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ATF2006: FICCI Panel discusses films as Animation goes mainstream

Animation Film Production in India – the FICCI sponsored session at the Asia Television Forum on 29 November 2006 was full of substance. With a lineup of speakers consisting of Atul Rao of Toonz Animation, Biren Ghose of Kahani Inc, Ashish Kulkarni of Anirights and Sony Entertainment Television India CEO Kunal Dasgupta, it was bound to be.

“Bollywood is getting into animation in a big way,” said Dasgupta in his opening address. “Animation films based on live character movies are now being made. The big studios like Yash Raj Films and Karan Johar are also looking at this sector. Once they taste success there will be a flood with other entrants moving in. Indian animation films will be all the rage.”

Anirights CEO & FICCI Animation & Gaming co-chair Ashish Kulkarni said that India has many advantages as compared to other countries. A rapidly growing economy; the fact that it is the No.1 destination in IT outsourcing, the fact that is slated to grow from $285 million dollars in animation to $950 million by 2009 as per NASSCOM. His view is that animated movies of all sorts of budgets are going to fuel the animation ecosystem.

“While we have a succesful APO (Animation Process outsourcing) story going in India, the Indian audiences have a larger appetite to appreciate the domestic content in animation. The only challenge is how do we create good quality in the desired domestic budgets” he added.

Toonz AnimationĂ¢â‚¬?s Atul Rao said that there was tremendous talent in India. “For example I had an artist who came to me who was bad. He picked up so fast that a year later he was very good; as good as anyone in the US. In animation films, the story and execution is most important. We have to develop skillsets in these areas. The good news is that India is moving away from just outsourcing to orginal IP and content”

Kahani CEO Biren Ghose added that “Content from the east is going to become the flavour of the west; this will be a reality, mark my words,” he said. “India has a dual advantage. We make very good managers, and we can find funding for any project. The big one to watch out for is in-game animation and special effects which is growing tremendously”

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