20th March 2013 New Delhi, India

Framed at FICCI

Not me getting set up for a crime I didn’t commit, but a useful meeting entitled “Opportunities for creative collaboration between India and the UK” where we discussed case studies and new developments in both countries…

Last week I was in Mumbai to attend the 14th chapter of FICCI Frames, one of the most noteworthy media and entertainment sector trade events in India. The show is regularly attended by a large number of eminent dignitaries and professional executives from this sector and the latest industry developments are discussed in detail.

Creativity is GREAT
Creativity is GREAT

As I entered the venue, I saw the entire panorama of security lined up right from the entrance checking each delegate ardently and could immediately gather, the beginning of an event that would have all the who’s & who’s of entertainment and media sector coming across at one platform.

Given our past work in creative industries, I was really excited about meeting with the media and technology companies present at the event, it helped me to learn more about the commercial opportunities that are available and taking forward UK-India collaboration in this area.

In a packed room on day 3 of FICCI Frames 2013, Mark Leaver (Consultant & Creative Industries Specialist, United Kingdom Trade and Investment- UKTI) moderated the UK-India session which was focused on opportunities for collaboration between both the countries.

Other panelists were Samantha Perahia (Senior Production Executive, British Film Commission), Sumedha Saraogi (Sr. Vice President Global Business Dev/Co-productions at DQ Entertainment), A. K. Madhavan (CEO, Crest Animation) and Merzin Tavaria, Chief Creative Director and Co-Founder, Prime Focus.

While the Indian creative and media industry has made spectacular progress in the last 20 years, there is still a gap in the ability to monetize the engagement and use the resources generated to advance both access and content.

On the foreseeable trends, Madhavan said that the UK would be the best option for India when it came to co-productions for animation as the UK gives Indian companies a chance to co-create and co-own intellectual property. The UK government grants support to productions, unlike the US where there is no support from the government. Moreover there is a greater cultural connect between India and the UK.

Highlighting UK’s strengths, Saraogi said that the UK has a store classic stories. “There is a huge potential in intellectual property, sitting there, waiting to be rebooted,” she said. She added that India complements the UK in terms of bringing the right scale to co-productions.

Agreeing with him, Tavaria mentioned that his experience in dealing with the UK has been great. He stressed the fact that the UK has a huge advertising and commercials community, that demands a lot of creative input and animation, which makes it a perfect business destination for Indian animation companies.

Sharing insights from his experience, Perahia mentioned that so far collaborations have mostly been limited to Indian film crews coming to shoot a portion of their movies, on location in London. The Indo-UK co-production treaty which is already in place hasn’t been used a great deal.

Leaver talked about how the British population spends more time and money on mobiles than any other country in the world and that Indian animation companies could look at it as a possible platform.

The panel also examined barriers to Indo-British collaborations. Madhavan quoted: “You need deep pockets to create new Intellectual Property.”  Tavaria’s view was “There needs to be a greater seriousness towards animation in the country. There needs to be more investment in animation in India.”

The panelists discussed in detail about the expertise of the UK companies, the different situations that companies in the UK and India encounter and where connections and collaborations can be forged. Building on our previous projects in the Creative sector, and working with partners like the Technology Strategy Board and Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network, we plan to organise scoping workshops in the areas of Gaming technologies & Animation and Design Innovation between both the countries in this year. More on that in the coming months. Watch this space!