French minister for culture H. E. Franck Riester to visit Mumbai to promote France as a film shooting destination

French minister for culture H. E. Franck Riester, will undertake a visit to India from 26 to 29 January 2020. He will be in Mumbai on 27 January before going to Delhi. A specialised B2B meeting has been organised under the banner of ‘Destination France’ to promote France as a film shooting destination as well as to explore joint ventures, co-operation projects, partnerships. Riester will address the main participants of this meet.

Within a span of just four years, India has moved from the 150th to the first place in terms of data consumption, especially video content. France, for its part, is the world’s second largest exporter of audio-visual content. France and India are therefore a good match when it comes to video content demand and supply. Besides, co-productions form an attractive plank to work together on. Hence, Riester will explore synergies in the field of audiovisual cooperation. He will also seek new collaborative opportunities in the music industry.

After the B2B meeting, Riester will be meeting IIT Bombay director prof Subhasis Chaudhuri, and speak thereafter to the audience on How the Economics of Culture is Reshaping the World. In this session, the minister will shed light on the disconnectedness of our world and dwell upon the unlimited career prospects that technology students must explore outside of conventional realms.

Riester will also visit the new office of Ubisoft, a French company that first entered India in 2008 and set up its office in Pune, India. It then opened its Mumbai office in October 2018, which is entirely dedicated to creating original video gaming content.

On 28 January, Riester will be in New Delhi where he will meet minister of information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar and minister of culture Prahalad Singh Patel, as well as key policy makers. He will also inaugurate the Gérard Garouste exhibition at the NGMA. Later, during a special reception, he will confer the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) on renowned theatre personality and junoon co-founder and director, and Prithvi Theatre former director Sanjna Kapoor.

 

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‘Bambi’ will be Disney’s next live-action remake

Disney is developing a lifelike remake of its 1942 animated feature Bambi. Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel, Tomb Raider) and Lindsey Beer (Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, Chaos Walking) will write screenplay. Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz and Andrew Miano will produce under the banner of Depth of Field.

Bambi will roam in a digitally created photorealistic forest and interact with animals that have been brought to live action cinema via a hard-drive not a soundstage.

The Hollywood Reporter, however, reports that the studio is aware of the less weighty plot of Bambi and is not aiming to shoehorn a larger narrative onto the classic tale. The 1942 film was adapted from the 1923 novel Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Felix Salten.

Looking at the success of previous year’s Lion King and Aladdin which made huge at the box office, Disney’s list of live-action remake only continues to grow. Mulan will be coming out in March and a Cruella De Vil movie is coming next year. Other films on the remake slate include The Little Mermaid, Lilo and Stitch, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

 

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This National Voters’ Day take a look at comics which spread awareness about the right to vote

“Voting is not only our right- it is our power” – Loung Ung

To make young voters aware about their rights and encourage them to take part in the political process, the Government of India has decided to celebrate 25 January every year as National Voters’ Day. The day was first celebrated on January 25, 2011, to mark the Foundation day of the Election Commission of India.

This year marks 10 years of National Voters’ Day, which is celebrated all across the country at over 10 lakh locations across the nation, including polling station areas, sub divisions, divisions and districts.

According to Election Commission of India (ECI), on this day, voters are being made aware for promoting informed participation in the electoral process. New voters or first time electorate are handed over their Elector Photo Identity Card in the National Voters’ Day function.

“National Voters’ Day 2020 marks an important milestone in the history of Indian democracy as the Election Commission of India completes 70 years of its existence,” said ECI in a release.

On this day today, let’s take a look at how comic artists are trying to make Indian citizens aware about their right to vote through comics.

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Dream Theatre names Renu Nair the general manager for Consumer Products

Renu Nair

Dream Theatre has brought on board Renu Nair as the general manager for Consumer Products.

In her new role, Nair will be responsible for growing the consumer products business across Dream Theatre’s representations in Entertainment and Lifestyle lines of businesses, across India and South Asia. She previously served as the sales director and Consumer Products head at Mattel India. Prior to Mattel, Nair was at the Walt Disney Company as Consumer Products associate director.

Jiggy George

Speaking on this appointment, Dream Theatre founder and CEO Jiggy George said, “We are excited to have Nair on board. She brings a wealth of cross category experience and a keen understanding of the market. It is an exciting time for the licensing business in India and her appointment will bring laser focus to revenue growth as well as our strategic partnerships, across our brands.”

“I am thrilled to join Dream Theatre. Its rich brand representation portfolio is poised perfectly for driving growth and value across Consumer Products businesses and partnerships”, added Nair.

Dream Theatre leverages the power of licensing to ‘CREATE, REPRESENT and DISTRIBUTE’ iconic brands in South Asia. These brands are focused on Entertainment, Sports and Lifestyle businesses. Dream Theatre represents The Smiley Company, Sanrio, Liverpool Football Club, Real Madrid, FIFA 2018, The Pokémon Company, Rovio amongst other brands for Licensing and Merchandising in India and South Asia. Dream Theatre represents ChuChu TV, the most popular kids network of channels on YouTube, globally for their licensing and merchandising portfolio. The company also manages content syndication for key brands and creates and retails products via Dream Theatre group companies.

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‘Super V’ season one finale episode to air/stream on 26 Jan

After 11 fun-filled episodes, Super V season one is all set for a thrilling finale. The teenage superhero prepares for a final face-off with the super-villain Naavar while also keeping India’s hopes of winning the Junior World Cup alive. 

Super V has consistently featured in the top ten shows in the kids’ category in the  age group of two to 14 years. Season one of the animated show has amassed a whopping 150 million viewers for the first 10 episodes prior to the season finale.

‘Super V’

Super V features a 15-year old aspiring cricketer inspired by Indian captain Virat Kohli’s teenage years. A 15-year old Virat discovers he has superpowers and assumes the responsibility of fighting the looming threat of the supervillain Naavar, who wants to destroy the world. While overpowering villains, Virat must also deal with issues that an ordinary teenager faces.

Virat’s journey in Super V is inspired by real-life incidents from the cricketer’s life. Virat Kohli himself makes an appearance in every episode to underline what he thinks the life-lesson in that episode is. His appearance as a ‘sutradhaar’ in Super V is aimed at connecting Virat with young viewers across the country and guiding them in their own personal journeys.

The 12-part series premiered on Virat Kohli’s birthday, 5 November, and was broadcasted in 70+ countries across five continents via the Star network and Hotstar.

Commissioned in 2017, Super V has been produced as a collaboration between Star India, Cornerstone Animation and Baweja Movies. The series finale will be aired on 26 January 2020, Republic Day at 9 am on Star Plus, Star Sports, Marvel HQ and the Disney Channel as well as being streamed on Hotstar.

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Nickelodeon to ‘Just Add Magic’ internationally

Nickelodeon has acquired the international pay TV rights to Amazon Prime’s live-action series Just Add Magic from producer and distributor Sinking Ship Entertainment excluding the Americas and China. The 50 x 22-minute show started airing on Nickelodeon in the UK first, late last year and all other territories will follow throughout this year.

Aimed at kids between six to 11 year old, Just Add Magic is based on the Cindy Callaghan book of the same name and follows the adventures of three friends after they discover a recipe book full of magic recipes.

When Just Add Magic first launched, the show set a record for US Prime Video streams and hours watched, making its premiere weekend the most successful at the time for an Amazon Original Kids series. Amazon has since halted commissioning original kids programming.

In addition to the three existing seasons, a spin-off season entitled Just Add Magic: Mystery City is launching in early 2020 on Amazon followed by Nickelodeon later this year.

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YouTube bags exclusive streaming rights for Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, and Hearthstone esports


It was recently announced that Activision Blizzard and Google entered a multi-year partnership for exclusive streaming rights to the Overwatch League, Hearthstone esports, and the new Call of Duty League.

In the times before, both Overwatch and Hearthstone esports events were streamed on Twitch. The Call of Duty League, which starts tonight lacked a streaming partner.

“This is an exciting year for Activision Blizzard Esports as we head into the inaugural season of Call of Duty League and our first ever season of homestands for Overwatch League all around the world. It’s our mission to deliver high-quality competitive entertainment that our fans can follow globally, live or on-demand, and to celebrate our players as the superstars that they are. This partnership will help us deliver on that promise at new levels, by combining our passionate communities of fans and players with YouTube’s powerful content platform and exciting history of supporting next-generation entertainment,” shared Pete Vlastelica, CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports.

As part of the deal, Google Cloud will serve as “the preferred provider for Activision Blizzard’s game hosting infrastructure.” The hope is that players will benefit from high-quality service, low latency, and low packet loss.

“With more than 200 million gamers a day watching more than 50 billion hours of gaming content per year, YouTube provides gamers and their passionate fans with the most popular video gaming platform in the world. Both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League are the quintessential examples of world class esports content. As a former Call of Duty esports commentator myself, I couldn’t be more excited for Activision Blizzard to choose YouTube as its exclusive home for the digital live streaming of both leagues. This partnership further demonstrates our dedication to having a world class live streaming product for gaming,” said Ryan Wyatt, the head of gaming at YouTube. The streaming deal is worldwide, excluding China.

The length or terms of the deal weren’t mentioned, other than that it’s a multi-year agreement” between Activision Blizzard and Google.

The Call of Duty League Launch Weekend begins today at 4:30pm CT.

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Coronavirus seems to have given rise to a new gaming trend

In the wake of the Coronavirus epidemic, doomsday games are topping the charts. Apps like Plague Inc. and Rebel Inc. top China’s iOS download chart recently.

What is Coronavirus ?

On 31 December 2019, WHO was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus did not match any other known virus. This raised concern because when a virus is new, we do not know how it affects people.

One week later, on 7 January, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. The new virus is a Coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS. This new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV.”

Apparently according to CCN  report Chinese citizens are avoiding the SARS-like Coronavirus by playing doomsday games at home.They have extracted the data from mobile app analyst firm Sensor Tower, Chinese gamers are suddenly flocking to two mobile games from developer Ndemic Creations: Plague Inc. and Rebel Inc.

The developers behind Plague Inc took to Twitter to share some information, telling its players: “We’re getting a lot of questions about the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak- the World Health Organization has some great information.”

 

The scare of the epidemic has taken over the internet. Some user says, “This outbreak reminds me so much of Plague Inc. In fact, I feel like I’m in plague inc, and that kinda scares me.” Not only that another user named Sara said

Plague Inc. – a human annihilation strategy sim – jumped to the top of the Chinese iOS download chart on Wednesday.

In a rather unsettling parallel to real-world events, Plague Inc. tasks players with developing a pathogen. From there, they must spread it by avoiding treatment through mutations and upgrading the pathogen’s attributes.

Interestingly, Plague Inc. allows the player to control the spread of misinformation about the pathogen. It’s all rather apt given accusations that the Chinese authorities may be understating the Coronavirus epidemic. Or, at the very least, failing to quell fears as spurious rumors spread through the lack of a steady stream of correct information.

Rebel Inc., a geopolitical sim, sees players guide a failed nation back to its feet while warding off insurgent forces. The mobile game surged up the charts from 27th to fifth in the space of two days.

With the rising number of Coronavirus affected people WHO has been working with Chinese authorities and global experts from the day we were informed, to learn more about the virus, how it affects the people who are sick with it, how they can be treated, and what countries can do to respond.

Because this is a Coronavirus, which usually causes respiratory illness, WHO has advice to people on how to protect themselves and those around them from getting the disease.

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Supari Studios has been nominated at the Digiday Video Awards

Supari Studios’ The Mind Behind, a three-episode documentary series with animation and post production by Post Office Studios is nominated in the Best Brand Film Series category at the Digiday Video Awards.

In collaboration with Red Bull Media House, the series delves deep into the minds of some of the most talented artists and athletes – rapper Emiway Bantai, chef Thomas Zacharias from The Bombay Canteen, and off-road racer CS Santosh – and explores how they react to extraordinary situations unique to their profession.

Told through a mix of live-action and animation, each episode has a run-time of 8-10 minutes, and offers a never-before-seen peek into the inner workings of the professional at the top of their game.

Post Office Studios lead designer and animator for the series Adarsh Panicker said, “Our creative team used a blend of Cel animation and 2D animation to tell these stories, each film, having its own unique art and animation style designed to fit seamlessly into the treatment and tone of the live-action shots.”

The episodes focus on a single theme – the way our minds work – and take on a filmmaking treatment most suited to capturing that featured character’s internal journey. This diverse treatment is tied together by one common thread: the fascinating capacity of the human mind to achieve remarkable things.

The other nominations include brands such as Ellen Digital Network and VH1.

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National Voters’ Day : Animated videos that show why “the ballot is stronger than the bullet”

The world’s biggest democracy, India celebrates the National Voters’ Day today, 25 January every year to commemorate the foundation of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The right to enfranchisement or voting is regarded as one of the fundamental rights of citizens that shapes the nation by choosing the right leader for the country. Voting is not only one’s duty but a power entitled to the people to better the future as a vote equals to one voice.

First celebrated on 25 January 2011, National Voters Day is celebrated and observed across the nooks and corners India to make people aware and understand the responsibility and power they have towards their nation.

ECI stated in an official release that the organisation completes 70 years today.

On this day, we at Animation Xpress look back at few animated clips and videos that clearly portrays the importance of voting as “voting is the most powerful non-violent tool we have” :

Role of Youth in Elections – Election Commission India

Kyon Dein VOTE short animated movie especially for Young Voters

Masti, Dosti, Matdaan – ECI 

Why Voting Is Important? | Election and Voting Explained – Animation Planet Studio

Voting Awareness Animation – Anand Shirsath

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