‘India’s animation industry has seen unprecedented growth’

New Delhi:With global players exploring India as a talent pool for animation content and Indian filmmakers looking out for subjects with a “broad mass appeal”, there’s a huge potential for the growth of the animation world in the country, says US-based Avneet Kaur, who has lent her creative touch to Hollywood entertainers like “Tangled”, “Frozen” and “Zootopia”.

“The animation industry is definitely evolving in India. It has witnessed unprecedented growth rates in recent times,” Kaur told IANS in an email interview from Los Angeles.

Her statement is well supported by the fact that India’s animation industry generated revenues to the tune of Rs.51.1 billion in 2015, marking a growth rate of 13.8 percent, according to a FICCI-KPMG report.

Kaur, who is a simulation technical director at Walt Disney Animation Studios, said: “Over the last decade, it has seen the entry of many global studios who have tapped into India’s talent pool.

“Additionally, leading Indian production houses like Tata and Reliance are now investing in the animation market and collaborating with Indian filmmakers to make animated features that have broad mass appeal and entertain their local audiences.

“I believe that this industry has huge business potential in India and is beginning to scale new heights.”

India is said to have nearly 300 animation, 40 visual effects and 85 game development studios with over 15,000 professionals working for them, and these cater to not just the movie world but also to small screen content for children and regional platforms.

Kaur says it is Bollywood that taught her to dream big, and her love for films made her walk on the animation path to reach the world of Hollywood.

Having worked on films like “Bolt”, “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Feast”, would she want to try her hand at an animation project in Bollywood?

“May be some time in the future if the correct opportunity arises. It will be a homecoming, for my work,” said Kaur, who after spending her growing up years in New Delhi and pursuing Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch) from the Birla Institute of Technology, India, took a foreign detour as she did her M.S. Visualisation Sciences from Texas A&M University, US.

While the cinematic world at large continues to paint a picture of India as a place with a mysterious, magical and enchanting quality, Kaur believes people in the west define India as a “strong, modern and forward-thinking nation” which is in touch with its culture and history.

“India is a potpourri of diverse cultures. Growing up in so many different cities, each with its unique and diverse traditions, our family always had more festivals and occasions to celebrate.

“Bollywood taught me to dream big, and my family and friends taught me the essence of life, and kept me grounded. I am so grateful for everything I have learnt growing up in India.”

She added that she always “loved to draw as a kid”, and her parents encouraged her passion for the arts. Then she landed in Hollywood enthused with her love for films of all kinds.

Kaur asserted: “Having a job of making movies was the best thing that could have happened to me and what better place to do this at, than Walt Disney Animation Studios. I was offered a job at this magical place in 2005, and since then this is my second home.”

She joined the team of “Zootopia”, a film which brings the world of animals alive on the silver screen, when it was in early production, and worked as a character simulation technical director on it. Her next tryst with animation is Disney’s musical adventure film “Moana”.