The next leap

Stepping into Hyderabad International Convention Centre on Thursday could have made one feel like a kid in a candy store, a hi-tech candy store at that. Investors, studios and content developers discussed concepts around animation, visual effects, virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning and several other areas of expertise during IndiaJoy 2018.

Keenly following these developments and grooming some of the emerging teams that can facilitate innovations in media and entertainment were also stakeholders from the Telugu film fraternity. At a chat session for IndiaJoy 2018, actor-producer Rana Daggubati highlighted the Indian ability of deriving stories rooted in our culture and the necessity to engage the audience by narrating these stories on multiple platforms — cinema, comic books, VR experience and augmented reality. He was speaking hours after returning from Tokyo, where he along with producer Shobu Yarlagadda received an overwhelming reception for Baahubali.

The Tokyo Comic Con had cos play artists enacting different characters that inhabited kingdom Mahishmati. A special screening of the film, in Telugu with Japanese subtitles, saw hundreds of Japanese filmgoers rooting for Rajamouli’s larger-than-life extravaganza. Incidentally, the two-part Baahubali has been running successfully in Japan, and a special edition of Manga comics has capitalised on the film’s fame. The earlier technique of introducing merchandise on a film is just the tip of the iceberg. Games, comics and other channels enable a larger engagement of audience for a longer period of time.

On the sidelines of IndiaJoy was Anthill Studio’s Demo Day. Earlier this year, Suresh and Rana Daggubati’s Suresh Productions and Prasad Vanga’s Anthill Ventures collaborated to announce Anthill Studio, which identified start-ups for a three-month mentorship and accelerator programme. A clique of seven media and entertainment start-ups — ComicFlix, NewsPlus, RecoSense, Rooter, Saranyu, Scapic and Woodcutter Film Technologies — showcased their strengths at the demo event on Thursday. These start-ups were selected from 150 applications. From showcasing newer ways of aggregating news to using big data to predict box office results, the start-ups hope to be a part of the next leap in the media and entertainment sectors. We’ll focus on some of their work in the coming days. The event also witnessed a discussion between Krishna Durbha of Cognizant, co-founder of Makuta VFX Pete Draper, producer Shobu Yarlagadda, and Raman Kalra of PwC on emerging technologies and challenges.

Start-ups that want to be a part of the next edition of Anthill Studio Accelerator Programme can apply before January 15, 2019. Look up http://anthillstudio.co/

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