Day three of CII’s SummitFX sees a range of discussions on AVGC policies, latest technologies and more

Day three of CII’s SummitFX kicked off with various stakeholders of the industry putting their heads together to aggregate the policies and state-led initiatives that have boosted the ecosystem.

Moderated by Punnaryug Artvision & Screenyug Creations CEO Ashish Kulkarni, the session on “Building Eco-system Through State AVGC Associations” was participated by CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment vice chairman and Technicolor India country head Biren Ghose, Rotomaker Telangana founder and CEO Madhav Reddy Yatham (Mike), GOK Centre of Excellence in Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming & Comics Sector and ABAI Karnataka secretary B S Srinivas, ASIFA India & Horizon Institute of Design Madhya Pradesh core committee member & founder and president Sanjay Khimesara, Purple Turtle director Manish Rajoria, Digital Magic and Davinci Media College owner and founder Arul Moorthy, Bhooshan Animations India founder & CEO and SAIK (Society of AVGC Institutions, Kerala) joint secretary Sarath Bhooshan and Vaibhav Studios founder and director Vaibhav Kumaresh.

With state-level support, Kulkarni along with his associates have been touring the country to give platform to various AVGC studios so they can come together on a common platform. Discussing the efforts that have been taken over the course of past year, he informed, “During the lockdown, we decided to get people who were sitting at home together through a digital communication medium. We were able to see without having visited, and were able to constantly meet and create an ecosystem that brings about the energy within the studio in every single state and that exercise began a long time ago when we had ASIFA and TASI which were formed at the national level.”

While Rajoria, Moorthy and Kimsera spoke about the various initiatives that have propelled the AVGC industry in their states, Bhooshan, Srinivas and Yatham discussed how government has set up policies and plans to further help the studios and make India the number one AVGC destination.

Yatham informed that the state government has been proactive in their approach to Telangana’s AVGC policy. “Our ministers KTR and Jayesh Ranjan understand the value of animation,” he shared. Ever since the state-led initiatives like TVAGA have taken hold, and many studios across the state have benefited tremendously. With subsidies up to five lakh rupees, production reimbursement, turnover benefits, and land allotment, government in Telangana has notched up the support infrastructure. Yatham informed that in the next three years, the proposed image tower which is set to be the hallmark of the state, will have 16 lakh SFT and high-tech facilities that will invigorate the ecosystem enormously.

Next session on Powering the AVGC Start-up Ecosystem saw a freewheeling conversation amongst discussants. Moderated by CII National committee vice chairman on Media & Entertainment and Technicolor India country head Biren Ghose, the discussion was participated PurpleTalk co-founder Sridhar Muppidi and STPI director general Omkar Rai.

While Rai spoke about the importance of encouraging the industry with the help of technology, Muppidi highlighted the steps being taken to set up infrastructure where talent can flourish. Rai shared, “Over a period of six-seven years, we got the idea we need to build on the services industry and draw the prowess of the industry towards indigenous technology.”

Speaking about harnessing the talent, Muppidi shared, “What makes a start-up tech and the AVGC industry great is talent. If you have enough talent, it works. Unfortunately, the reality of India is the way services company took off, most states lost on the tech boom race. One great thing that STPI is doing is we are basically identifying the strengths of the states, picking individual states or cities and localising what that state can specialise in.”

Moving the cart in the direction of 5G, the next session on 5G powered Entertainment – Paradigm shift in Experience saw participation by key stalwarts of the ecosystem. It was moderated by Accenture Global Technology Lead, Comms & Media managing director Mathangi Sandilya, and panelists consisted of CII National AI Forum & Mentor, CII Institute of Logistics and Regional Director (IOT), AT&T member Sunil David, Microgravity MD and co-founder Rahul Bhattacharya, Riot Games head, publishing, India and South Asia Sukamal Pegu, Airtel CTO, B2B Networks Pankaj Chopra.

They threw light on how 5G is a technology that is set to transform the way we experience, well, digital experiences by offering faster connectivity and lower latency. It is set to revolutionize the entertainment sector, providing us with more immersive experiences through virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), cloud gaming, and other avenues. The expert panel also discussed the experiential differentiation in entertainment powered by 5G. 

The speakers mentioned how 1G to 4G technologies were all about faster speeds, but it is not the case with 5G. 5G is about better user experience, which will be achieved by combining low latency, security, ultra-reliability, and higher speeds. One of the key takeaways of the discussion was that with 5G, from a current two to three per cent of the entertainment industry, gaming will rule 30 per cent of the entertainment industry in the near future.

Next it was time for panel on New World of Distributed Workflow & Cloud where the eminent speakers were AWS APJ Alliance head @ Intel and Global AI and HPC GTM lead Akanksha R Bilani, Autodesk USA industry strategy manager for M&E Ben Fischler, Technicolor Canada CTO-R&D Bill Polson and the session was moderated by BOT VFX USA CEO and founder Hitesh Shah.

Here the speakers discussed how cloud technologies helped around the world to continue with their work from home in the pandemic scenario. They further shed light on the benefits of implementing it in the workspace.

The panelist agreed that the demand for content is rising and it continued to grow even more during the pandemic scenario, and to level up the production process, the studios need to invest in the proper infrastructure so that there will be ease in workflow. Also, implementation of cloud technology in the studios will reduce the pressure of rendering, location of artist, servers and so on.

The day ended on a high note as various discussions led to new ideas, sparking off the next level in the AVGC space.