India’s National Animation VFX Gaming & Comics (AVGC) policy is set to revolutionize the country’s presence in the global content industry. With a focus on high-quality education in creative arts and sciences, this policy aims to unleash a new wave of well-trained AVGC professionals who will create captivating content rooted in India’s cultural heritage. By Chaitanya Chinchlikar, Chief Technology Officer, Whistling Woods International
India is a unique country with approximately 18% of the world’s population, is the world’s largest freeaccess internet consuming country with one of the lowest data ratesand is the world’s largest free-access content and entertainment market. It is a country poised for a content explosion on the global stage, prepared to make the transition from ‘arriving’ to ‘arrived.’
You can cross a chasm only with one big jump, not two short ones. And what that big jump requires is a springboard. That springboard is the National Animation VFX Gaming & Comics (AVGC) Policy.
Historically, while accounting for more than 4% of the global economy, India has held barely 1% of the global Media & Entertainment market. Furthermore, despite having a 110-year-old film industry, an 50-year+ television industry, and a 25-year+ animation industry, India is not a global force in these sectors, nor is it a force in education in these fields. As the country makes its way onto the global stage, this paradox is beginning to unwind. And India is taking its rightful place at the global table. The fact that India is today the VX factory of the world is just the beginning. And initiatives like the proposed National AVGC Policy will both accelerate and spearhead this emergence.
Education is at the heart of any industry. There can’t be two ways to look at it. No industry can be meaningfully built with only borrowed or imported talent. It is not only monetarily unwise, but they will be unable to relay ‘your’ story to the rest of the world. Those can only be told by your own people, who are not only caretakers and repositories of a civilisation’s stories, but are also well trained and educated to tell them in a meaningfully engaging and amusing manner, through a medium that the rest of the world would appreciate.
This AVGC Policy aims to accomplish just that. It will provide the environment and mechanisms to support high-quality education in the creative arts and sciences, leading to engaging content that will catapult brand India onto the global content stage.
It begins with K-12 education and, more especially, making storytelling, narrative arts, creative arts, communication arts, design, and performing arts, a vital and intrinsic element of school learning for all Indians.This will complement the stories and narratives they hear at home and from their elders, and content that they watch online, while inculcating in the student a foundational understanding of creativity thereby keeping the natural creative spark in each student burning bright. This will also enable them to study subjects which will help them to gauge their aptitude for, and map out, career pathways in M&E, so that they can take an informed decision on opting for specific education at the Higher Education level.
After making an informed and conscious decision to pursue a career in the Media & Entertainment industry in general, and the AVGC industry in particular, students can then pursue well-rounded graduate & postgraduate AVGC education in institutions across India via a curriculum & teaching methodology that maintains high quality standards & learning outcomes, delivered by faculty who are both adept in subject matter expertise as well as teaching of the same.
While doing this, this education policy will ensure that India’s rich cultural narrative traditions which have developed over several millennia like the Natyashastra and the Rasa Theory, are taught to students. It will also take into account that India has several pockets of highly qualified traditional / folk art forms, and a robust exposure to these is critical for a well-rounded holistic learning. Both these will enable the content that these students create to have a unique Indian-ness to it.
Further, too often, one-dimensional creative industries get swept up in the creativity without focusing on the commercial aspects. A study of how the business of this industry should be done to ensure maximum efficiency of monetisation, is a must for any student.
All these elements coming together, supported by well-structured and clearly laid out state-supported funding at an adequate level, to ensure continuous creation of the ‘next’ generation of audio-visual storytellers and experience-builders in Animation, VFX, Gaming and Comics.
So what does this mean for the rest of the world.
India is not just willing, but ready and able for a much more meaningful collaboration with the rest of the world.
Hope the world is ready for us !