Three years after it signed its MoU with Reed Midem, ABAI finally brought its first ever delegation to MIPJunior and MIPCOM 2017 this year at Cannes in France. It is undoubtedly a great success for ABAI. We spoke to some of the key members of ABAI who were present at the event. For a first, we had a chat with B.S. Srinivas, CEO of Vedatma Animation Studios and also the joint secretary of ABAI who emphasised that it is an association committed to the growth of AVGC sector in Karnataka. Congratulations on bringing the delegation! How was it achieved? Srinivas: The Karnataka Government and honourable IT,BT minister Priyank Kharge have been very supportive of this industry. We are trying to build a very strong ecosystem in our state. We have been taking delegations to several events over the last few years.However MIPJunior and MIPCOM are two events for which we have been in talks with government since a long time. This being the largest content market of the year, we thought that we should go for it. We pursued it with determination and achieved success. Seven members were selected for both the events-MIPCOM and MIPJunior. How were the studios selected? How much is the sponsorship for the event? Srinivas: A right mix of delegation was selected with a mix of ABAI representatives, promising start-ups and SMEs by Karnataka government on the basis of merit, the kind of work done and the promise shown by them. Government is sponsoring 60 percent of the expenditure for the visit. How was the MIP market for you this year? Srinivas: This time I feel the opportunities have been really good and I had good meetings. I have brought my IP “Aetius, the Eagle Kid” which has a global outlook. We have done the pre-production for it and are looking for finding broadcasters. The story is of a young boy who has the power of an eagle. He fights with the dragon serpents to save his land. The characterisation, pre production everything has been done. Currently, production is going on. What was the thought behind bringing the delegation? Srinivas: The Karnataka Government has been very supportive in all these initiatives in these last few years. The upgraded AVGC policy has a lot of benefits for startups and medium sized enterprises. It is an exposure to the studios about how the global market operates and their products rates here internationally. This will help them develop their business as well.Though other markets are also available like Annecy, ATF, Gwangju ACE Fair but we felt that we must visit here. After pursuing it for two years, we finally got it sanctioned.We hope that these studios who have come here, go back with positive results. It will enable the government to take steps in the right directions so that they will sponsor more delegations in future. Which other content market ABAI is planning to visit? Srinivas: We have been regulars at Annecy, Children Media Conference, ACE Fair Korea. We have started with SIGGRAPH last year and we intend to continue. We have put up a proposal for Kids Screen Summit also.The studios who have come should take a lot of interest and come back with, if not results, then with some positive signs so that we can submit a positive report to the authorities. I think in our country, it is one of the most progressive governments in terms of thinking about the AVGC industry. We also spoke to the president of ABAI and Country Head of Technicolor, Biren Ghose. How was your MIP experience this year? Biren : MIP is always very special because it is a meeting place where new content meets reality and library content looks for new rights. From an ABAI perspective, it is extremely important that we continue to partner the Karnataka government in helping to create new IPs out of India with Bangalore as a hub that is sponsored by the local authorities. The new animation policy announced in July 2017 gives a new impetus to IP creators. Be it for animation, games, VFX or comics. MIP is a place where IP creators from across India have come in and ABAI has brought in a small delegation who can pitch as well as observe how content is pitched. The government is keen to help local companies to access markets. We are looking to create a differential reimbursement of the cost for companies of Bangalore when they come to such markets. Startups and IP creators will have a larger reimbursement so that they get a better chance. Large companies will also be assisted on a case to case basis but the amount of reimbursement will be lower.This will be a part of the operational framework that is being finalised for the future. The policy gives an impetus to people that can strike co-production deals as well. So when work comes to Bangalore be it for services or co-production they will receive grants as a part of new policies. This will make their visit here opportune to meet with other IP creators that may have projects and strike deals that will bring this work back home to their studios. How has been things with regards to your company Technicolor? Biren :On the Technicolor front, our team is here from US and Canada every year. We had a fantastic success at these markets in the past. Our show ‘The Deep’ is right now trending as a top show in three continents. It has been extremely satisfying to see a company like Technicolor and its family of brands grow substantially in the services business and see it being considered as a great partner for original IP creation. How has been the market this year? Biren :I think the maturity that one sees at MIPJunior is that it has been able to categorise the projects that are in the market into different phases – early stage, ready for production, introduction and library content. This has matured over time. It makes it easy for people to target what they believe is the engagement they want to have across these different segments. In such a show, it is not just the number of people that needs to increase but also the quality of deals that needs to improve. On the sidelines of the show, we saw some outstanding presentations in the theatres. In particular the question about what will happen to SVOD, licensing were answered. There were technology presentations where you can talk about rapid productions with real time tools from a Belgium company. The keynote at the end of the day by Netflix really laid out unanswered questions that were there on everyone’s lips. It was a great end to the show. I am particularly thrilled to see that the Chhota Bheem franchise has been given a new life on Netflix with a CG animated commission that I think is going to take the property to the next level in terms of its reach and its sophistication. My congratulations to the team at Green Gold for this fantastic achievement. Rajendra Praveen, CEO Creodomus Entertainment who attended MIPCOM 2017 as a part of the ABAI delegation for the first time with some gaming and technology IPs shared his excitement. Said he: “ABAI is doing a great job. ABAI has been helping us a lot. I am super happy with their support.” Regarding the event he said, “My MIPCOM experience was very good.This is my first time here. Ours is a technology IP and we are planning to sell technology as a format. I have brought three interesting game shows where animation and technology has been used. These shows have a very unique concepts. I got a very good response when I explained my concept to the clients.I am looking forward to close some deals.” CEO Appu Series Sanjay Raheja who is a part of the delegation and attended MIPJunior 2017 spoke about the ABAI delegation. What were your major plans in MIPJunior 2017 ? Sanjay: Our plan was to license our content and find a co-production partner for our next project which is a feature film on Appu. What do you think about ABAI’s support for bringing the delegation to MIPJunior and MIPCOM? How has it been helpful to you? Sanjay: Any support given to us is helpful. With support like this we can increase our participation and attend more markets.The experience is great since the market is very focused.Most of the meetings were great and I think we should be able to close on a couple of deals. We will definitely come next year. Animation Xpress congratulates ABAI and Karnataka government on bringing its first MIPCOM and MIPJunior delegation this year.