My reflections on the IndiaJoy festival 2019

The AVGX Industry is at the crossroads and the market appears to be in a flux even as we straddle the golden age of content. If the profusion of the OTT space can be likened to rains, then each droplet contains a repository of content aimed at global consumption. And by extension, it seems like this digital monsoon is set to irrigate the Indian storytelling landscape. New players are emerging by the day and the nature of the market continues to show its vagaries and caprice.

Inaugration

This, in effect, necessitates aggregator platforms which can verily facilitate connectivity, partnerships and a clearer understanding of the market . Over the past five years, we have seen a flurry of summits and platforms aiming to bringing under one roof all the important stakeholders of the AVGC industry ranging from creators, producers, animators, policy makers and artists.


Packing a buzzing microcosm of the AVGC industry, IndiaJoy recently concluded on a high note.

However, in the apotheosis of aggregator events, IndiaJoy festival emerges as the most potent one in its promise and size. Packing a buzzing microcosm of the AVGC industry, IndiaJoy recently concluded on a high note. At the heart of Hyderabad, lies a technology hotspot where India’s largest digital entertainment festival was ceremoniously held. And it saw a definitive gathering of Industry linchpins and over thirty thousand visitors from all across the world.

Participant poses for a picture

At the HICC venue, the festival was optimally stitched together to help the attendees easily manoeuvre through a series of events transpiring at different places within the venue. While the four-day event attracted thousands of big players from India’s AVGC sector, I could see a massive contingent of international delegates traversing the aisles of the exhibition area.

Seeing myself vicariously turn into a four-legged monster on the screen was cool enough but playing those nifty games near e-sports arena was just otherworldly.

You can draw parallels between Hogwarts and the IndiaJoy festival in the way students and aspirants feasted upon the wizardry that unfolds before them albeit IndiaJoy also aimed to explain the muggle (Human-made) technologies that helped create them. 

Riot Games VFX artist Jason Keyser speaks to students

Instead of wands, presenters carried remotes that beamed at the large screens behind them, allowing them to switch slides and illustrate how complex VFX imagery was created on celluloid. India has had its own share of VFX-rich blockbuster movies that have also struck a chord with the global audience. Recent movies like Bahubali saga and 2.0 that coincidentally also find their origins in the city of Hyderabad have become the flag-bearers of the VFX scene for the unprecedented use of technology. VFX summit itself saw world’s top-drawer projects presented by the VFX wizards themselves. The line-up included big names like (2.0 fame) Srinivas Mohan, and Oscar-awardee VFX veteran Tim McGovern and redchillies.vfx supervisor Ronak Sanghadia and Technicolor India Head Biren Ghose.

Various stalls displayed their software offerings and plied visitors with a chance to experience the latest technologies like motion capture and virtual reality. Seeing myself vicariously turn into a four-legged monster on the screen was cool enough but playing those immersive games near e-sports arena was just otherworldly.

Tiger face paint at IndiaJoy

Speaking of gaming, there was a dedicated space where participants participated with great fervour and its there that I actually acquainted myself with the sheer rage gaming scenario has become! Players vying for the top spot had travelled from far yonder to get themselves registered for the gaming contests. Passions flared as the running commentary tore through the cacophony of the area.

Artistic competitions saw its own razzmatazz with students participating in sketching, face-painting, clay-moulding and various other crafty contests and being handsomely rewarded by the end of the day.

India Joy 2019 packed a veritable treasure trove of knowledge and hot line-up of nine premium events that included IGDC (India Game Developer Conference), Desi Toons, VFX Summit, InfluencerCon, Investor-Publisher Connect, E-Sports, OTT Pulse and the Indiajoy Music Fest.

OTT rush

With the explosion of digital space, Influencers have carved a space of their own. The onset of opportunities around advertisements, promotional opportunities and brand partnerships that have emerged for influencers has made the ecosystem curious to learn about the crests and troughs of the market and how creators and brands can find inventive ways to form synergies.

While InfluencerCon served as the holy grail of market information, reports and ongoing trends, OTT pulse saw an elaborate series of discussions on various aspects of digital content. Several interactive sessions, including those by Facebook and Tik Tok bestowed nuggets of insight and tips for their respective genres of content.

Arbaz Khan promotes Rogue Hiest (game) at IGDC

No longer is gaming seen as a wayward hobby that children get grounded for. Having virtually moved the pulse of millions, Gaming has become a billion dollar industry worldwide. Ripples of which were being increasingly felt in India’s largest gaming conference that took place under the IndiaJoy banner. Attendees comprising of aspiring-game developers and stakeholders had the opportunity to witness various aspects of gaming right from developments to its business. IGDC flew down to the aisles of IndiaJoy a variety of gaming professions and market experts that discussed all facets of the industry.


“Well, it’s always fun creating babies, whether on screen or otherwise” – Green Gold Studios founder Rajiv Chilaka 


On the Animation front, we saw giants of Indian Animation industry exchange inputs and enlarge on their journeys and pitfalls.

Was it thought provoking?

Hell yeah! Although it only scratches the surface of the larger issue, AnimationXpress founder and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari pointed out on the DesiToonz panel how creative folks are not given their due, which is the reason why we don’t see newer animated content or something to that effect. 

Mighty Little Bheem

Speaking about the recent superhit show in the kids’ category, Mighty Little Bheem which is rocking at number one on Netflix, Green Gold Studios founder Rajiv Chilaka tickled the funny bone by saying, “Well, it’s always fun creating babies, whether on screen or otherwise”

Hyderabad-based academies and international institutes offering courses in various aspects of digital entertainment and film-making also made their attendance with their own stalls.

Apart from Hyderabad emerging as the hub of technology boasting of the upcoming image tower, the sessions affirmed one notion; India’s AVGC industry is on steroids and content continues to get face-lifts by technology everyday.

Games