Mattel for supporting our show and providing us with complete creative freedom to create something as unique and wonderful as Deepa and Anoop. Deepa&Anoop, along with Mighty Little Bheem, both being Netflix Originals, will inspire other global OTT players and broadcasters to seek out more shows created by Indian creators. The success of these shows will undoubtedly encourage Indian studios and creators to unleash their creative potential and dream big. This positive ripple effect will impact the entire Indian Animation Industry.
Can you talk about the mini-series Krish, Trish, and Baltiboy – Bharat Hain Hum (We are India) collaboration with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting?
We are thrilled about our new series, Krish, Trish, and Baltiboy – Bharat Hain Hum (KTB – We are India). It is a 52 x 11-minute series co-produced by by Central Bureau of Communication, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Graphiti Studios. This fantastic show highlights amazing stories from the Indian Freedom Struggle, featuring unsung heroes from the period of 1550 to 1947. We are proud of this project and immensely grateful for the Ministry’s support. It is a unique initiative where the Ministry partners with an independent studio to explore the production of wholesome kids’ content. The objective is to generate good revenues and reach a wider audience. If the show succeeds in achieving both these parameters, we can expect more similar projects in the future. This responsibility weighs heavily on our shoulders, and we are fully dedicated to this project. I am delighted to share that the production is progressing smoothly, and the completed episodes look very promising. We plan to launch the show in the coming months.
What are the next steps following the new AVGC Policy initiatives?
The National AVGC Task Force has submitted the draft policy, which will soon be approved by the government. The crucial next phase is the implementation of the policy. We need to focus on actionable items, primarily in the areas of skilling and production incentives. For skilling, we plan to establish the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Mumbai, followed by similar centers in other cities. Additionally, we aim to upskill the existing workforce. Our vision is to expand the AVGC talent pool from the current 200,000 to 2 million over the next 8-10 years. The NCOE and the Media and Entertainment Skill Council (MESC) will play a vital role in achieving this goal. MESC has been closely collaborating with training and educational institutions in the ecosystem to define National Occupation Standards (NOS) and develop curriculum and skilling pathways through Qualifying Packs (QPs).
Regarding production incentives, we need to establish mechanisms to facilitate the disbursement of coproduction funds, as announced in the National AVGC Policy. Additionally, we will sign newer co-production treaties with countries where we currently do not have such agreements. We may also need to revisit some of the existing treaties to cover TV series and web series productions.
THE NATIONAL AVGC POLICY HAS BEEN DESIGNED TO UPLIFT THE ENTIRE SECTOR. THERE IS A STRONG EMPHASIS ON SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDING OUR TALENT POOL, AIMING TO GROW IT FROM 200,000 TO 2 MILLION WITHIN THE NEXT 8 TO 10 YEARS, REPRESENTING A REMARKABLE 10X GROWTH
Can you discuss the potential of Indian talent and creative minds for the future?
Indian talent and creative minds have an incredibly promising future ahead. The National AVGC policy has been designed to uplift the entire sector. There is a strong emphasis on significantly expanding our talent pool, aiming to grow it from 200,000 to 2 million within the next 8 to 10 years, representing a remarkable 10x growth. Additionally, there is a strong focus on up-skilling the existing talent pool. Across various verticals of Animation, gaming, and VFX, Indian studios are actively involved in top global projects. These include world-class animation shows like Troll Hunters and Deepa and Anoop for Netflix, games like Elder Scrolls, and VFX for Hollywood blockbusters such as Avengers Endgame and Avatar. International studios have recognized India’s exceptional talent pool, which is rapidly ascending the value chain.
What are your thoughts on expanding our global footprint and creating coproduction opportunities through new incentives?
India has signed over 16 co-production treaties; however, there have been limited projects that have taken advantage of these agreements. Despite having great talent available at competitive rates, one crucial factor missing from our co-production arsenal was funding. The Ministry has realized this and has worked diligently to address the issue. We now have funds allocated for co-production, as part of the new National AVGC Policy. This means that international studios can engage in coproductions with Indian studios, and these Indian studios can access the designated co-production funds. In the upcoming year, we anticipate witnessing a significant increase in Indian studios actively participating in international coproductions across top TV shows, web series, and movies.