MIPJunior 2017: ‘Trigo’ wows the audience at MIPJunior international animation pitch conference

From left Lattu Kids content and licensing head Swaraj Kate, GoQuest Media managing director Vivek Lath
Trigo has made India proud internationally! Yes, the international animation pitch conference at MIPJunior 2017 was packed with producers, creators, CEOs, creative heads, artists, animators, media persons at JW Marriot Cannes. The top 5 shortlisted winners of the pitch who made it out from hundreds of applicants gave their presentation. Trigo was one of them. Animation Xpress team was there at Cannes and we spoke to the Trigo team. GoQuest Media Ventures director and founder Vivek Lath and Lattu Kids content and licensing head Swaraj Kate were present at the event. They gave a presentation as well as displayed a video about Trigo. The audience just wowed the cute tiger and there were many questions asked. This showed the interest and love for the new animated series abroad. For our readers knowledge, Trigo has been co-produced by Lattu Kids and Thought Cloud Studios, Bangalore with both being the joint IP owners. GoQuest Media Ventures has invested in the pilot project of Trigo. Thought Cloud has done the animation for the project. Here’s the synopsis of the series: Trigo is the story of a playful and adorable young tiger cub who loves to explore just about everything, often landing in troublesome situations. But thanks to the patience and understanding of his parents and well-wishers, Trigo emerges unscathed, a little wiser, though no less naughty! It is a 3D CGI series targeted at the preschool segment which comprises of the three to seven year olds. Season one comprises of 78 episodes, each episode will be of seven minutes. The studios jointly decided to use India’s national animal – tiger as their character as they wanted to keep the Indian flavour present. Been in the industry for the past three years, Thought Cloud Studios makes it a point to keep their content Indian but it meets the international standards.
MIPJunior 2017 animation pitch conference
We spoke to Vivek Lath, managing director and founder of Goquest Media Ventures at MIPJunior 2017 who shared his jubilations on the selection. How tough was the competition? Vivek : It was pretty tough. Quite honestly, if I look at our property, there is a lot of improvement. There is a lot of work left for the Lattu team to do for Trigo. It was actually pretty overwhelming to get selected under a lot of pressure. Overall, it is a good start of the journey for this character. You are an investor for Trigo. Give us more details about it. Vivek: I invested in the pilot project. Since I have a distribution company, hence it was a distribution deal with Lattu Media. They have a joint venture partner with Thought Cloud Studios, Bangalore who runs the animation studio. So the animation was done by them. Hence, it is actually a three part deal.
From Left Vivek Lath giving the presentation, moderator Justine Bannister, Swaraj Kate
What made you believe in the idea? Had you imagined its stupendous success when you had invested in it? Vivek: Well not really! I had not imagined how far it will go. We looked at the character development. I actually just invested on the character sketches. The characters were ready and were in front of me. It was coloured and fully developed but the video was not ready yet. I could sense significantly large opportunities beyond just making it to a video. The series had the promise for merchandising as well and that got me hooked. I decided to make the pilot production of it. What is the connection of Trigo’s character with Lattu Kids founder Vivek Bhutyani’s son? Vivek: Gogo who is Vivek Bhutyani’s son is a pretty mischieveous kid. When Trigo’s character sketch was developed and the story boarding was done, a lot of mannerism of Trigo went on Gogo because Trigo essentially behaves like him. He is of the same age group. It is essentially the same values, messages he wants to give to his son. But it is difficult for kids or rather it’s tough for parents to deal with kids when they force them to do something. When there is a character they really like then they respond better to it. Vivek saw that with his own son and decided to go that way. Are you looking forward to pitch Trigo as an Indian or international series? Vivek: We are open to both. The series does not really have any Indian cultural element to it. The ambition has always been to be more of an international property where the story will reach across the world. Classifying it as Indian or international is very difficult. But the origin is India. Indians will completely love it. The core value is for kids across the world. It has basic core values and is not for an Indian or international kid. So we are very proud of this fact. How are you positioning it with the broadcasters? Vivek: It was made with the thought that it will travel internationally on a wider scale. It was not envisioned that we will sell it to broadcasters in India first and then take it to international markets. Also, because my distribution system is more stronger internationally so that also played a role instead of deciding how the series will be positioned. We are very delighted to see the broadcasters who are interested in talking to us.
What do you feel about MIPJunior and MIPCOM market? Vivek: MIPJunior was a bit lukewarm compared to last year. I think it needs to be a little bit more organised. The matchmaking sessions need a lot more support. So, there is a lot of work needed for MIPJunior in helping Indian companies. Regarding MIPCOM, it is pilgrimage for us. When can we get to see Trigo? Vivek: It will be out, the moment we get the right deals in place in terms of financing. Its already there on Lattu Kids website and mobile app. Again, it is just the pilot episode. Any successful meetings so far ? Vivek: Yes the Lattu team has been in conversation with broadcasters across the world. They have pitched it in US, in larger broadcasting networks who buy all Asia rights. I think they are in talks with Indian broadcasters as well. I don’t have visibility on that.The conversations were on. It is just that lot of conversations are in preliminary stage because the video was ready. So now things are in a quite better stage. Hopefully, till Kidscreen we will reach to some very advanced level of conversation. Any specific target for Trigo ? Vivek: We are looking for pre sale deals from broadcasters who commit to pick up the project on these timelines. Other than that we are looking for co-investments as well. If investment companies or distributors themselves are looking for pre distribution deals with us, we are open to that as well. So basically we are open for all type of collaborations.
Merchandises of Trigo
We also spoke to Lattu Kids content and licensing head, Swaraj Kate who was in a very jubilant mood with the Trigo’s success. How much time it took for the production and preparing the pilot? Swaraj: It took a lot of time. We had to start from scratch.Whenever you create a pilot, you need the character design, characteristics, personalities to be made for the  characters. We had put in a lot of efforts. Pre-production takes a lot of time. Once the pre-production is done then we move to animation. It is the technical part as it is time consuming and involves 3D CGI. After that, comes the dubbing part. Overall, it was a long process so now it’s been more than a year. How many episodes are ready by now? Swaraj: So we have the concept and synopsis ready for 10 to 15 episodes. But as far as the video is concerned only the pilot is ready. How was the MIPJunior response? Swaraj: We had  a lot of meetings. Responses have been pretty good. How tough was the competition? How many people had applied for it? Swaraj: 100s of participants had applied for it. The initial response everywhere was that Trigo is so cute that it is very noticeable. Do you think being shortlisted as MIPJunior’s top five animated pitch has given Trigo a financial boost as well? Swaraj: Absolutely! Being in limelight helps and we are hoping for the best now since a lot of people know that MIPJunior has selected our property. This will definitely catch the attention of a lot of broadcasters and co-producers.
Top 5 winners of the international animation pitch at MIPJunior 2017