Asianet facilitator as Toonz does a southside talent search

Asianet will act as a facilitator for Toonz Animation, India's first digital ink and paint studio, in its efforts to track down creative 8-14 year olds, the Malayalam channel's COO Mohan Nair said on Tuesday. Asianet will co-sponsor the Toonz project of a month-long animation workshop for children at Toonz studio in Thiruvananthapuram in the southern Indian state of Kerala, in May 2001.

"The idea is to gift animation-literacy to creative children," the Financial Express quoted Bill Dennis, CEO, Toonz Animation India Private Ltd, as saying at a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

"In return, the young blood will pump in fresh animation content which will help Toonz in its race for the world's $35 billion animation market," Dennis said.

The month-long workshop, scheduled to be held at Toonz from May 1, 2001 to May 31, 2001, will teach children how to make animation films, identify and nurture the creative talents in children, promote animation as a vocation and create novel ideas and concepts. This include selection by competition, conducting the workshop, actual making of the film and promotion and distribution of the film.

"Asianet will be regularly carrying promotions inviting patrons of the channel to get kids to participate," Nair said. The completed films will be seen by an international audience through animation festivals in major centres around the world. As cosponsor, Asianet Communications will air the one-hour special throughout the year. Each individual film made in the workshop will include the children's original promo and the live footage of the making of the film. Dennis said that efforts will be made to broadcast the final product at the International Children's Day of Broadcasting in December. "The broadcast will be premiered exclusively on Asianet," Nair said.

"We're also looking at it as a way to increase options as far as career options go for youngsters in Kerala. There's a lot of talent out there but very few avenues," Nair said.

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