It’s that time of the year when the most influential buyers, commissioners, producers, development executives and distributors from the global kids TV industry gather together at MIPJUNIOR which is held in Cannes, France to buy, commission, network, pitch, discover content and know the industry trends. And to put more light on the growing Indian media and entertainment industry, the market saw a session titled ‘Creative India – forging a global destiny Indian powerhouses IP, animation & VFX’. The panel was put together by the Indian government in partnership with Services Export Promotional Council (SEPC) to focus on how international companies can partner with Indian companies in producing kids content.
The panelists were SEPC chairman Sunil Talati, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), Government of India joint secretary Senthil Rajan, Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd (Nickelodeon) EVP Anu Sikka, Powerkids Entertainment CEO Manoj Mishra, Paperboat Studios chief creative director Soumitra Ranade, and it was moderated by AnimationXpress.com founder, chairman and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari.
In the opening remark, Talati mentioned how during the pandemic a lot of people consumed content, especially movies and animated titles which gave a tremendous boost to the technology industry and enhanced it. The manufacturing sector, especially of mobiles, has also been growing exponentially in India.
Talking further on that, Rajan revealed how MIB’s vision is to position India as a content hub and invite international communities to come to India, work with Indian companies to create global content, especially Indian content. He further talked about the various incentives introduced for shooting and co-productions in facilitation with NFDC. Since April, they were able to clear 12 international projects out of which nine are being shot in India and one is under the Indo-French production treaties, which is under production.
“We are also working with the animation, visual effects, gaming, and comics industry. For that the ministry has set-up a task force which will share the highlights with us. Based on that, we will be coming up with some measures for the AVGC sector. We are also exploring having a kids channel in the public service broadcaster,” stated Rajan.
Coming to what the kids’ consumption patterns are like in India, especially on the broadcast and OTT platform front, Sikka commented that the television industry is going through a transition like everywhere else but that hasn’t affected the viewership much. Animation is ruling the roost and live-action hasn’t really taken off for kids. As for the content, silent slapstick comedy, slice of life, has worked well for them and the audiences are more open to exploring genres now compared to five years ago. Be it 2D or 3D animation, what matters is the storytelling and concept of the show.
While most broadcasters retain the IP rights of the show, Sikka said that they are open to exploring other business models as well. Unlike before when they had to come up with the content of the show and let the animation studio develop it, in the past two years, Indian animation studios have started taking the initiative to pitch concepts to them which is a huge development.
When it comes to Indian content going global, although the numbers are few, we have seen the success of shows like Lamput, The Jungle Book, Pakdam Pakdai, Mighty Little Bheem. With the support of the government finally coming into the picture, both Mishra and Ranade agreed that it will propel the Indian animation industry further and hopefully in the next two to three years, we will get to witness an Indian film/show premiering at MIP market.
So, all the buyers, sellers, producers, developers, do visit the India pavilion booth at MIPCOM to further explore the opportunities that India has to offer.