Day one of CII Summit FX 2021 highlighted the future of AVGC industry

Day one of the AVGC summit, called CII SummitFX 2021, received a great response and participation from people. CII SummitFX is being organised in partnership with the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; State Government of Karnataka, supported by Technicolor and Mobile Premier League serves as principal partner and Animation Xpress is the  online promotional partner.

The CII SummitFX was inaugurated by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology additional secretary Dr. Rajendra Kumar, director general, STPI Dr.Omkar Rai, CII National Committee on Media and Entertainment chairman and The Walt Disney Company India and Star India country manager and president K Madhavan,CII National Committee on M&E vice chair, CII Sub Committee on AVGC & Immersive Media chair and India Technicolor country head Biren Ghose and CII National Committee on Media and Entertainment co-chairman, Producers Guild of India president and Roy Kapur Films founder and managing director Siddharth Roy Kapur and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting additional secretary Neerja Sekhar.

The inaugural session kicked off with Ghose delivering the welcome note and highlighting the six day session details and programs and also mentioned about how the AVGC sector has been developed in the past few years.

Madhavan highlighted how the OTT platforms emerged and how it has paved the way for new opportunities and how the cost of subscription is low when compared to other countries. He also shed light on the developing AVGC sector and what the future holds for the industry.

Shekar added information about how the AVGC sector emerged as the major sector in the entertainment and media industry. She said, “AVGC sector has emerged as a major sector in the media and entertainment field. This sector has brought in fresh air in the media field and has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years, especially in 2020, the digital entertainment industry has grown effectively. The rapid growth in the digital media boosted the AVGC sector’s growth tremendously.”

She further highlighted how the Internet changed the world of media. Shekar also listed that the internet in India reached more than 780 billion users. The availability of internet connection at low rates has supported the reach and India is the largest market for app downloads with 14 per cent of global app downloads in 2020.

Kumar spoke about the active participation of government in developing the media sectors. He said, “We are continuously working with many departments to bring in world’s most advanced legal regime for data protection. Another area which we are focusing is domain of  cybersecurity. We have seen increasing threats in cyberspace, so we are working actively with government departments to put in place every comprehensive framework for cybersecurity which will address each cyber threats across the world. We are also proactively trying to protect our cyber infrastructures and systems from emerging threats.”

Kapur shed light on the current scenario of the film industry and how it is being a difficult time for them as cinema theatres have been shut which in turn is boosting the OTT platforms. He added, “It has been a difficult time for film industry from past couple of years as theatres are shut across the country. But OTT has been the bright spark for the audience who are in the desperate need of entertaining contents over the last two years.” 

He expounded, “I think a lot of us in the film industry are wondering what the future will hold because now people are at convenience with the availability of wide variety of content at their fingertips. We realised that we have to focus on big theatrical movie content in a new aspect because OTT is serving relationships, light comedy movies etc. If we have to make this big ticket entertaining then we have to involve the magic, realism, VFX which will make the big theatre experience more compelling.”

The next session was a fireside chat between CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment vice-chairman Technicolor country head Biren Ghose and MPL co-founder and CEO Sai Srinivas.

The duo discussed how competitive gaming is taking the next level. They also shed light on how earlier gaming was for leisure only and today it is transforming into a day to day habit and is also becoming a viable profession. Srinivas tapped the fact that with MPL they want to build a platform where every user could be able to compete with each other irrespective of where they are from. He further shared that the gaming ecosystem has seen exponential growth in India compared to its nations.

“10 years back the demand was not as high as it is today. Today we are in that stage where we can create our own FPS or open world games,” Srinivas added.

Srinivas also tapped on the fact how their three year old MPL is exploring various different businesses in the gaming ecosystem from esports, to game of skill, fantasy as well as casual and hyper casual game. Srinivas also tapped on the fact how they are tapping into competitive esports in colleges and constantly aiming to expand.

Next it was a time for a presentation on ‘State of AVGC Industry’ by KPMG head – media and entertainment partner deal advisory Girish Menon shared that lockdown and work from home has led to an exponential rise in consumption of digital content especially gaming, animation, VFX has increased compared to other M&E sectors.

He further tapped the difference between real money gaming, casual gaming, fantasy sports and esports. He shared, “Gaming user base is expected to reach 657 million in 2025 and the key drivers are – rise of esports, cloud gaming, multi game platforms, game development sourcing, leveraging AI, gaming as part of digital ecosystem.”

Due to lockdown and work from home, smaller studios in the AVGC sector have been hugely affected in scaling up during the pandemic. The reasons are as follows: insufficient funding avenue, trained talent, competition from other emerging nations, change in YouTube’s ad revenue policy for kids content, balance of power that still lies in the hands of foreign studios for co-production. Overall the presentation was quite insightful.

Next session took the viewers behind the VFX magic of Oscar nominated The One and Only Ivan with VFX supervisor Ben Jones.

Moderated by Technicolor head of studio Kranti Shah, the session saw various facets of the VFX shots created by the team and the process of bringing the imagination to life. VES Winner & Academy Nominee VFX supervisor Ben Jones dived into the intricacies involved in bringing alive the images for the movie.

It was followed by a special presentation by MPC film HOD compositing Anrab Sanyal on the same movie.