Interview with Balakrishna MR, President, ABAI and Prakash Cavale, Treasurer, ABAI


2-1Up Balakrishna MR, President, ABAI; M.N.Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary, e-Governance Department, IT, BT and S&T Dept and Prakash Cavale, Treasurer, ABAI

How was the response for the second annual KAVGC Summit? The response was pretty good. Many professionals who attended the summit said that the quality of the sessions was very good and there was lot of knowledge sharing and learning as well. The speakers also felt that the choice of panels was also good. Especially the presentations and making of films sessions by Asifa and ABAI got a very good response. Apart from that even the people who participated from the government side also felt good seeing the response that we have got and I must say that the learning process was very useful and informative for many people. It has been said that this year will have an animation track as well. What’s your comment? In fact since last year, ABAI was asked to organize speakers for the animation track in which is scheduled for 19th October. So this year also we have a 3 hour session of which 2 hours are going to be reserved for panel discussions and the remaining 1 hour is earmarked for the Presentations and making of films sessions. What are the areas that you want the upcoming policy of the Karnataka Government for the animation and gaming industry to address? The way in which it is drafted it focuses on the establishment of incubation centre. So if a person starts an animation studio he will get a completely ready place with workstations with fully loaded software, hardwares and everything. So anyone can walk-in with the team of 10-12 people and start production. So this way I’m sure lot of small studios will be start coming up. Our intention is that with time they’ll grow and can move out on their own. And the government has promised us that we can do this in a very nice way with 50% public and 50% private funding. And these incubation centres will be very useful for the freelancers and also for producers because the cost of overhead will come down drastically. Films can be made in small budgets and the risk of investments comes down with such facilities. Secondly with the policy we expect certain amount of Capital investment from the government for the finishing schools. Today if you see in our country the concept of finishing school is still not accepted. The finishing school will have very high end and advanced training and the students will have a hands-on exposure on the projects. And that is how the industry will grow very fast. The involvement and support of the government itself will motivate many other investors to consider Bangalore as the destination for this industry. What is the amount of funding that you are looking for from the Government? This is too early for us to put these things in numbers and its better that we hear this from the government. We have some idea but can’t disclose that as of now. Is any other body working with ABAI for this policy? At the moment it’s ABAI, various experts within the ABAI group itself and the companies in Bangalore. But in due course of time we do need the support of other organizations because ABAI or just one organization will not be able to manage this. One of the very interesting aspects of the policy suggested by the government is the setting up of Digital Animation Centres (DAC). Now the whole industry is dependent on the set of creative talents. And the creative talents primarily comes from the Fine Arts School and the students of fine arts school can’t afford a big time course so we have suggested that there should be DAC to be set up in the Fine Arts school where the funding will be partly from public and partly from private sector and the centre will be managed by the private body. This, if accepted, will be a great boost for the industry. Will there be a new body made to look after the implementation of the policy? Once the policy is announced then we’ll formulate all these things. It has to be taken to different level and for this we have asked the government for the vision tour. The government has agreed but they don’t want to form it before the policy is announced. The body will be formed to look mostly after the implementation of the policy so there won’t be high profile people in the body. And there will be people who will be working for this on a full time basis. The goal is to make sure that the policy is implemented.   – –

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