The ongoing Festival de Cannes is rather special for India’s animation industry, for the world of animated pictures will be in the limelight at multiple Marché du Film’s programmes, including Animation Day, giving it the much-needed impetus.
“Cannes is the big stage for international cinema and the exposure that the Indian animation industry will get there at that level can only be great for us. India is slowing emerging as an important player in the worldwide animation industry and the timing of this Cannes push is perfect,” says director Soumitra Ranade, who is also headed to the fest to launch his projects on May 20.
Being at the global stage widens the field for the makers, which works in favor for one and all.
“One gets to meet and interact with the big players… We are very hopeful of these developments as we are launching three pathbreaking animation projects there. Our effort is to change international perceptions about the Indian animation industry – from being a largely service industry to that of the IP creating industry,” asserts Ranade, who owns an animation studio and has worked on several Indian and international projects, including Bombay Rose.
For years, the industry has strived hard to be at the forefront at the festival, be it through the buzz around the Ghatothkach – Master of Magic, to Gitanjali Rao’s short films winning big, and her being on the jury for animation films in 2011.
Now, the topic will pan over on the larger picture — the upswing of the industry after the pandemic, and the ground to be gained.
“The push by the Indian government is a great push for the industry. Indian animation has come a long way, but still have been success stories in the industry,” says Rajiv Chilaka, who created the immensely popular Chhota Bheem franchise that bowed on television in 2008, moving to spawn a success story on the big screen and web.
“This step will inspire and encourage others to get into the industry. It is time for the world to know that the Indian animation industry is at par with the international studios, and get on the global platform. Sky’s the limit now,” mentions an elated Chilaka.
This year, five new start-ups would be given an opportunity to pitch to the audio-visual Industry, and as many as ten professionals will participate in the Animation Day networking.
Aditi Srivastava of Pocket Aces Pictures called it “a wonderful initiative by the ministry”. “To put new age companies and all of the innovation that’s happening in the spotlight, and it will lead to bigger opportunities going forward,” she adds.
Rajat Ojha, who will be representing India at the fest with his company, Gamitronics, feels today’s recognition will pave the way for the future.
“There have been talks about the industry for quite some time, but the real push was missing. Today, it has happened, and it shows the government understands the significance of the industry. We will create a level playing field, if not lead the world. Now, the responsibility is also on us to show that we deserve this, and push our limits through the animation world,” says Ojah.