*Animation*, *Gaming* get prominent mention at India Day inaugural panel

CANNES: The houseful audience at the India Day inaugural session at MIPCOM was a wonderful sight to behold. It was a live example of how the world is interested in India and the Indian media & entertainment landscape. “Content” was the topic of discussion, and content were the Indian delegates as they basked in the ascendant, and equally contented were the smiles of the people who made it happen, Reed Midem‘s Paul Zilk and Paul Johnson, Arnaud De Nanteuil, Reed Midem India representative Anil Wanvari and the FICCI team led by Amita Sarkar.
The Indian market is tremendous , but it is also unique and needs a thorough approach. Companies entering India should have a clear focus on how they will add value: UTV Group Founder & CEO Ronnie Screwvala
The highlight of the inaugural session was the keynote delivered by UTV Group CEO & Founder Ronnie Screwvala. Ronnie‘s refined presentation gave insights, comprehensive overview and his perspective on the Indian M&E biz in a global context. It was enriching and gave a takeaway to one and all. While the presentation delved into all aspects of the Indian M&E Business, Ronnie pointed out that Animation & Gaming were extremely promising. Reaffirming his stance that he took at the NASSCOM keynote in Jan, he said, ‘Origination of content is the way forward in this business and we have to make sure we don’t lose the plot. We don‘t have the script writers yet and we need to collaborate on development work. At UTV we believe in content aggregation and are working on three high end CG features being developed in house.” “In gaming too we have gone ahead and acquired UK based Ignition and are investing around 30 to 40 Million US$ in the development of 3 high end games. In India we have invested into Indiagames and we see a great future for Online Gaming in India.” Equally impressive was the keynote delivered by ZEE TV Chairman and Founder Subhash Chandra who with his presence brought diginity and power to the India session. Interesting and relevant to the AnimationXpress.com audience is that *Animation*, *Gaming* , *Mobile* were amongst the most uttered keywords across the sessions. The content on the move panel especially seemed to have a clear skew towards new media and digital CG content and games with panelists including BAG Films MD Anurradha Prasad, DQ Entertainment CEO Tapaas Chakravarti, Indiagames Founder & CEO Vishal Gondal, Ocher Studios MD Soundarya Rajnikant and E&Y, Partner, Business Advisory Services Ashok Rajgopal. The session was moderated by Hungama Mobile MD & CEO Neeraj Roy. “Today‘s youngsters are not interested in single screen linear entertainment,” pointed out Indiagames‘ Vishal Gondal. “Social Networking, Multiple screens, Internet is taking the youth by storm. We see a lot of growth in gaming too.” Communicating to the International business audience, Gondal shared that for the exception of Microsoft which had invested big time in the Indian games market with Xbox, the rest of the major players were not tapping at the potential due to inhibitions like piracy. “I believe that the way to deal with the Indian market is through micro transactions and innovative subscription models.” Evocative as ever, Gondal stated, “Gaming is going to rock and is going to be bigger than any other sector in Indian entertainment in the future.” One would have expected eyebrows to raise, what with the gaints of the 100 times bigger television business present in the room, but no, the campaign continued. Ocher Studios Soundarya Rajnikant who along with Adlabs is currently producing a high end CGI animated feature on her superstar dad Rajnikanth shared, “We want to set a new benchmark of quality for Indian animation and make it global. And yes Animation is going to be very very big in India.” “With Animation, the sky is the limit, but it is technically much more difficult than live action in terms of execution,” pointed out Soundarya adding, “However I must say that we need to move from being service providers to solutions providers and must also focus on our IT and technological expertise to value add our production processes.” According to E&Y‘s Rajagopal, there is too much of money chasing movies these days, but the films business in India is a star based economy and the content is scarce. “The areas of interest and growth include television and animation. There are several animation hubs and markets across Asia and India that could take the initiative in collaborating with and producing fresh programming for these markets as there is dearth of differentiated kids programming,” he remarked. “There is a lot of opportunity in creating content fort the under 25 TG and ermerging platforms such as DTH too offer an interesting interactive opportunity” he added. DQ Entertainment‘s Tapaas Chakravarti shared, “As an Industry, we are no longer looking just for service work, and are now actively seeking partnerships and coproductions. Companies in this sector in India are now preparing to get listed and are introducing corporate governance practices as they grow. BAG Films MD Anurradha Prasad pointed out that there was no such thing as animation or gaming being bigger than any other sectors, rather it was all part of one exosystem and complimented each other. “Please explain how would animation reach audience if not through platforms like TV or Home Video? It is all complimentary and it’s all about having a 360* content approach which is what our theme is Content on the move.” Making a very profound statement, Prasad shared that, “Content will be the infrastructure of the global knowledge economy. The India session which lasted from the morning through to lunch remained housefull throughout and was a great beginning to the celebration of India, this was followed by the evening opening party where again India was the theme for celebration… More on that fabulous event in a subsequent report. connect@animationxpress.com

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