After a first power-packed day, the second and final day of AnimationXpress’ Animation & More (AM) Summit wrapped up with grandeur at The Lalit Mumbai. With 1,500 plus attendees witnessed across the span of two days, the summit witnessed power-packed panel discussions, fireside chats, presentations, masterclass and more.
The Ann Awards 2023 saw a bustling gathering of students alongside delegates from the entire animation ecosystem; right from broadcasters, brands, agencies to studios and technology companies. The sketching zone, tech display, and the Animation Creators Pitch were major attractions at the summit this year.
The AM Summit 2023 and Ann Awards was powered by 88 Pictures and co-powered by Zebu Animation. The creative technology partner was Autodesk; and Powerkids Entertainment, the lanyard and badges partner. The associate partners were Karco, ARK infosolutions and Moho. The support partners of the event are ETV Bal Bharat, Sony YAY!, Wacom, Eizo, Reliance Animation, Appu Series and Huion. DigiCon6 Asia was the event’s festival partner.
The event commenced with a Fireside Chat on Animation: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, between Viacom18 creative, content and research, kids TV network head Anu Sikka and Powerkids Entertainment CEO Manoj Mishra. He began the conversation by pointing out how animation has evolved over the years with changing production as well as consumption patterns. “Broadcasters earlier were only dependent on acquisition, but we realised that we cannot depend on acquisition all the time. We started our own IP and saw how kids relate to it,” said Sikka, pointing out that creating localised content is always beneficial for creators.
The next session for the day was a special talk by Assemblage Entertainment founder/ CEO AK Madhavan titled as Cracking the Global Code: The ABCs of India’s Animation Journey. The industry veteran popularly known as “Madmax” shared his experiences and learnings.
Moving ahead, the audience witnessed a masterclass on Bringing Character & Stories to Life From India to the World by 88 Pictures founder & CEO Milind D. Shinde. He shared interesting moments from their work on Bandits of Golak, one of the nine short stories from the anthology series Star Wars: Visions Volume 2. Shinde shared how his team landed work on the project, and went on to explain the kind of research that went into creating the look of the characters, their costumes and the various locations. He explained the challenges the team faced while working on the episode, and how they overcame them.
The AM Summit 2023 proceeded towards quite an engrossing panel discussion on Cracking the Global Code: Overcoming Challenges for Indian Creators. The speakers were: 88 Pictures founder & CEO Milind D. Shinde, Green Gold Animation CMO Bharat Laxmipati, Graphiti Multimedia founder Munjal Shroff, Powerkids Entertainment CEO Manoj Mishra, Toonz Media Group CEO P Jayakumar and Broadvision + Studio56 founder & CEO Sriram Chandrasekaran. The session was moderated by Punnaryug Artvision founder and AVGC-XR Forum, FICCI chairman Ashish Kulkarni.
To throw light on how leading brands are leveraging animation to capture the imagination of young audiences, forge lasting connections, and create meaningful brand experiences, the panel discussion Innovative Brand Strategies for Engaging Audiences, brought great minds under one roof. The panel included iProspect India West managing partner Muddassar Memon, dentsu X India effectiveness & strategy VP Jyothi Jadhav, Mattel, Inc India consumer products (hardlines & promotions) associate manager Swati Bajpai and TheSmallBigIdea CEO and co-founder Harikrishnan Pillai. The discussion was moderated by Green Gold Animation chief operating officer Srinivas Chilakalapudi.
The panellists said that brands have now started collaborating with animation studios to reach a wider audience and include children. Memon spoke about a successful campaign with SBI where they had an animated character talk about investments and savings, targeting youngsters. Other panellists shared their own successful campaign stories.
In the next segment Evolving Techniques and Applications in 3D animation: Harnessing Autodesk’s Creative Suite, Autodesk India & SAARC M&E technical solutions manager Samit Shetty spoke about the solutions Autodesk has been offering to the studios. It further witnessed Zebu Animation Studios founder/creative director Veerendra Patil, M2 Animation technology head Kayash Khan and Green Gold Animation project portfolio management VP Tom Walczak each explaining how they have achieved quality work using Autodesk.
Next up was another session on 3D animation by KARCO director Capt.Praveshchand Diwan spoke on Enhancing learning and training development using high-power 3D Animation.
As the day progressed, there was another engaging panel discussion on Broadcast TV & Original IPs: Navigating Challenges and Exploring Opportunities. This panel explored the landscape of broadcast TV and the potential of original intellectual properties (IPs). The speakers for this panel were ETV Bal Bharat channel operations head SP Singh; Reliance Animation CEO Tejonidhi Bhandare; Gubbare content & strategy AVP Brian D’costa and Tavrohi Animation, Script to Screen Films, Metanimate & Script to Screen Solutions, Dubai founder & CEO Colonel Rohit Kataria. Paperboat Design Studios & Occult VFX Studios co-founder/director Aashish Mall moderated the discussion.
The panel was followed by an interesting session on Unreal Made Faster by Meta-desk.run chief evangelist Nikhil Prasad.
The final session of the fourth edition of the AM Summit was a panel discussion on the topic ‘Creator’s Economy: Is it a Myth or An Opportunity? This discussion delved deep to find out the sustainability of the Indian animation market for original and independent animation content creators. The panellists included TMV Ad Agency & Khooni Monday YT Channel co-founder Raman Bhalla, paper stop-motion animator Sakina Tayeb Ali, Bakarmax CCO Vivekananda Roy Ghatak and The Happy Slate founder & CEO Rakesh Nanda. The discussion was moderated by 88 Pictures co-founder & chief operating officer Aby John. The speakers discussed adult animation, political and religious content and how it’s a day-to-day challenge for content creators to understand what will and will not work on the internet.
The summit concluded with the most awaited and exciting segment of the summit – the Ann Awards.