Zee might go slow on localization for its proposed kids channel

NEW DELHI: Following major announcements in the recently held MIPTV festival at Cannes, Zee Telefilms and its subsidiary Padmalaya Telefilms are getting ready for new projects, which include animation co-production deals and launch of kids channel, a segment which is gearing up for an intense battle going by the way its shaping up.

Padmalayas spokesperson Rajiv Sangari said that the new kids channel is expected to go on air in another three months duration. "The details about Zee kids channel is still under wraps and we are working out the details." Sangari said that the channel is expected to be in Hindi.

On programming strategy, he said, "The plan is to have at least two episodes per day specially made for only Indian kids that is local and the other will be outside content, to start with, then gradually we will build up the local content."

Late last year, Padmalaya has announced its plans of launching 52-episode 22-minute flash animation series Bheema Keema on 24-hour general on Zee TV.

Elaborating on the reasons for the delay of the airing of series, Sangari said, "Due to the top structural changes in Zee, the complete packaging is going through a detailed analysis. Also, the show on its own its getting a bit delayed, since we planning to add some value to the same."

The series, to be aired in Hinglish, is being targeted at the urban and semi-urban kids, in 8-15 age-group. Sangari said that the series will be aired only on Zee network and there are no immediate plans of targeting the international market for its original content.

On his recent visit to Cannes, where Padmalaya signed co-production deals with Scotlands Mallard Media and UK-based Ealing Animation, and another one with Italys Mondo TV, Sangari said the occasion was momentous. "Cannes was fantastic for Padmalaya because we announced two deals. And these are significant to the Indian animation industry, since there we will be having first time a equal participation along with our partners while in the making of the show."

"I was impressed with the way the government of different countries support the companies of their nations. China almost swamped the market, with the support of their government, (others to impress included) Scotland, Korea, Japan and the best was Canada pavilion. Its great to see their big pavilion, whereas till now, courtesy our non-cooperation from our government, we Indian companies still walk around with briefcase all across like sales men. Nothing wrong about it, but it doesnt leave a good image from the nations perspective," he said.

"Our government has been saying a lot about the animation industry, but yet, nothing much has been supported from any angle, and its time that we start looking for support from the government," concluded Sangari.

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