Technopark-based global animation major Toonz Media Group has joined hands with renowned Peruvian animation studio Tunche Films to co-produce their much-touted female-oriented animated feature Kayara through Toonz’s Spanish group company Fortoon Island. The historical CGI film set in the backdrop of the Inca civilization comes close on the heels of Tunche’s worldwide success with Ainbo – Spirit of the Amazon, also a female-led adventure.
A Spanish-Peruvian co-production Kayara follows the story of a young Inca woman who aspires to join the Chasqui Messengers – an elite, male-only league of official messengers in the Incan Empire. In her quest to be the first female Chasqui Messenger, Kayara courageously overcomes arduous obstacles, while also discovering the ancient stories of her land and her people.
Directed by César Zelada (Together It’s Possible),the movie also has on board Beverly Hills based international sales company Cinema Management Group (CMG) as Executive Producer and sales agent, who was instrumental in bringing the two producers together and who has already licensed the film extensively around the globe to blue-chip distributors.
“It is, indeed, a privilege for Toonz to partner with Tunche Films for this very ambitious project which has its roots firmly placed in ancient, indigenous wisdom and modern, progressive values at the same time. Apart from bringing on screen a strong female character, Kayara also provides us the unique opportunity to collaborate in a truly international project that brings together teams from diverse cultures across the world,” said Toonz Media Group CEO P. Jayakumar.
“After the positive experience of working with Toonz on animated feature The Canterville Ghost and the good collaboration we’ve had with Tunche Films on Ainbo, we are delighted to have brought these two exceptional teams together for an exciting new production,” says Edward Noeltner, President of Cinema Management Group. César Zelada adds: “We worked with Dutch co-producers on Ainbo and the cultural exchange between our Peruvian team and the Dutch was very helpful to our creating an indigenous story with a worldwide appeal. We are looking forward to an exciting synergy in working with the Spanish based team with Toonz.”
“Kayara is the story of a heroine who changed the role of women in many ways. Her epic journey follows situations and characters that can be easily identified by today’s audience, even though the story is set 500 years ago. We are very honored to bring it to life in our Spanish speaking animation industry, together with the award-winning Tunchestudio,” said Carlos Biern, President of Animation Production and Co-production, Toonz Media Group.
CMG has already pre-sold Kayara to 15 international distributors including Le Pacte (France), WW Entertainment (Benelux), Praesens (Switzerland), Front Row (Middle East), Rialto Distribution (Australia/New Zealand) and CDC (Latin America) among others. The CGI feature with a wide four quadrant appeal for family audiences is set to release in 2024.
Apurva Chandra, Secretary, MInistry of Information & Broadcasting addressed the film associations in Mumbai and Chennai on the proposed amendments to the Cinematograph Act, 1952 and other issues of film industry.
The Union government will take every measure to facilitate the film industry, Information and Broadcasting Ministry Secretary Apurva Chandra said.
He addressed the film associations through video conferencing on the proposed amendments to the Cinematograph Act, 1952 and other issues of film industry, at separate events in Mumbai and Chennai.
While interacting with the members of the South Indian film industry representatives, he assured the film fraternity that the ministry is conducting this kind of interaction to ensure that the film industry is cherished and ensure that the Indian film reaches the international markets.
He said that the ministry is taking many initiatives to upgrade the film sector. As part of the initiative, the ministry has already merged the film media units under NFDC.
The issues with respect to proposed cinematograph amendment bill and anti-piracy issues will be addressed after consultation with the stakeholders of the industry, he added.
Additional Secretary Neerja Sekhar, who chaired the meeting, discussed the initiatives taken by the ministry and various central sector schemes being implemented with respect to the film industry including incentives for shooting a foreign films in India and organising a global media and entertainment summit.
Issues pertaining to obtaining CBFC certificate, screen density issues, permission from Animal Welfare Board and location permission were also discussed during the interaction. Around 50 representatives from the southern film industry participated in this interaction.
Followed by Chennai meet, a similar event was held in Mumbai, where Chandra assured the film fraternity that suitable amendments would be proposed to the Cinematograph Act 1952 to combat film piracy and said the issues with respect to proposed Cinematograph Amendment Bill and anti-piracy issues will be addressed after consultation with the stakeholders of the industry.
An Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Justice Mukul Mudgal was constituted in 2013 to examine the issues of certification under the Cinematograph Act, 1952. Another Committee of Experts was set up under the Chairmanship of Shri Shyam Benegal in 2016 to evolve broad guidelines for certification within the ambit of the Cinematograph Act and Rules. Among the recommendations is the age based certification of films.
Secretary Chandra also spoke about the merger of four film media units namely Films Division, Directorate of Film. Festivals, National Film Archives of India, and Children’s Film Society, India with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) Ltd. He expressed that the basic objective is NFDC should become the entity through which the revenues from the film sector can be utilized for development of the film sector. He went on to say that none of the existing schemes is being discontinued. “We will strengthen NFDC so that they can rotate staff and deliver on the responsibilities assigned to them.”
Speaking about the Finance Minister’s announcement of setting up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comic (AVGC) Promotion Task Force, he informed that the Ministry is working on its Terms of Reference. “We hope to set up this Task Force in this month itself, so that work can begin and we are able to utilize the potential of the sunrise sector.”
Chandra expressed happiness that the industry is satisfied with the streamlining of the film certification processes by CBFC.
Chairperson, CBFC Prasoon Joshi said that the change in design of the film certificate is symbolic of what the Board seeks to achieve, in terms of making processes seamless, digital and more stakeholder-friendly. “The process of certification has been smoothened as much as possible; while we continue to need human intervention for watching the films and certifying it, we have streamlined the system so as to speed up other parts of the process”, he added.
Ravindra Bhakar, CEO, CBFC, briefed about the journey of the certification body and its adaptations in view of new challenges. He also spoke about the digitisation in certification process and move towards further transparency and measures towards ease of doing business.
Additional Secretary Neerja Shekhar, who chaired the meeting, discussed the initiatives taken by the Ministry and various central sector schemes being implemented with respect to the film industry including incentives for shooting foreign films in India and organising a global media & entertainment summit.
She also pointed out the requirement for increasing the density of screens. “The Government is planning to come up with single window clearances for opening of film theatres and also for event management.” She also informed that ideas are being sought for setting up rural theatres and mobile screens in order to achieve this objective. “We are going to work in a big way in increasing theatre density, in collaboration with states and UTs,” she mentioned.
Shekhar also spoke about the incentives under audio visual services of Champion Services Sector Scheme. “Audio Visual Services is one of the 12 champion service sectors which the government seeks to promote,” she said. The Government has approved financial incentives for co-production of films in countries with which India has co-production agreements. “For audio visual co-production with foreign countries, reimbursement of up to Rs. 2 crore or 30% for Rs. 25 crore budget film is available. Similar incentive is available for shooting foreign films in India.”
Talking about participation of Indian films and filmmakers in foreign film festivals, the Additional Secretary said that there is a need to increase screening of Indian films at international film festivals and showcase India’s soft power. “We need specific content from industry which helps showcase Indian films to foreign countries where the demand for Indian films is present.” She stressed the need to focus on specific markets which demand Indian content.
There is a huge potential of growth and job creation in the animation, visual effect, gaming and comic sector, which is expected to grow in double digits and the AVGC taskforce is all set to look at different ways to help realize this potential of the sector, said Atul Kumar Tiwari, Additional Secretary, Skills & Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
He was speaking at a Webinar on Achieving Atmanirbharta through the amrit mantra of Digital Education and Dynamic Skilling organised by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Ministry of Education and Ministry of Skill Development and Entreneurship.
“This particular sector provides opportunities for those who are seeking jobs even though they may not be having a formal education. You may not be having a degree from an engineering college, but if you have a talent and creativity component then this particular sector will provide the possibility and that is what we need to provide more in the studios,” he said.
Speaking on the growth opportunities, he said that animation and visual effects form 40% of the backbone of the advertising sector, movies and OTT, which is only going to grow over the years. “That is a huge opportunity. Today, there are companies in our country which have started working in the international market. Many of the international films have also been processed here and this can grow potentially over the period,” Tiwari said.
Gaming, he said, is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors. “Apart from the aspects of gaming per se, whether it is betting or game of scale, it requires very high skills and creativity and that is a sector we want to focus on in the task force,” he added.
The National Center for Excellence for AVGC which has been pending for some time would soon be set up and a number of discussions with the industry on this have been concluded. “I believe we can set the standards for education and skilling throughout the country. AVGC Education is being provided here by a number of universities and colleges independently, but there are no standards per se for this. So, this AVGC Center for Excellence will set up standards for what is to be done on the education side,” Tiwari said.
As India emerges out of global pandemic, the red carpet has been rolled out for the global filmmaking community while ensuring that all safety protocols are in place, and the processes of permissions further eased under the Ease of Doing Business policy to make filmmaking a beautiful experience in the world’s largest filmmaking country
As India readies itself to take on the challenges of a post-Covid world, the largest filmmaking country in the world is once again rolling out the red carpet to the global filmmaking community to explore the beauty of filming in India.
To make filming in India a memorable experience, the Government of India has put in place all safety protocols for COVID, while also ensuring to provide a seamless process to facilitate fimmakers.
The FFO functions as a partner through the filmmaker’s journey from script to screen. Using FFO’s online ecosystem http://www.ffo.gov.in for filming has gained traction in the post-Covid era.
“India is a land of story-tellers, breath-taking landscapes and rich in filmic resources. Our Film in India initiative leverages this in creating an environment that will make India a content sub-continent of the world. Come shoot in India, collaborate with our content creators and take advantage of our skilled manpower, cost efficiency and world-class post-production facilities,” says Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports.
As a result of some serious efforts put in by the Film Facilitation Office (FFO), more than 120 international filming projects have come to India from different parts of the world. Many projects were taken up on co-production basis not only in the film sector, but also in the broadcasting and television sector. India has co-production and bilateral agreements with around 30 countries across the world.
“Under the Government’s ease of doing business initiative, the FFO is the single window which assists in obtaining filming permissions. In this Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav we invite filmmakers to shoot in this beautiful landscape of our country, from the mighty Himalayas in the North to the scenic temples and beaches of Mahabalipuram,” says Dr L Murugan, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
“The Film Facilitation Office has emerged as the one-stop solution for filming needs of producers in India and abroad. It has helped almost 127 film production companies to shoot in India from abroad. So I will urge all the film producers from abroad and within the country to reach out to the Film Facilitation Office of NFDC to come and shoot in the beautiful locations of India,” says Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Welcoming the global filmmaking community to explore “the beauty of filming in India”, Neerja Sekhar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, says, “We would like to reach out to the world community to showcase how ready we are to welcome you all. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has taken the lead in creating opportunities for international filmmakers to come and create content in India and take advantage of its ecosphere of filmic resources and its fast growing Animation, VFX, Gaming, Comics (AVGC) sector. The International Film Festival of India and the Film Bazaar have enabled the increasing acceptance of Indian content among global audiences. There is an enabling environment for the international film industry to unlock its narrative in India!”
India is blessed with scenic locations, incredible cultural diversity, trained film crews and low production costs, which is coupled with film friendly policies. Owing to these advantages many overseas studios are increasingly entering into arrangements with producers in India to jointly produce films and television series. India also allows Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) upto 100 percent for film and TV productions under the automatic route.
“We are committed towards the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s initiative of Filming in India under the Government of India’s Ease of Doing Business. NFDC through the FFO is constantly engaging with various Central Government Ministries/Departments and the State Governments to not only ease the filming process but also setting up a mechanism that will enable the FFO to address grievances pertaining to filming and track receipt of incentives on behalf of filmmakers,” says Ravinder Bhakar MD, National Film Development Corporation and CEO, Central Board of FIlm Certification.
He adds that filmmakers can apply for permits for location recce, shooting in monuments under the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India and locations under the Ministry of Railways at ease through the FFO. “We look forward to welcoming producers and production companies from across the world to shoot their Feature Films, TV and Web shows and series in India,” he says.
“As many as 18 international projects were given permission during these pandemic times thus showing the support given to filmmakers. The shoot of the official Indo-Bangladesh co-production Bangabandhu was successfully completed and currently crew members from France, US, UK, Nigeria, Canada etc. are in the process of obtaining Film Visa to travel to India for shooting various projects,” says Vikramjit Roy, Head-Film Facilitation Office (FFO).
As the government has become an important stakeholder in the film ecosystem in India, the establishment of FFO in 2016 has ensured that the processes of permissions and other support services become much faster and streamlined in India.
FFO has an online system in place to receive and process all applications of international as well as domestic producers. FFO has also set up its own network of nodal officers in various state governments, besides integrating its system with quite a few states and central ministries to facilitate clearances.
Biren Ghose has been playing a crucial role for over two decades in transforming the India’s digital creative industries. Prominently featuring in all global media markets and events across the globe. Biren’s amazing professional journey and experiences give us useful insights into his incredible mind and vision for the India’s Animation, VFX, and Gaming [AVGC] industries.
Pickle chats with Biren Ghose, Country Head, Technicolor India and Vice Chairman, CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment.
India is participating at Berlinale’s European Film Market. India’s spotlight is its digital creative industries…
Berlinale and European Film Market is an established global platform for germinating and exposing the latest in audio visual content and filmmaking. In addition to critical acclaim, our films, talent and locales have achieved a premium status in the global film firmament. Even more significant is India’s rapid rise to eminence as the “digital engine room” for the world, when it comes to production of movies, episodic and short film content. That’s the emerging India edge. It is with this growing confidence and pride that we are positioning India as the “wind in the sails’ of content creators through technology enablement. As technology has democratized consumption so also has it helped to consolidate production.
What’s trending and something we bring to Berlin – is this new breed of creativity – a potent and youthful combination of talent, technology, and tenacity. These 3Ts are becoming a key force through the digital transformationof our film industries leveraging Animation, VFX, & Immersive Media.
The Government of India has identified the audio-visual services as a champion sector. This is a recognition given to industries where 3-4 X growth is a strong potential given its potential to catapult jobs and exports. With the right impetus the services sector for Animation, VFX and Games [labelled the AVGC sector] can double its growth rate and make it a Rs. 1 trillion sector by 2025-26.
The technologies and toolsets to create stories are exploding. I see this paradigm shift as we enter the ‘age of immersion’— a surreal paradigm in which people are their own heroes and participate in their own adventures! The digital world has made content a transcendental phenomenon and today’s audio-visual sciences have elevated the art of content creation to image making beyond the constraints of the camera. The chimeric possibilities in digital content creation now enables the storyteller to overcomethe stresses and travails of live action and avoid multilocation, large crews, inclement weather and other production imponderables and instead use new tools and methodologies leveraging computer graphics.
How has India transformed in the visual effects space.. Definitely it is not just the backroom or back office stuff that happens out of India…?
I’ll give you an analogy. As a big fan of the sport, in the Formula 1 race, you experience the pinnacle of global automotive technologies that make massive performance strides annually.The top teams includeMercedes, Renault,Ferrari, Aston Martin. Besides the skill of the driver – engineering the car from drawing board to split second pit stops are unbelievable feats. India’s Tata Consultancy Services for over a decade have been involved in elements of what Ferrari F1 does in that domain. This demonstrates the importance of what goes “under the hood” and that’s what animation and VFX are doing to games and movies and streamers. Companies like MPC and The Mill are in the world of films, dedicated to that same purpose – to work with the creatives in the world’s biggest studios – to design, develop and deployment a technology stack to ensure that the digital augmentation needed in those productions are like the F1 to the film world. Hence this emerging India prowess is a game changer akin to the analytics, the real time simulation and the digital assets needed to take split second decisions in a F1 race. AVGC entities demonstrate that same dynamicof making creative and technology choices that need to be managed in real time!
India has built momentum and scale and it’s not just the simple work roto work that gets sent here, the studios have been able to rise to global standards to deliverend-to-end work across full shots and sequences for the most complex productions.
As the world looks at geographical hubs for all kinds of technology facilitation to scale their businesses –India has become that hub in aerospace, automotive, retail, healthcare, finance, biotech, etc and similarly “image making”now aspires to join that group by harnessing Indian know how tobecome the #1 service provider for the global M&E industry.
India is currently deploying economic diplomacy as a strategy to reach out to the world…How do we do this in the media world…
Ultimately this question is about value creation and value addition. What is economic diplomacy as a strategy? How do we align the expectations and balance strengths across geographies for a win-win solution? We are a global participantin storytelling. Our Indian embassies in every country are constantly presenting India to the world. A lot of cultural representation of India is showcased in a very traditional manner. Contemporary storytelling is not just about what we create just for a broadcast channel. Indian storytelling must leverage every interface that takes place globally and our trade consuls can play a large role in this outreach effort. AVGC content can help demonstrate and enhance the understanding of the New Indiain a manner that captures the global psyche.
In the digital world today, film makers think globally. What AR Rahman did for music was to contemporize it. His awesome compositions fused elements of Indian classical,Western classical, Jazz, Soul and made a new popular music that has won global acclaim. That’s the magic of expanding our reach through this amalgam of a wide variety of influencesthat could make the Indian Film industry a more powerful global force.
What do we do in festivals and markets like Berlin?
We are coming to demonstrate how Indian content is a perfect test bed for the world. We have 400 million youth in India. Additionally, in our country, our national releases must cut across languages; religions; state rules; etc.There is no bigger test bed for content effectiveness! We are millions of people who speak different languages, have different traditions, different religions, different likes and dislikes and we tell different stories!We are the best case study on how to create content that has a universal appeal! We need to ensure we take those insights and mount fresh content on an international scale!
Recently, Government of India, in the Union Budget has announced formation of AVGC Taskforce…
In the same way that big movie ideas are all about the execution, similarly, making a national policy, is all about making development plans that can be translated into tangible and lasting outcomes. We are delighted that the government of India [in the Union Budget 2022] has announced a task force for AVGC. I am hopeful that the recruits to this task forcewill think about this as a missionand make it a national priority. This shall look at an industry wish list and work to achieve it in a partnership between academia, industry and government.
Where are we heading in the digital creative industries…
I am calling filmmaking as image making! Its future has already been disrupted — because of new technologies, tsunami of data and a billion pieces of content that we are all surrounded by it’s a tough task for sure.
However, just like quantum physics, came in when the classical physics failed, I’m saying that “Quantum Image Making” will turn ageold practices and art forms on its head. Look at what’s already trending in our industry! Production become “virtual production” – this means that real time technologies with game-enginelike tech willbecome popular across all forms of content creation. India is adept at embracing such technological pivotsand can aggressively lead the pack going forward.Venture monies, the spirit of innovation entrepreneurship and the experience of India’sfilmmakers for decades are all potent ingredients that will help catapult the growth of this sector.
The Indian AVGC sector shall become about 25-28% of the total Indian Media & Entertainment industry by 2025
With the setting up of the AVGC taskforce the Government has taken a significant step to develop strategic planning, says Dr S Raghunath, Professor of Strategy, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
Digital Creative Industries, together known as the AVGC sector (Animation, VFX, Gaming, Comics, XR) has many small firms that produce higher quality content at lower cost.
With the setting up of the AVGC taskforce the Government has taken a significant step to develop strategic planning that captures talent in emerging technologies to guarantee that India is at the leading edge of the next technology frontier disrupting the media and entertainment industry. India must demonstrate that it is a fast-mover and the Indian government is keen to offer substantial support to the AVGC sector.
Given that VR production costs can be pretty steep, forward-looking policy can promote the sector through subsidies to attract VR talent from around the world. The diffusion of knowledge and talent through co-working arrangements can protect and develop India’s AVGC industry. For example, the government can subsidize companies to further develop the AVGC output and position India as the next global technological hub. Grants can be offered to support content development and investment. Thereby the government can also take an active role in investing in AR/VR immersive content.
Govt & Grants
A government backed fund can provide funding for AR and VR producers to co-produce content with local teams, offering grants that cover both development and production.
In France for example such a fund supports around 40 percent of the costs required to produce a VR film. They also offer a tax rebate of up to 30 percent of qualifying expenditures to projects wholly or partly made in France and initiated by non-French companies. According to reports, the policy appears to have been effective in supporting filmmaking in France.
The AVGC policy can give a strong incentive to develop AVGC Hubs. Co-located AVGC hubs offer distinct benefits to startups and, as a result, talent and capital might target those locations.
We are however aware that the advancement of digital media technology presents opportunities wherein digital tools can be deployed by professionals working anywhere in creating, sharing and collaborating on work and not necessarily in formal office workspaces .
While the development of virtual AVGC hubs might sound like a great idea, the relational elements of the experience of working within an AVGC hub that will be most likely lost when going virtual.
Creativity and innovation in AVCG hubs might emerge from continuous interaction between start up founders, AVGC hub managers and mentors and could turn out to be much more than just a co-location space for people to work.
Studies have emphasized the importance of social capital to technopreneurs. Social capital includes individual and collective social networks that help these AVCG entrepreneurs to gain access to information and know-how. Knowledge exchange can be expected in these AVCG hubs that could promote cooperation amongst companies and linkages between companies and academic institutions.
Another major contribution from such AVCG hubs is about promoting incubation, nurturing and developing emerging AVCG companies. The presence of angel investors and venture capitalists in these hubs can play important roles in financing, selection, collective learning and creating an innovation network.
The AVCG hubs’ digital infrastructure can help maintain relationships among the members of the hub who might not be co located and would help to expand the AVCG hub’s activity. The website and social media of the AVCG hubs can offer a space to showcase the management and hub members’ activities and to extend market reach.
As story telling and visualization are the strengths of the AVGC sector, government can utilise the technological advancements, particularly using AR/VR for image building, creating an awareness about India as an investment destination. Digital tools exist for planning, design and presentation of information but AR/VR solutions can further enrich image-building activities by giving more accurate and in-depth information about specific areas in an easily accessible and cost effective way.
Through the AVGC hubs, government can gather, store, and share a wide range of data with potential investors, including information about the economic, social, and human capital of the local economy and the business environment. Web-based immersive visualizations can be created for more engaging, understandable, data-driven stories for both foreign investors and domestic stakeholders.
Using AR/VR technology, it is possible for the government to showcase locations for attracting investments, such as industrial areas, and cultural sites. Government departments could develop virtual experiences that enable investors to explore potential investment sites from wherever they are located. The benefit of such an approach is the ability to meet the potential investors without traveling and give them as realistic an experience as possible from a distance.
Although the talent and technology in the AVGC can offer promising solutions to advance government policy and also attract foreign direct investment as well as domestic investment in multiple spheres of economic activity, there has to be commensurate awareness and understanding among government functionaries in order to take advantage of this potential.
Will & way
Government functionaries in various ministries often need fundamental appreciation of how to utilise the potential of the AVGC talent and technology to advance the goals and objectives of various government projects. The level of understanding across government departments about what these technologies are and what they can offer might differ even between individual government officers .
In order to utilise emerging technologies in the AVGC sector, the senior administrators in the government need the awareness, will, and budgets to champion and sustain AVGC enabled programmes for future growth.
The Budget announcement of the formation of Task Force for AVGC Promotion has come after years of efforts put in by the industry stakeholders who see the sector contributing significantly to the Indian economy
In a major boost to AVGC sector, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced to set up a task force for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) sector with an aim to develop world-class creative talent to serve domestic as well as global demand.
“The Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) task force will be set up to build domestic capacity to serve our markets and global demand,” said Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech for the financial year 2022-2023.
In the past couple of years the AVGC industry stakeholders had been vocal in demanding the government to create an AVGC taskforce and AVGC Skills Council given the sector’s immense potential in creating jobs and making significant contribution to the Indian economy. The two editions of CII Global Summit FX in 2020 and 2021 have created a framework and recommendations for AVGC Sector, going forward.
“Delighted that the Government of India has accepted our request to set up an AVGC task force to provide strategic direction and provide a fillip to the sector. Thanks to @MIB and the @CII for their encouragement of this initiative. I shall work to ensure that we partner the government to achieve exponential growth in revenues, jobs and global market share,” said Biren Ghose, Chairman, CII National AVGC Committee 2022 & Country Head Technicolor India.
“I think what is really important now is that we are moving towards a new experience economy. We have young people who are tuning into our content. I think they are going to experience some things that are even beyond conventional storytelling. Education too has changed forever. I believe that the tools and technologies, practices and protocols that we have created are going to influence every industry,” he said.
Biren Ghose believes that “technology has moved from being purely an enabler to storytelling to becoming very much center stage”. “The way in which India can innovate with digital technologies is going to put us in a really good position in the competition that’s going to happen between countries as we aspire to take market share on a global basis in the media and entertainment sector,” he said.
Saying that the Budget announcement of the formation of taskforce for AVGC Promotion has come at the most appropriate time, Ashish SK, Chairman, FICCI AVGC- XR Forum & Founder of PUNNARYUG ARTVISION PVT LTD, said that after setting a strong foundation in the last two decades the Indian AVGC – XR is poised to grow phenomenally in coming decade.
“The creative skills from India needs nurturing to a great extend to enable the growth of the AVGC – XR sector. Setting up of a task force for the promotion of Indian AVGC sector will definitely bring in a great focus on positioning Indian AVGC sector for services exports, co-productions, growth of Indigenous intellectual property and its consumption patterns within India and overseas,” he added.
He observed that the Indian AVGC – XR sector is expected to have a major share of the media and entertainment industry. “The horizon & use cases of AVGC – XR verticals have expanded beyond its day to day defined utility in Architecture, Life Science, Legal, Education, Industrial, Urban Planning, Sports, Digital universe, Metaverse etc apart from media &entertainment,” said the Founder of PUNNARYUG ARTVISION PVT LTD.
The AVGC industry has thanked Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting , for his unconditional support and belief in the AVCG sector as the champion of Atmanirbhar Bharat. “If we could tell stories that project new India and its products through our media, it will support our allied industries and sectors,” Anuraag Thakur had said.
He also added that he believed India has the potential to create “creative incubators that identify and groom talent in graphic design, sound animation and visual effects,” and capture its fair share of global visual effects, animations, graphics and sound market.
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, believes that the AVGC sector holds great potential in contributing towards India’s 5-trillion dollar 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.
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.
According to K Madhavan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Media and Entertainment and Country Manager & President The Walt Disney Company India & Star India, the goal of India’s media and entertainment industry is to reach $100 billion by 2030. “The growth target remains ambitious but not difficult to achieve, provided we get the right support from policymakers and the government. India already produces 160,000 hours of content every year, which is the highest in the world. We’ll see the demand for original content to grow every day and more and more consumers getting access to the internet in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.”
Madhavan said that there has to be a clear cut roadmap for AVGC exports, creating global b2b opportunities, encouraging increasing convergence initiative between creators and tech innovators, and distribution hubs.
Addressing the CII SummitFX 2021 – Global AVGC and Immersive Media Summit, Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles had highlighted that the AVGC sector is growing at 9% and is expected to reach ~Rs 3 lakh crore (US$ 43.93 bn) by 2024 (at a CAGR of 13.5%).
“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,” the minister said.
He said in the Spirit of “Local goes Global: Make in India for the world”, AVGC sector must look beyond boundaries to reach new horizons.
When we look at various areas of value creation in the Indian M&E sector, the AVGC sector stands out owing to its great potential in taking India’s M&E story to the next level, said Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, while speaking at the 10th edition of CII Big Picture Summit 2021. He also announced that the government was working towards creating a National Centre of Excellence for AVGC to provide a major boost for further development of the sector in India.
“AVGC is no longer a sunrise sector. The sun has already risen in the AVGC sector,” said Neerja Sekhar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, as she highlighted that the National Centre of Excellence for AVGC is a unique project where the industry needs to work together with the government to make it a success.
As per a report on Indian M&E sector released during the CII Big Picture Summit 2021 by the Boston Consulting Group India, VFX and Gaming can be the next IT-BPM boom and play a fundamental role in India’s M&E by 2030 with potential to create 75,000-120,000 direct and indirect jobs if India scales up its AVGC sector through structural interventions.
The Indian audiovisual sector is also a champion sector recognized by the Government of India. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has identified this sector as a high potential for increasing job creation and export earnings for India. It was forecasted that the industry could create 2-3x growth in jobs over 4 years. Incentive packages and innovative forms of new fast-tracked education for skill sets were being discussed.
More than 70 per cent of the AVGC revenues comes from AVGC services to the global markets. The AVGC sector in India is poised to drive a similar growth to what the IT industry saw 20 years ago. Audiovisual exports in the next five to 10 years will be amongst the top 5 sectors contributing to the Indian GDP.
Walt Disney Animation Studio’s musical drama Encanto won the Best Animated Feature film at the 79th Golden Globes Award, (recognsing the best animation film that was on offer in 2021). Encanto, Directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard is Disney Animation Studio’s 60th animated feature film and won the award beating WDAS’s Raya and the Last Dragon, Pixar’s Luca, Flee (indie documentary) and My Sunny Maad (indie drama).
This Latin American, Disney musical Encanto is also tipped to be an Oscar frontrunner for Disney in the Best Animated Feature. Encanto grossed over over $215 million worldwide and was the highest-grossing animated film of 2021. In India, it grossed over $161,000 (Box Office Mojo).
Encanto is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Assocation (HFPA) conducts the annual Golden Globes Award in LA. This year Golden Globe Awards was a private ceremony and winners did not attend the Award function. HFPA announced winners in Twitter.
In the Columbia set Encanto, Walt Disney Animation Studios animated film tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto.
The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift from super strength to the power to heal—every child except one, Mirabel (voice of Stephanie Beatriz). But when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is in danger, Mirabel decides that she, the only ordinary Madrigal, might just be her exceptional family’s last hope.
How Mirabel saves her family and home is the rest of the story.
Encanto is filled with magical realism and fresh music by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film features all-new songs by Emmy, GRAMMY and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “Moana”) and is directed by Byron Howard (“Zootopia,” “Tangled”) and Jared Bush (co-director “Zootopia”), co-directed by Charise Castro Smith (writer “The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez”), and produced by Clark Spencer and Yvett Merino; Bush and Castro Smith are screenwriters on the film.
IndiaJoy and Esports Platform MPL to present one of the biggest virtual digital entertainment festival from 16 to 19 November 2021
Digital entertainment festival IndiaJoy ( https://www.indiajoy.in ) is the ‘largest congregation of Gaming, Animation, VFX, E-Sports and Entertainment events in India’. It is an aggregator platform, bringing together prestigious international events in one place to unfold opportunities for Investors, Corporations, Studios, Content Developers, Delegates, Consumers, Hardware manufacturers and students, through series of Networking, Trade Exhibitions, Product Launches, B2B and B2C events.
Since its inaugural edition, IndiaJoy enjoyed a record-high number of visitors to attract more than 30,000 participants including visitors and global delegates, attracting investments of USD10 million for the past 3 years and catalysing the emergence of startups. IndiaJoy attracted exhibitors from across the globe, including Adobe, Netflix, Sony, British Columbia, Moiba, Gametion, Australian Trade Commission, Victoria Trade, Unity Epic, and Homa Games in its last few editions.
This digital festival will be held this year virtually from 16 to 19 November. Mobile Premier League (MPL), Asia’s largest esports and skill gaming platform has become the presenting sponsor of IndiaJoy 2021. The annual event is hosted by Telangana Virtual Animation and Gaming Association (TVAGA) and supported by the Government of Telangana.
K T Rama Rao, Minister for Municipal Admin & Urban Dev, Industry & Commerce, ITE&C, Government of Telangana, said, “In the past three editions, IndiaJoy has played a significant role in boosting the AVGC sector in Asia. It has also helped shine a spotlight on the city of Hyderabad as one of the important hubs in the global digital entertainment industry. The Media & Entertainment sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.7% to reach Rs 2.23 trillion (US$30.6 billion) by 2023. Telangana Government has been at the forefront of harnessing the new digital entertainment revolution that requires a state to promote the use, adoption, and adaptation of cutting-edge technologies. We have, and continue to build a robust ecosystem, infrastructure base to promote leading-edge technologies which is a must for success. Initiatives such as Image Towers and hosting global scale events like IndiaJoy which encompass Animation, VFX, OTT, and Gaming have catalysed the growth of the sector both in Hyderabad and in India. Our vision is to make IndiaJoy an event that the world looks forward to every year.”
The Organizers of the event, TVAGA Core committee members – Rajiv Chilaka – President, Sridhar Muppidi – Vice-President, Madhava Reddy – General Secretary, played a crucial role in bringing their experience, and passion to make IndiaJoy a platform that boosts the fame and advancements of Indian AVGC industry at international level.
In its fourth edition, the festival is bringing together businesses, business leaders, content creators, professionals across gaming, animation, digital media, and entertainment sectors, and will feature VFX, OTT Pulse, Influencer Conference, and DesiToons.
A Global Scale VFX Summit made its debut in IndiaJoy 2019 in Hyderabad. The purpose of the event is to facilitate B2B virtual networking, Exposition, Expert Speaks about top-of-the-line visual effects that are in great demand. TV shows that seek cutting edge VFX work ensuring the industry to flourish in recent times and a lot more knowledge sharing is expected during this VFX summit.
One of the industry leaders Biren Ghose, Chairman, CII National Committee for AVGC & Country Head – Technicolor, India said, “India’s trajectory in the digital media world is exponential and is now a globally acknowledged force to reckon with. The creative technology innovations in AVGC are also note of import to adjacent sectors like education, R&D design, etc. Telengana has shown strong strategic intent in partnering industry and academia with enabling policy and infrastructure support to take the games, VFX and animation industries to new levels of performance. IndiaJoy is the forum that celebrates the milestones and acts as a torchbearer for the state. Connections & collaborations is what I hope to see flourish at this year’s event.”
This year, VFX summit will witness participation from VFX giants from across the globe, with a lineup of conferences, panel discussions, Networking sessions. Attendees at the summit include some of the biggest studios, VFX Specialists, Broadcasts, students, Brands, Agencies and Creative professionals from the industry.
Combination of low-cost mobile data, affordable smartphones, fresh content, and lockdown induced boredom changed the game for OTT industry. The way in which audiences consume content has changed dramatically during the pandemic, with the number of people turning to OTT taking a sharp rise, driven by both the pandemic and the proliferation of streaming services.
With the rise of massive entertainers like Netflix Inc.’s runaway hit Squid Game came like a bolt from the blue for viewers around the world. Our own India’s famous Chota Bheem, had made many glued to OTT platforms in India. The pandemic pushed big budget movies and the smaller ones equally to be streamed in these platforms.
The content viewing in OTT platforms grew multifold, according to a recent CII-BCG report, the number of paid OTT subscriptions was up by 55-60% to 100-125 million in 2020 from 49 million subscriptions in 2018.
IndiaJoy’s OTT Pulse will see content creators, industry experts, senior media executives and leading digital platforms showcase and discuss their opportunities, challenges, and strategies in partnership with Green Gold Animation, OTT Pulse will delve into the world of creating and distributing truly personalized content. “As we welcome the 4th edition of IndiaJoy, it gives me great pleasure that Green Gold Studios has contributed to bringing the best creators, producers, broadcasters, business and creative heads onto a single platform. IndiaJoy was established to celebrate the success of the industry, exhibit the talent within it and provide a space for the leaders of the AVCGI to deliberate the way forward. We have accomplished all that in our previous editions, and we look to continue building the event to encompass more ideas, individuals and technology.” said Rajiv Chilaka, Founder & MD, Green Gold Studios who is the man behind Chota Bheem.
OTT Pulse will be a part of inaugural event on this 16 November will have multiple panels and keynotes which will include representation from the leading digital platforms, such as NetFlix, Amazon Prime Video, Viu, VOOT, Aaha and ZEE5 among others.
‘India’s largest influencer convention’ that provides a platform for aspirants to connect with celebrity influencers and industry experts. Influencer Conference facilitates participants to meet, connect and showcase the best of the talents to national and international stakeholders of the industry. It is where production houses, motivational speakers, young aspiring artists gather to make a unified talent show where people can enjoy and get a chance to learn and inspire.
Al platform for animation content creators, studio executives, animators and students to gain insights from the leaders in creation, broadcasting and distribution. The animation sector is witnessing rapid growth, the congregation will see industry leaders, ace content creators and broadcasters from the Indian Animation industry sharing their insights into how to succeed in today’s dynamic and disruptive times.
The Indian Media and Entertainment industry is witnessing a new era of game-changing development and IndiaJoy will see pioneers from the sector sharing their insights. This edition of IndiaJoy is expecting international participants from more than 50+ countries and globally recognised, prominent AVGC and many tech giants are set to share advancements in new and emerging technologies.
The India Game Developer Conference (IGDC), an event for game developers is a major catalyst in enabling the growth of the Indian gaming ecosystem and sees enthusiastic participation from game developers, publishers, and investors each year. Its goal is to support and empower game developers with insights, upskilling, and networking opportunities in the presence of industry leaders and investors.
The event is expected to see attendance from around 10,000 people, 120+ industry experts, 100+ e-stalls, 30 publishers, and 30 investors. Unreal Engine will be the presenting sponsor and MPL and AWS will be the gold sponsors for the event.
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)