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Toonz to Honour Aabid Surti, Biren Ghose at Animation Masters Summit

admin   May 6, 2022

The five-day Animation Masters Summit, where Aabid Surti and Biren Ghose will be honoured by Toonz, will include sessions by a galaxy of stalwarts from diverse fields of media and entertainment across the world

Artist, writer and activist Aabid Surti, and animation industry veteran and Country Head, Technicolor Creative Studios, Biren Ghose will be honoured at the 2022 edition of Animation Masters Summit. Organised by Toonz Media Group, the virtual Summit will be held from May 23 to 27, 2022 over the Zoom platform.

Surti, 87, has made significant contributions towards popularising cartoons and graphic novels in Indian languages in a career spanning over six decades. He is the creator of several memorable characters such as Dhabbuji, Inspector Azad, Doctor Chinchu and the much-loved Indrajal comic superhero Bahadur. A prolific author, he bagged the National Award in 1993 for his short story series titled `Teesri Aankh’. Having passed out of one of India’s oldest art institutions the JJ School of Art in Mumbai, Surti is also an acclaimed painter known for experimenting and developing innovative and critically acclaimed painting techniques.

The Animation Master Summit Jury was Chaired  by industry veteran Ashish SK. Announcement to the key AMS Legends Award &  AMS Indian Animation Special Contribution Award was done at the Closing ceremony of GAFX 2022 at Bangalore on the 29th April 2022. At this GAFX Show in Bangalore the AMS jury Chairman declared the two prestigious awards the AMS Legend Award this year is being bestowed on veteran artist, writer and activist Aabid Surti. Mr Surti is noted for creating and popularizing cartoons and graphic novels in Indian languages through colourful characters like Dhabbuji, Bahadur, Inspector Azad, Doctor Chinchu and many more. Mr Surti has also made significant contributions to water conservation through his organization Drop Dead Foundation.

We will also be honouring a leader from the Indian AVGC industry with the Special Contribution to the Indian Animation Industry Award. And I am elated to let you all know that this year we are honouring Technicolor India chief Biren Ghose with this award. Biren is a prominent figure in the Indian AVGC scene. As a thought leader and business head of some of the most prominent entertainment companies, Biren has made invaluable contributions in the growth and development of the AVGC ecosystem in India over the years. It is our privilege to honour him with the AMS Special Contribution to the Indian Animation Industry Award. In picture P Jayakumar, Ashish SK and Biren Ghose during GAFX Valedictory

In recent years, Surti has made a mark with his activism in water conservation through his organisation Drop Dead Foundation, which was started as an initiative to provide free plumbing service for residents in suburban Mumbai. Surti personally leads his NGO in fixing an average of around 400 taps a year after visiting close to a thousand homes.

For his contributions to art and society Aabid Surti will be awarded the Legend of Indian Animation Award at Animation Masters Summit 2022.

Biren Ghose is a prominent figure in the Indian AVGC (Animation Visual Effects Gaming and Comics) scene. As a thought leader and business head of some of the most prominent entertainment companies, Ghose has made significant contributions in the growth and development of the AVGC ecosystem in India over the years. He also holds several important roles in government and quasi-government agencies, institutions and trade bodies.

Ghose will be honoured with the Special Contribution to the Indian Animation Industry Award at the Summit for his overall contributions to the industry. Both the awards will be presented at the inaugural session of Animation Masters Summit on May 23.

P Jayakumar, CEO – Toonz Media Group, said, “Animation Masters Summit is Toonz’s flagship annual event where we provide a platform for young artists and students to interact with veterans in the field of art and entertainment.

The AMS awards have been instituted to honour legends in the field of art. Mr Aabid Surti is a true legend in this regard, having made his mark in multiple streams of art from painting to cartoon, to writing. After a scintillating career of more than 60 years, he continues to work tirelessly focusing more on social and environmental issues now. He is an inspiration for not just artists but for everyone. It is a privilege for us to present this year’s Legend Award to Mr Surti.”

He added: “Mr Biren Ghose, who is being awarded the Special Contribution Award, has helped build the AVGC ecosystem in India with his visionary leadership. As a mentor and industry spokesperson he also played a significant role in fostering a strong and cohesive animation and VFX community in India.”

The five-day Animation Masters Summit will include sessions by a galaxy of stalwarts from diverse fields of media and entertainment across the world. Google India Country Head and Vice President Sanjay Gupta will deliver the keynote address at the inaugural session.

Master sessions in the following days will be led by renowned artists and creators including Belgian director-producer Paul Demeyer who has worked on shows like Mission Force One, The Rocketeer and the Rugrats series and movie; Emmy Award-winning composer Wendell Hanes who is best known for supervising the music for the Netflix sitcom Family Reunion; Ravishankar Venkateswaran, maker of the first ever Sanskrit animation feature Punyakoti; Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy India Sukesh Nayak and Arjun Reddy, co-founder and CTO of India’s biggest NFT ecosystem GuardianLink.


admin   April 26, 2022

Broadcast, media and entertainment industries prepare for largest tech event of the year

NAB Show the world’s largest annual conference for broadcast, entertainment and technology professionals, will host attendees from 154 countries and exhibiting companies from 38 nations at the 2022 NAB Show, held April 23 – 27 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Attendees from outside the U.S. make up nearly one-quarter of all pre-registered 2022 NAB Show attendees, which closely mirrors the 2019 NAB Show percentage.

“At a time when content can travel around the world in a blink of an eye, there is nothing like NAB Show to help the content community discover the tools, trainings and insights that will unleash the next global phenomenon,” said Chris Brown, NAB executive vice president and managing director of Global Connections and Events. “We are excited to welcome back our friends and partners from all across the globe as our industry gets back to doing business in-person.”

NAB Show participates in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Trade Event Partnership Program, which recruits international trade delegations to select U.S. trade shows and connects international buyers with U.S. suppliers.

Delegations attending NAB Show include Brazil, Columbia, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Turkey, Vietnam and more.

NAB Show’s exhibit floor, located in the North Hall, Central Hall and the newly constructed West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, will host 358 exhibitors from 38 countries outside of the United States, including United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Belgium and France. The exhibition will also host the following pavilions:

• Bavarian Pavilion – Central Hall
• Brazilian Pavilion – North Hall
• French Pavilion – West Hall
• Great Britain & Northern Ireland Pavilion – North Hall
• Global Trade Show Row – West Hall

Additionally, several international organizations, including the Brazilian Society of Television Engineering (SET), will host meetings for their members at NAB Show. Demonstrations of global technologies currently deployed outside of the U.S. will also be conducted by broadcasters and other media and entertainment companies throughout the Show.


admin   April 25, 2022

Let’s take a look at Intel’s role in some of the media and entertainment initiatives over the years globally

The next gen 5G standard promises faster speeds of at least 20 times, which Intel technology leaders think will transform connectivity and mobility, and bring immersive interactive cinema to new venues and platforms

1993 Started with “Market not Mandate” principle under Intel CEO Andy Grove and collaborate with the industry to create DVD Forum since early 1990s, deployed commercially in 1995

1995 Started work on DTLA (Digital Transmission License Authority) with the Hollywood Studios for DTCP (Digital Transmission Content Protection) used for protecting Hollywood content over digital interconnects (IEEE 1394, later used for USB…) and later to internet

1995 onwards: CPTWG (Content Protection Tech Working Group) brought Studios, service  providers and Tech companies together for work on all the major media content protection standards). DRM (Digital Rights Management) and content protection standards for the Hollywood DVD-CCA (Digital Video Disc-Copy Control Association), Broadcast flag, In 2005 OMA-Open Mobile Alliance/CMLA DRM- Content Management License Authority, HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) – world’s largest link protection crypto won two Emmy awards

1997/98 Intel contributed driving policy towards DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright act) published in December 98. Intel started participating in H264 standard, base of video encoding format

1998 First CDN (Content Delivery Network), Project Rainer. Created technology/business framework that enabled digital streaming of Hollywood content over IP networks and ultimately the Internet (DTCP-IP)

2002 onwards: Led standardization for SD-to-HD transition (Blu-Ray) and consolidation of HD-DVD format., Engaged and drove EU DVB, Japanese Broadcast Standards.

2004 Led industry creation of U.S. regulatory framework to enable broadcast TV digitization (broadcast flag). TV digitization and modernization of the digital cable industry in the USA that served as baseline for the global TV industry.

2007-2020 UltraViolet digital Copy Hollywood initiative in major geos.

2008 Began engaging with the Indian media industry and in 2013 onwards Broadcast TV digitization efforts in India.

2010 onwards H265, AV1, AVC, HEVC V2(for 8K), VP9. Engagement with CCTV China started. 4K UHD Blu-Ray, established the 4K Std later adopted by Netflix, Amazon Prime adoption

2014 Broadcast TV digitization in Brazil (development of Ginga – Brasilian digital TV middleware of ISDB-Tb standard on Intel platforms)

2016 To Date: Started working on 8K, launched 8K encoder/decoder at NAB in 2017. 2018, 8K in France at Roland Garros with FranceTVand World’s first 16K encoder and decoder launched at NAB Show 2018 powered by Intel Xeon Processor. 2020 8K Live global partner PoC

2016 To date: Immersive Cinema Produced, collaborated, and launched dozen premium Hollywood and global Immersive Cinema VREs (LeMusk, Spider- Man VREs, Save Every Breathe Dunkirk VRE, FirstMan VRE and Volumetric Cinema Experience Grease to establish immersive Cinema category worldwide.

2021 First ever Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 delivered live in 8K/60FPS/ HDR OTT over the open internet across four continents and OTT service launch in Brazil with GloboTV

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Quantum Image Making Has Arrived

admin   February 14, 2022

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

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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.”

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India, the Window of Opportunity

admin   June 15, 2021

The policies of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, are fully geared towards realising the complete potential of the M&E sector by forging global partnerships and providing an enabling environment by lowering market barriers and propelling growth

In the rapidly changing global media and entertainment landscape, India has emerged as a window of opportunity to position itself as a hub for audiovisual services for the rest of the world. Media and Entertainment is one of the champion sectors supported by the Government of India. The incentives for the audiovisual services that closely match the sops given by various other nations are already finalised by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. They are waiting for the appropriate time to announce incentives that is set to handhold industry in the aftermath of Covid-19 pandemic.

India has probably one of the most liberal investment regimes in the media and entertainment, information and communication sector amongst the emerging economies with a conducive foreign direct investment (FDI) environment and ease of doing business.

Digitization and the growth of the internet are reducing many barriers to market entry and creating opportunities for smaller companies’ offering skills and services in new forms of content creation for various platforms.

In the current scenario, the Indian animation (IPs included) and VFX Services have gained a lot of traction among the international producers and production houses. In the following pages we have curated 15 animation co-production projects seeking partners at Annecy/MIFA 2021.

In the aftermath of coronavirus pandemic, Indian media, entertainment and technology services are witnessing new growth opportunities on the back of growing offshore services domain, especially in animation, VFX, gaming, AR/VR and digital media, among others.

Many companies have created top-end studio facilities in India that serve as single windows to fulfil the needs of the M&E industry (Technicolour India, Deluxe). Their international business model offers local and remote clients the opportunity to produce and co-produce and distribute content anywhere around the world.

Media & Entertainment sector has been supported by the Government of India as one of the champion sectors with immense potential of growth both within and outside the country. Media and Entertainment is also among the sectors that clearly has made an impact of Make in India, Show the World. For services it is Make in India, Serve the World.

The role of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is to facilitate the industry to create jobs and growth for the sector. The government’s efforts are driven towards creation of forums and forge partnerships to keep the momentum going.

Content produced for Indian media sectors holds tremendous potential for global consumption. With a significant diaspora population residing overseas, Indian content is a key tool for these communities to connect with their cultural roots.

The Indian film industry is fairly unique in the world. The country, along with America and China, is among the few that can sustain their industry domestically. You can make a film just for India, or even one region within India. Once when the Government gives green signal to open theatres there are over 83 films waiting to be released in India. OTT players like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney + Hostar, ZEE5 have brought in a transformation in expanding Indian content reach to over 100 territories across the world.


India has audio visual co-production treaties with over 15 countries — Bangladesh, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Spain, UK & Northern Ireland, Bangladesh, Russia. It is now possible for filmmakers of different countries to come together and make films under bilateral co–production agreements. Co-productions under these agreements are more beneficial to filmmakers than a purely commercial partnership between two individuals or entities. New markets and audiences would be available for the product, especially if collaborations and partnerships are between nationals of different countries.

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is currently finalising incentives for co-production, filming under the champion sector scheme. In addition to films, TV Series, Web Series, Animation will be also be included in the co-production projects.


The Augmented and Virtual Reality, the two spectrums of immersive technology, will form the next frontier of growth for the M&E industry. For India, AR/VR can open up new creative avenues. According to a report, the Indian AR/VR market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 76 percent over the next five years, fuelled by demand from business and consumer sectors. The past few years have witnessed the emergence of over 200 AR/VR start-ups in the country. Bengaluru and Hyderabad take the lead, attracting a big chunk of these start-ups, followed by Delhi and Mumbai. Among states, Karnataka and Telengana are actively promoting AR/VR startups by providing incubation, mentoring, idea validation by experts, opportunities to deploy pilots with various departments, along with fund support for eligible ones. This was the major takeaway at the recently concluded Global AVGC Summit FX 2020 organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.


Dinesh Gupta, Director and Co-Founder at Sacom in one of the the recent Pickle columns mentioned massive growth opportunities in video gaming. Statista’s Global Digital Market Outlook pegs the digital media market at US$ 172,502mn in 2020 with a 9.8% year-on-year growth projection. This forecast was adjusted for expected global impact of Covid-19 pandemic. Video Games share with a projected market volume of US$ 92,633 mn and 11.41% growth over previous year dominates the digital media market with a close to 54% worldwide share. This makes the Video Games industry much bigger than Video-on-Demand, ePublishing and Digital Music put together. Majority of the revenues for video gaming are contributed by mobile gaming which is likely to contribute as much as 60% in 2020.

Amit Khanna is a Treasure Trove of Anecdotes

admin   December 18, 2019

WITH LOVE FROM SISTER – Interview with Namita Pradhan

Having led a successful professional life in the Indian media and entertainment industry for five decades, we know Amit Khanna as an industry veteran, an avid songwriter and an opinionmaker, who wore many hats to chart the course of several important organizations in the country. But few know about his close relationship with his family or what he likes to do when he’s not making films or writing. Namita Pradhan, sister of Amit Khanna spoke to Poornima Bajwa Sharma.

From starting his career as an executive producer to making award-making films, setting up media channels, chairing various organizations and now penning down a book, Amit Khanna has had a remarkable five-decadelong run in the industry. How will you describe his journey?

Amit has always followed his passion. Right from the beginning of his career, he was ahead of his times and generation. He would feel comfortable in the company of people much older than him and still held his own amongst them. While his professional journey has been meteoric, he has always had close connections with the family and would always make himself available to us in all times of need.

We know the enigmatic man who has had a successful professional life. Tell us more about Amit Khanna’s lesser-known side.

Amit is super sensitive about his family relationships and takes his responsibilities very seriously. We used to live in a joint family in a big home in Lutyens Delhi at Hailey Road. We were, and still are, a closeknit family of uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews though now spread out much beyond Delhi. And he still brings the entire family together a couple of times in a year, which we all look forward to. He loves to tell a story, or recite a couplet at family gatherings and is a treasure trove of anecdotes.

Can you share some special anecdotes from your childhood that are still fresh in your memory?

There are so many of them. He was always super protective towards not just me but all our cousin sisters. Our grandparents and parents had a great influence on us as we were growing up. He was close to them.

Tell us three things that no one knows about Amit Khanna.

Amit is a great dog lover. He also donates regularly to charity and is a stickler for rules which makes him extremely law-abiding.

Apart from movies and books, what are his hobbies?

He has varied interests in just about everything. But besides movies and writing, he also loves to cook.

Amit Khanna was the first person in your family who decided to join the media and entertainment sector in the 1970s when everyone aspired to become an IAS officer. How do you feel about his decision?

We are all extremely proud. We were then, and are more so, now.

Amit Khanna is a foodie. Any special dish that you love to cook for him which he likes?

He’s a better cook than me (laughs). He loves our traditional ‘Khatri food.’ But of late he has also started enjoying a slice of my sourdough bread.

Namita Pradhan, Ex. IAS officer, Ex Asst. Dir-Gen. WHO-35 years of
international and national civil service

Production Services, VFX, Animation In India

admin   July 29, 2019

Many Indian companies have created top end studio facilities in India that serve as a single window to fulfil the needs of overseas filmmakers

India’s contribution to Hollywood movies is well known – the last two Harry Potter films, Pirates of the Caribbean, Percy Jackson, Life of Pi, Skyfall, Prometheus, The Jungle Book, Blade Runner have all used India talent. This has been enabled as larger studios have extended their pipelines and proprietary tool sets and software to India.

The Media and Entertainment (M&E) Industry is one of the most dynamic industries in India with modern technologies acting as a key enabler for providing world-class services to overseas clients/companies. The industry is increasingly witnessing the convergence of media, entertainment and technology creating efficiencies in workflow, revenue streams and unique business models.

Indian media, entertainment and technology services are growing at an accelerated pace on the back of growing offshore services domain, especially in animation, VFX, gaming, AR/VR, film production, location and new media, among others. The Indian animation and VFX services have gained a lot of traction among the international producers and production houses.