Indian animation to the fore at NATPE

The animation segment of the Indian television industry is all set to become an international hub if the the fantastic response received by Indian companies at The National Association of Television Program Executives 2001, a premier international television programming convention held recently at Las Vegas, Nevada, is anything to go by.

Held from 22 to 25 January, the 38th NATPE is an annual affair dedicated to facilitate the continued growth and convergence of all content across multiple distribution platforms. "It is a good platform for networking, with quite a few deals taking place," Amit Khanna, chairman of Reliance Entertainment, said on Tuesday.

"India is fast emerging as an entertainment hub for Asia. The very fact that there was a special session - Adventures in Indian Television - devoted to India proves the point," Khanna said. Regarding the response to the session held on India, Khanna said: "It was well attended." The special session was chaired by Bhuvan Lall, executive director of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, while on the panel were eminent personalities in the Indian entertainment sector. Among them, along with Khanna, were V Chandrasekaran, chairman & CEO, Pentamedia Graphics Ltd., Bill Dennis, president & CEO, Toonz Animation India Ltd, Dheeraj Kapuria, North American Head, Zee TV, Firdaus Kharas, chairman, UTV International LTD, and Ramesh Sharma, chairman & managing director, Moving Picture Company.

Discussions centred around the potential the Indian market held, whether international channels and production companies could take advantage of the developing multi-channel and convergent environment in India, and the kind of programming and formats that were likely to work in the country.

"This time around the animation media got a good business thrust," said Khanna. In the past two years animation had an export market of $5 million and in this year itself it has a potential of touching $50 million.

In the near future, a lot of original animation programming from Toonz Animation India LTD, Pentamedia Graphics LTD, UTV International LTD, and other such companies from India are likely to make a splash internationally.

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