India at Cartoons on the Bay: The Animagic Experience


Last month India was the country in the spotlight at Cartoons on the Bay, an annual festival celebrating animation in  Portofino and Rapallo, Italy. Animagic was one of the 6 studios invited to showcase their work and make a presentation.

India is becoming one of the countries that the west is increasing looking at as a major centre for animation. Not just as a production hub, but for co-production opportunities as well! A fact that was highlighted with DQ Entertainment being awarded the International Studio of the year. The economic situation in Europe in contrast to the aggressive growth registered by Indian production companies which are now associated with bringing money into the market as opposed to just looking for pieces of the production-pie are major factors contributing to this current awareness.

Flashback to 2004, when India was struggling to make any kind of name on the world scene, when Raju & I was the first Indian film not just to enter Cartoons on the bay, but also to win the inaugural ‘UNICEF Regione Camapania prize‘ a category in which it was the only asian film as well, most entries being from Europe & the US. That prize and that film was still in the memory of some of the old timers at the festival. A significant fact as the film was a non standard entrant in a festival celebrating commercial television animation.

TRIPURA was also screened at the festival to a small audience which was interested in India’s growth in animation storytelling. Availing an opportunity to speak to the writer-director, many Italian friends dug deeper into the production of a film that seemed to have impressed them much. It was gratifying.

The panel discussion was a neatly organised affair as the Indian studios presented their reels as well as defined their aspirations, goals and approach in a formal setting. The Q & A session featured the usual sort of questions, but it definitely felt as if there was a shift in perception of the Indian achievements. The organisers had done well to recognize and present a country that was slowly but surely climbing the mountain of positive growth as an industry.

Much of course needs to be done on many levels to attract these nations to partner with India consistantly. On all levels actually- from governmental-to infrastructural- investment- professional growth of animation studios..many things. It all looks positive and simple.. maybe it is just a matter of time. India is getting ready for its role on the bigger stage.


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