With 1,200 plus attendees, Animation Xpress’ Kids Animation & More (KAM) Summit and ANN Awards 2022 was a grandeur making a on-ground comeback at Hotel Sahara Star in Mumbai. With 20 plus power-packed panel discussions, fireside chats, presentations, masterclass and one App launch, the sessions were lined up in two different halls as they took place parallelly.
KAM Summit and ANN Awards were presented by Nickelodeon, co-powered by 88 Pictures, Green Gold Animation was the summit partner, infrastructure partner for the event was Yotta. The associate partner for the event included Ssoftoons Animation, Sony YAY! and Zebu Animation Studio. Mikros Animation along with Huion and Reliance Animation acted as support partners. Powerkids Entertainment was the lanyard and batches partner, festival partner was Digicon6 Asia and the execution partner for the event was ITV 2.0 Productions.
The event commenced with the welcome note delivered by Animation Xpress founder, chairman and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari followed by lighting of the lamp which included dignitaries like Technicolor India head and CII national AVGC committee 2021-2022 chairman Biren Ghose, Yotta executive vice president, Business consultant Shamboo Phalke and chief cloud officer Dr Sayed Peerzade, Green Gold Animation founder and managing director Rajiv Chilaka, Gamitronics founder Rajat Ojha, and ETV Bal Bharat Channel Operations & International Licensing Acquisitions head Shashi Prakash Singh.
Track 1 began with the keynote by Cyber Group Studio chairman and CEO Pierre Sissmann. He said, “I entered the animation business a long time ago in 1988, and set up Cyber Group Studios in 2005. Then the market accelerated and the passion for the industry has been taken over by millions of people all over the globe. In the 1990’s people grew up watching animated films and there were a lot of features produced at that time. The evolution of digital, CG, real time animation and streamers took over the industry and now animation has become the major integral part of the entertainment industry.”
In the next session, a report on Global streaming platforms: A new window for animation was presented by OMDIA senior principal analyst, digital content and channels Tim Westcott. He talked about how the streaming platforms have boasted the animation industry over the years. “In this maturing market, online video advertising revenues will grow more quickly than subscription, and will be the largest revenue source in 2027,” said Westcott.
First panel discussion for the day was on the topic – BUILDING A COMPLETE ANIMATION MONETISATION ECOSYSTEM. The panelists included Toonz Media Group Distribution and Syndication, India country head Murtuza Kutianwalla, Green Gold Animation chief strategy officer Srinivas Chilakalapudi, Digitoonz founder and CEO Vikas Kumar, Black White Orange CEO and founder Mitali Desai and Videogyan CEO and founder Vishal T M. The panel was moderated by Powerkids Entertainment CEO Manoj Mishra. The discussion was centered around the animation industry’s monetisation ecosystem be it IP development, licensing and syndication, co-production and others. Kutianwalla said, “You have to have a strong collaborative approach when creating IPs. The idea is not to restrict our territory.” Speaking about IPs, Chilakalapudi commented, “There has to be a balance in creating IPs and licensing it.” Highlighting the monetary problem, Kumar said, “The problem in the Indian animation industry is there is not enough budget, you can’t bring quality content with low budget.” On the other hand Vishal T M said, “You can actually monetise through apps. The demand is huge, people want content on multiple platforms.” Commenting on the ecosystem, Desai said, “The ecosystem can never be an afterthought.”
: Next up in the line was a panel discussion on BOARDING THE BRAND BUS. This panel discussion focused on how brands are settling in the kids’ category and how to make most of this sector. The panelists included Parle senior category head Krishnarao Buddha, Kidzania India marketing director Tarandeep Singh Sekhon, Viacom 18 head of marketing kids TV network Sonali Bhattacharya, brand-building.com independent brand coach and founder Ambi Parameswaran. The session was moderated by GroupM South Asia head, Sports, Esports and Entertainment Vinit Karnik. Talking about the use of animation, Sekhon said, “Animation is used as an overall experience. Animation today has more applications in various spaces.” About the budget, Bhattacharya said, “A large part of the budget depends on creating content.” Talking about how kids learn, Parameswaran said, “Kids tend to consume advertised learning content.” Bhattacharya also touched upon the concept of metaverse by saying, “Merchandising doesn’t only exist in the physical realm, the metaverse has taken over.”
Post lunch an interesting session was conducted, a Masterclass on ART OF WRITING by independent writer Nayna Agrawal which was being moderated by Animation Xpress founder, chairman and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari. The session was divided into two parts, the first part included a conversation between the two and in the second part Agrawal gave insights about writing. She said, “There are rules in animation writing that are different from others, the writing needs to be magical. You need to keep the audience in mind while writing, the audience can be specific or Universal but you need to identify.” She also added that the Indian storytelling is poetic.
Moving on, the next session was conducted by 88 Pictures in which they covered the Making of the Christmas special movie 5 More Sleeps ’till Christmas. The session was conducted by 88 Pictures co-founder and COO Aby John, VFX supervisor Prakash Dcunha, surfacing supervisor Ravi Kanjipuram and animation supervisor Sanjeev Gharat. They covered various aspects of the animated short and gave a detailed breakdown of the character design.
It was followed by a fireside chat session with Green Gold Animation founder and managing director Rajiv Chilaka. Anil Wanvari moderated the session. In this session Chilaka talked about famous cartoons by Green Gold Animation, especially the kids’ favourite Chhota Bheem. He said, “In today’s world you have to be dynamic, you learn to constantly keep reinventing. It is all about constantly innovating.” Adding about Green Gold Animation’s vision, Chilaka said, “We started with local vision but now we are moving towards global vision.”
Last panel discussion for the day was on GETTING KIDS ATTENTION IN A FRAGMENTED UNIVERSE. Gubbare AVP, content & strategy Brian Dcosta, Warner Bros. Discovery South Asia head of kids cluster Uttam Pal Singh, YoBoHo New Media founder and CEO Hitendra Merchant, ETV Bal Bharat head of Channel Operations & International Licensing Acquisitions Shashi Prakash Singh and Graphiti Multimedia founder, FICCI AVGC forum co-chairman and MESC advisory board member Munjal Shroff were the part of the panel. Punnaryug Artvision founder and FICCI AVGC forum chairman Ashish Kulkarni moderated the panel discussion. The panel discussion focused on the fact that the kids’ attention span is reducing and how the creators are trying to grab their attention. Dcosta had to say that there’s no correlation between the age category and the format of the show broadcast. Uttam Pal Singh said, “We can’t hold the kids but we try to provide our content through various mediums.” Whereas Merchant said, “It depends on how to brand the content. If done properly the kid will keep coming back.” Shroff also said, “If you keep giving the audience something new, they’ll keep coming back.” Based on a report, Dcosta had an interesting comment, he said, “TV as a medium is not dying in the rural areas for kids content on the contrary there is more viewership.”
Last session for the day in track one was another fireside chat. The speaker for the session was Viacom 18 head – content creation, channel strategy and research – kids cluster Anu Sikka and the session was moderated by Cosmos-Maya chief growth officer Devdatta Potnis. While throwing light on kids programming, Sikka said, “We need to be very mindful of what the audience is looking for.” Talking about the growth in the last two years, she said, “Pandemic accelerated the process of digitization in kids’ content.”
Overall track 1 had interesting sessions which were focused on streaming, monetisation, branding kids content, writing for animation and much more which were attended by many.