Higher budget, changed mindset can propel Indian animation: Director

October 17, 2009

animation india romeo3 200x150New Delhi, Audiences, change your mindset. Producers, invest more. The Rs.17.4-billion Indian animation industry, with its world class technical knowhow, can offer a lot if given a chance, says director Pankaj Sharma whose “Bal Ganesh 2″ is releasing soon.

“Indian animation studios are capable of generating world class content. Some international producers even outsource bits and pieces of their work to Indian studios. So at present, there is no dearth of technicians in our country; there is only a restraint of budget,” Sharma told IANS on phone from Mumbai.

He also said the audiences need to rid themselves of the common perception that animated movies are meant for children only, as this mindset obstructs the industry’s growth.

“The audiences need to open up more to animation content. ‘Roadside Romeo’ came in with a commercial love story and made a decent turnover, I think. It was a signal that the audience is accepting that sort of content.

The Indian animation industry can do better if producers increase the budget and start investing something between Rs.150 million and Rs.200 million, he feels.

“As of now the scenario is stable. Producers are not spending beyond Rs.80-90 million. We ourselves have spent around Rs.60-70 million on ‘Bal Ganesh 2′. So if producers start shelling out more, the sector will start doing well – also because we have no dearth of technical assistance,” he said.

The country has more skilled animators now, said Sharma.

“Animation education has improved by leaps and bounds over the past three years in our country. There are new institutes with nominal fees and offer hands-on training. That helps us to get extremely talented new people almost every year.”

His film “Bal Ganesh 2″ is releasing Oct 23.

“The quality of ‘Bal Ganesh 2′ is a notch higher than the first movie in terms of its visual and sound effects. We have roped in big names from the music industry for the background score and voiceovers and worked on the overall packaging. So I think this will revive the Indian animation scenario,” said Sharma.

“Bal Ganesh” was released in 2007 and did satisfactory business at the box office.

Produced by Shemaroo Entertainment in association with Astute Media Vision, it has vocals by Sukhwinder Singh, Suresh Wadkar, Neeraj Sridhar.

Shamir Tandon, who has also composed music for Madhur Bhandarkar’s yet to be released “Jail”, has scored the music for the movie.

The storyline will have baby Lord Ganesh battle wicked and powerful demons like Gajamukhasur and compete with Maharshi Vyasa.

Asked why most Indian animation filmmakers opted for mythological themes, Sharma said:”In India, mythological characters are very identifiable. People of all age groups identify with them and kids, who make most of the audience for animation films, get to know a lot about Indian culture through these films.”

“Our next animation film, ‘Pangaa Gang’, is for young audiences. It is about four ordinary kids and how they come together to save the environment and their home town. I hope the scenario will then change for the better,” he added.

According to a report by KPMG, the Indian animation industry has been growing rapidly with an estimated compounded average growth rate of 20.1 percent in 2006-08. It is estimated to reach a size of about Rs.39 billion by 2013. India is also known for animation outsourcing.



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