Television

Cartoon Network to explore Indian talent for 'Snaptoons'

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MUMBAI: Kid's channel Cartoon Network has announced a pan Asian initiative titled Snaptoons - Short New Asia Pacific Cartoons, by scouting for emerging talent across its key markets in Asia, is slated to kick off on 18 October.

The network is looking to invest in funding, backing and developing new and original ideas that lend itself to animation, is targeted at kids and must either have a universal or regional appeal. Thus, Cartoon Network is looking for poets, artists, amateurs, professionals, students, individual animators, animation studios, to send in their pitches and see their creations come to life.

This programme will identify scripts and shortlist 30-40 entries for what they call a 'bible synopsis' by the end of this year. From these pitches, ten will be green lit and each will be developed into full pilot episodes of 7-10 minutes each. The commissioned ten will have their world premiere on Cartoon Network across the Asia Pacific feeds. Depending on the response, these will be created into a feature film or full series episodes.

Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, Inc (TENA) creative director Arnab Chaudhuri threw light on the concept of a 'bible synopsis' with reference to a half hour animated series Class of 3000. This will be launched next year wherein Outkast's Andre Benjamin is the central character. Chaudhuri will be heading operations for Snaptoons in India.

Forseeing potential in the animation industry and expecting it to soar up to Rs 950 million by 2009, Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, Inc (TENA) senior vice president and general manager Ian Diamond said, "Being the vanguards of original production, both live action and animation, it is our duty to raise the bar and create a platform for local animated productions."

Diamond added, "It is our responsibility to provide a platform for Indian talent to rightfully take a place on the global animation stage. Snaptoons is a serious, ongoing initiative designed to connect, discover and nurture creative brilliance that exists throughout Asia and will showcase the enormous potential that abounds in the region. This initiative will forge a relationship between that talent and Cartoon Network's extensive global production infrastructure to help develop the next generation of ground breaking animation."

A similar project was conducted in the US titled 'World Premiere Toons' which identified the creators of the Power Puff Girls, Johhny Bravo and Dexter. "This approach has been extremely successful at a global level; toon icons such as The Powerpuff Girls, Courage The Cowardly Dog and many more, were born out of a similar campaign, and today, they are firmly entrenched in the animation hall of fame. This unique opportunity is an ongoing partnership between Cartoon Network and the local talent and I look forward to creating the next global Cartoon Network hit from this country," says Diamond.

Chaudhuri added, "For the network and the brand the 'Characters are King' and now we are looking for the next generation of creators."

The broad parameters that creators could keep in mind while developing the concept would be to ensure that their concept is kid related, is character driven with a good dose of comic action. Additionally, in terms of design and creative vision it should be fun, funny, fearless and importantly, should have the potential to be commissioned as full series and/ or a feature film.

The two channels from the Turner stable (Cartoon Network and Pogo) according to Diamond have clocked a 22 per cent growth in ad sales revenue and currently Cartoon Network secures a 30 per cent market share in the kids genre, while Pogo marked 23 per cent. Diamond sees India as having immense potential and it optimistic about India's contribution to this new initiate.

For more information on the programme, the participants can visit the Snaptoons website on www.SNAPTOONS.org. The deadline for enteries is 31 December 2006.

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