SidKinG Studio reveals their upcoming game

SidKinG Studio is currently working on an upcoming narrative puzzle game; the title of which is yet to be revealed according to their official social media post .

In conversation with Animationxpress, SidKinG Studio founder Kishor Berde shared that the storyline of the game is revolves on the vacation of a 25 year old  boy who lives in a city.

Berde expressed that, “this is the first time I am working on a narrative puzzle game. Usually puzzles are about the regular things which we do in our day to day life and in the game it has been creatively presented.”

The storyline of the upcoming game progresses when a player solves the puzzle. The game developer also revealed to us that the story writing part of the game is almost done and currently he is working on the game arts and other mechanics of the game .

“This game presents a unique art style inspired paper arts and I am hand drawing all the game art the first time,” he added.

Further he emphasised that the every pixel which can be seen in a game is drawn in Procreate on an iPad using Apple Pencil and it has simplified his workflow as he could sketch levels, concept arts on the go with his new art setup.

The game will be available for the handhelds for Macbook and AppleTV are in his plan. He has also shared that he will reveal more information about his project on  his official social media page by next week.

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Jawaani Jaaneman’s VFX is worked upon by Redefine

The trailer of Jawaani Jaaneman was recently released. The trailer opens with Saif Ali Khan’s mother (Farida Jalal) telling him about an acquaintance whose son was gay. The movie is touted to be a laughter riot. After releasing several posters, makers have finally revealed the two minute-30 second long trailer which gives us a window into of this unusual comic film. The movie’s VFX work is done by Redefine.

A spokesperson from Redefine shared that they are associated with a number of Bollywood projects.

 

After Dabang 3, the recent projects include Jawani Jaaneman and the upcoming Street Dancer 3D.

Although not very VFX-heavy, we can expect the chroma screen shots and crowd simulation scenes to a fair degree including some sequences involving CGI. While Saif looks incredible in his young avatar and Tabu beguiles us with her presence. Pooja Bedi’s daughter Alaya is making her debut in Hollywood.

We also see how Saif’s character, an aging Don Juan, is emphatically against marriage and having family. “Sher hu mai sher. Aur sher tab tak raja hota hai jab tak akela rehta hai (I am a lion. A lion is only king till he is on his own),” he says. His belief is shattered when Alaya Furniturewalla finds her in an alley and tells him that there was a chance that he is her father.

This development now compels him to suddenly grow up and take up responsibilities he had been shirking for so long. The film is slated to release on 31 January 2022

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Rai Ragazzi acquires Enanimation Studio’s pre-school animated series

Italian animation studio Enamination has announced an agreement with an international broadcaster for the forthcoming TV version of Nicoletta Costa books. Currently in development for a spring 2021 launch, the 52 episodic seven-minute series titled Nina & Olga is targeted for four to six-year-olds. The series is based on the popular book franchise Olga the Cloud by Italian writer and illustrator Costa.

Since launching in 1982, Olga the Cloud has amassed more than 80 titles for preschoolers and, according to Enanimation, is particularly successful in China, Russia, Spain and the US.

Enanimation has developed a new character, Nina, a special friend of Olga’s who helps her to cope with everyday challenges for the animated series. It’s a rich, colourful world of children, parents, grannies and teachers, animals, birds, the sun, the moon and the stars, all of whom come together as part of Nina & Olga’s daily adventures.

Rai Ragazzi is a leading producer and broadcaster of children’s shows. It is owned and operated by Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI), the national broadcasting company of Italy, one of the major European public broadcasters and a leading key player in international children’s TV.

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Animation specialist Sumedha Saraogi joins Cinema Management Group

Cinema Management Group (CMG) has hired animation specialist, Sumedha Saraogi as head of business development. Saraogi has more than 20 years of experience in product management, international sales and international marketing. She was previously heading international business development at animation house Symbiosis Technologies and has also worked with DQ Entertainment International.

CMG is currently producing six independent animation features and Saraogi will be representing these projects at Kidscreen Summit in Miami next month. After that she will work on marketing and sales of CMG’s Peru/Netherlands co-production Ainbo – Spirit Of The Amazon and South Africa-based Triggerfish Animation Studio’s Seal Team, which are scheduled for delivery later this year.

Saraogi will also be handling CMG’s recently announced Panda Bear in Africa (Katuni, A. Films) and Kayara (Tunche FIlm) and will work closely with her Symbiosis Technologies associates and Gullane and Videofilmes on Noah’s Ark, as well as The Canterville Ghost, a co-production currently being finalised between Melmoth Production and Toonz Animation.

 

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APC Kids takes ‘Kid-E-Cats’ to Gulli

APC Kids, the children’s entertainment division of co-production and distribution company APC Studios, has inked a deal with the number one French kids free-to-air television channel Gulli (M6 Group) for series one and two of Kid-E-Cats which has seen the hit animated series airing on the channel from 6 January 2020.

APC Kids managing director Lionel Marty said: “Kid-E-Cats energy and warmth continues to resonate internationally and we are delighted to strengthen the brand’s footprint in France, giving new audiences the chance to enjoy the adventures of Cookie, Pudding and Candy on such a well-respected channel as Gulli.”

Kid-E-Cats tells the story of three kittens: Cookie, Pudding and their kid sister Candy who are forever ready to jump into action with endless enthusiasm and energy. Their imagination also knows no bounds, and these kitties are capable of the most absurdly funny problem-solving suggestions. Through life’s little lessons, they learn to look before they leap – well sometimes!

The series, produced by CTC Media and Studio Metrafilms, is the second-best performing pre-school series in Russia. Series one and two are now available on Nick Jr internationally in over 170 territories, following a deal signed between APC Kids and Nickelodeon International and the third season is already completed.

“We are delighted to welcome APC’s KID-E-CATS on both the linear and non-linear services of Gulli, kids’ favourite channel in France, and to be part of this charming show’s international journey” added Gulli president and M6 Group general manager of  in charge of thematic TV channels division Philippe Bony.

This deal with Gulli is the latest big step in the brand’s TV exposure, as part of a fresh batch of sales for Season 1 with Timvision (Italy) and Ceska Televize (Czech Republic), Season 1 and 2 with MBC (MENA), and Season 2 with TG4 (Ireland) and TV Puls (Poland).

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‘Shikara: The Untold Story of Kashmiri Pandits’s VFX done by redchillies.vfx

The first official trailer of Shikara: The Untold Story of Kashmiri Pandits was recently released. Directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Shikara highlights and spans over the plight of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley back in 1990, when thousands of them were forced to flee their homes. To depict complex imagery, filmmakers chose redchillies.vfx for post production vfx work.

The trailer opens with a young couple in love, living together. Within seconds, the woman sees fire in the neighbourhood and rushes towards the window. Outside, houses are being set ablaze. The trailer shows the events from January 1990, claiming that over 4 lakh Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their homes and the Valley.

Shikara is scheduled to be released on 7  February 2020.

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Razer goes into the PC way with its latest offering, ‘Razer Tomahawk’

For all you PC gamers out there, getting together a PC can be a tedious task!

However now you can get a branded gaming PC all at once!

As an industry leader, Razer has for long been around with branded peripherals in the form of mouse, keyboards, headphones and some collaborations with other brands for some laptops.

The newest addition to the family would be the Razer Tomahawk, which is a completely upgradable gaming PC.

A perfect fit for the Intel NUC 9 Extreme Compute Element, the Razer Tomahawk N1 is a sleek, compact desktop chassis with an advanced modular layout, infusing Razer’s minimalistic design language into a gaming chassis to create a one-of-a-kind desktop case, capable of achieving high clock speeds and frame rates without the bulk of a full-sized desktop.

The Razer Tomahawk N1’s all-aluminum body is flanked by tempered glass on both sides, highlighting the vertically mounted GPU in all its glory, with an open vent design at the top to maintain cooling performance. The rear features a lock-and-slide sled mechanism that opens with minimal effort, allowing for quick access to internal components without the need for tools.

The Razer Tomahawk Gaming Desktop will feature up to an Intel Core-i9 processor, 64GB of DDR4 RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics. Both the RAM and SSD modules on the NUC card will be upgradeable as well as the fans, GPU and NUC itself, to satisfy the needs of the most demanding gamers, streamers, and content creators alike.

The Razer Tomahawk Gaming Desktop will be available in the first half of 2020. The Tomahawk N1 case will be available as a standalone product for hardware-savvy PC enthusiasts looking to build their own compact yet powerful gaming PCs.

With the increasing need for processing power in next-gen games and an ever demanding user base, Razer will also launch the next generation of Razer Blade gaming laptops later this year. Featuring the latest 10th Gen Intel Core H-Series processors to meet those expectations, they will pack up to 300Hz refresh rate panels, powerful graphics processors, and optimized designs to stay ahead of the game.

The pricing for the aforementioned system has not been announced yet, but should be revealed soon.

 

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Indian studio QYJO’s ‘Gamedev Beatdown’ to roll out early access by end of January

“…you aren’t happy with the design and you want changes. It’s going to happen…”
Sonic the Hedgehog director Jeff Fowler

The story of almost every passionate creative person revolves around how to create a content which is relatable, easy to consume and unique. In addition to that, the creators want to deliver their thought process through their content and expect it to be receipted by the audience in the same way. Sometimes, in that creative journey creators receive constructive feedback from the industry and audience and their zeal to create, drives them through the tunnel of transformation.

This Indian indie gaming studio QYJO founder Tejas Shirodkar has gone through the tunnel of transformation for their upcoming title Gamedev Beatdown. In conversation with us he shares that they have shown it to a lot of people and after receiving feedback they have made changes accordingly. As Shirodkar said , “earlier people who liked the narrative style of gaming they didn’t find it comfortable with quick action brawler gameplay. We have made major changes in the gameplay after getting feedback from the players which is quite risky move for us as it costs more time and money.”

Now the gameplay is much more relaxed and players could get time to think and strategise their gameplay. The game has rogue like game genre progression, earlier they were working into more milestone to milestone but the players couldn’t sense of what to do next. However, now, players will have rogue like progression with more procedurally generated graph, which will allow the players to choose their direction.

“This time the game has projects, nodes where one can either get challenges and harder battles or some freebees basically the progression is much more structured now you have a graph based roadmap where a player will be aware of the consequences,” he added.

After the changes the combat in the game is much more different with proper storyline, act structure, whereas earlier it was sandbox style game and players get bored very easily with the style of the game.

Giving a little spoiler to the players he has expressed to us that this time the game starts with the game jam where a player discover gaming as a viable career option , then the player plays the role of an employee of the company and do actions and faces consequences just like any big studios.

The game is divided into acts where a player plays a part of an employee, an indie developer by starting their own studio and at one point the player becomes the veteran with all the experiences.

“ In the game there are narratives deals with different situations you will face in your career or when making certain games . There is situation specific  content as well as randomised procedually sequenced content that will make each replay a fresh experience,” he expressed.


In the game the main goal of the player will be to survive through various phases. The includes tasks which can put one down or up for eg not able to manage funds liquidity, might leads to studio shutdown.

They have also incorporated a lot of characters as well where earlier there was no choices for the players. They have also incorporated department heads which they are currently working on.

“The core essence of the game was to show how it feels like to be a game developer and the experience that they went through,”he said.

The game will open its earlier access only on Steam PC by the end of January then on iOS and other platforms. In the early access the player have to buy the game which will open the opportunity for the players to share real-time feedback . In the early access few parts of the game will be still under development and the studio is open for the feedback with which they will updatethe game before the final release. The studio is also looking forward for Xbox release as well in near future.

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Time for Resistance : Animators and Comic artists raise voice against JNU violence

On 5 January, the country woke up agitated and infuriated due to the vandalism and hooliganism of alleged ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) members at India’s one of the premier educational institutions, JawaharLal Nehru University (JNU). The masked people barged into the hostel and attacked students with iron rods, lathis and hockey sticks on Sunday evening.

This incident shocked the country as well as the international milieu, and triggered its citizens to rise up in rage against injustice and Delhi Police who stood like mere spectators while the horrifying incident took place. Instead of taking actions against the attack, they filed an FIR against JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh who suffered severe head injury due to the attack.

With whatever unfolded before and after the incident, reports suggest that this attack was executed on a group of students who were protesting against the fee hike and an ongoing admission process. The country has continued to witness a lot of tension over the past few months due to the protest against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and NRC (National Register of Citizens). Few media personalities and protesters have opined that these incidents might be connected.

The incident made thousands of people come down in large numbers across the country on streets in solidarity with the victims of this brutal attack, opposing the system. Though the blame game continues on one another (ABVP and Leftist Student Council), physical assault and harming disabled students is unpardonable. Cities that erupted in protest in solidarity with JNU are – Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad and a few districts. 

Various celebrities from different sectors of the industry – from Bollywood actors, producers, writers, business tycoons, comedians, activists, professors, singers and more have come out in full support of students and faculty members who suffered injuries. The list includes stalwarts from Javed Akhtar, Tapsee Pannu, Swara Bhaskar, Deepika Padukone, Anurag Kashyap, Vishal Dadlani, Bhuvan Bam, Alia Bhatt, Swanand Kirkire, Zoya Akhtar, Varun Grover (writer of Sacred Games),  Dia Mirza, Saurabh Shukla, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anubhav Sinha, Reema Kagti, Richa Chadda, Abir Chatterjee, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Koushik Sen and more.

Animation and Comic sectors are also no exception. Some animators, comic artists and illustrators have taken to social media to voice their protest through their art work and powerful words. Here’s a small list :

Upamanyu Bhattacharyya – animator at Ghost Animation

Bhattacharyya took to Instagram to show strong solidarity and resistance against the violence condemning physical attack on students and faculty members. He said “[that our] voices won’t be silenced” and “leave our campuses alone.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Won’t be silenced 🌸 #art #illustration #protest #standwithjnu #handsoffcampuses #stopviolence #indiaagainstviolence

A post shared by Upamanyu Bhattacharyya (@upamanyubhattacharyya) on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:33am PST

 

View this post on Instagram

 

LEAVEOURCAMPUSESALONE #handsoffjnu #jnu #stop #sosjnu #standwithstudents #fightforjnu

A post shared by Upamanyu Bhattacharyya (@upamanyubhattacharyya) on Jan 5, 2020 at 9:53am PST

Satrajit Satra – artist at Comics by Satra

Satra published an artwork titled ‘Wonder Women’ featuring Deepika Padukone and Aishe Ghosh. Padukone has received both applause and brickbats for joining the protest with JNU students and JNUSU former president Kanhaiya Kumar. 

Commented Satra, “Violent attacks on any student community must not be tolerated at any cost. The students, irrespective of their political beliefs, deserve to be supported by every means. Big thanks to Bollywood for standing by them.”

Charbak Dipta – graphic novelist

Dipta has always voiced against the wrongdoings and through his artworks which are stunning and sometimes strongly political. He shared his artwork ‘Not in My Name’ and termed it as the “The Saffron RavanVadh in the Utopian Ram Rajya” where Ram says “There’s a limit!”

‘Taare Zameen Par’ by Charbak Dipta; exclusively shared with Animation Xpress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He shared another strong image, titled ‘Taare Zameen Par’ depicting the expectations that most of us have from the three Khans of Bollywood, who have been silent till now.

Abhishek Choudhury – designer and illustrator

Based out of Guwahati, Assam, Choudhury has witnessed the tense situations and internet shutdowns in Assam due to the protests against CAA. Channelising his creative talent to lay out his strong political and humanitarian message, he has created strong posters.

Said he, “When the news of the attack poured in of the attacks at JNU, and the attack was still on. We were getting live updates about the attackers and it was horrifying. I felt so angry, sad and more so,  helpless. I couldn’t sleep that whole night as the heart wrenching image of Aishe’s bleeding face kept haunting me. They are students. My sister was one of them until last year. No one goes to university to face violent mob attacks. Least of all face attacks from your own government. So, at moment, I did the only thing that could give me some peace of mind. I made a poster in a cathartic outburst voicing my feelings that ‘Enough is Enough’ and that we will not forgive, neither forget, nor back down. These kinds of coordinated attacks on students have got to stop. This has gone too far now. 

It’s great to see the artist community come out to show solidarity to the movement. But I feel we need to step up our game now. We are the Creative ones. We are the outliers. If we don’t use our collective creativity for the greater good now then we would have failed as free thinkers. I hope this is just the beginning.”

Amalendu Kaushik – animator and filmmaker

Kaushik, too is originally from Assam and has made acclaimed short films and is researching further on Asssam’s history and culture. He has actively participated and contributed in expressing his thoughts on the heinous crime of making innocent and unarmed students subject to oppression and physical assault.

Mentioned Kaushik, “As the young/future generation of the country, we are really concerned about the fabric of this country and how it is getting shaped. Whatever happened with JNU, attacking students was totally an inhuman act. We must fight back with more debates, art and discussions against this fascist rule. We totally stand in solidarity with the students of JNU.”

These are tough times. But these tough times give birth to revolutions, leaders, people with spine who aren’t afraid to point out what’s wrong and no matter what stand by truth and justice. Kudos to these creative minds for picking a side!

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Xilam Animation appoints Caterina Gonnelli as EVP, Content

Caterina Gonnelli

Award-winning French animation studio Xilam Animation has appointed Caterina Gonnelli, Disney’s former director of acquisitions and co-productions for the Disney Channels EMEA, as the EVP of content for the company’s rapidly growing slate of projects.

Joining the company on Monday 13 January, Gonnelli will work alongside her co-EVP Jean Brune to oversee all editorial aspects of Xilam’s content and will be responsible for increasing the company’s slate, as well as conducting development to address the market needs. Gonnelli’s expertise of the fast-changing worldwide market of kids’ content will help Xilam strengthen its reach across all distribution channels and platforms in the five continents. Gonnelli will be based in Xilam’s head office in Paris and will report to Xilam Animation CEO Marc du Pontavice.

Pontavice said, “We are thrilled to add such a remarkable talent to Xilam’s top executives. Gonnelli has built a very strong profile over the years from development to production, from acquisition to programming, at one of the world’s most prominent kids’ studios. Such invaluable expertise will boost Xilam’s response to a very fast-growing market towards premium kids’ content.”

Prior to Xilam, Gonnelli joined The Walt Disney Company in 2012 with an initial remit focused on local acquisitions and productions for the French market, which expanded over the years to include multi-territory pre-buys and co-productions across the EMEA region for Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior from the identification of new third-party content to negotiation. Gonnelli previously held positions including Development Executive and Creative Producer at independent French production companies.

Commenting on her new role, Gonnelli added: “Xilam Animation has established an impressive, diverse and engaging slate of projects for kids and their families. I’m thrilled to be joining Marc and the team at this exciting time of growth as the company gears up for major new series launches, including Oggy Oggy for Netflix, and to continue shaping the company’s vision and content offering.”

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