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Academy to boost Bengal animation market

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Thursday, July 13, 2006
Kolkata (UNI): With animation industry's contribution to the IT sector increasing, the state government has recently set up an animation school Toonz-Webel Academy to bridge the gap between demand and supply, besides giving a fillip to the neglected sector in West Bengal. Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BNCCI) President Nayantara Palchoudhuri today said the state has a natural advantage in respect to the large English speaking base, prominent presence of entertainment industry, heritage of traditional literature to facilitate content based partnership and low cost of production but rued that the state was still lagging behind many states.

WEBEL Managing Director Debanjan Dutta said that although WEBEL produced many animation professionals, who were all absorbed, it was unfortunate that majority of them ventured out of the state because of lack of opportunities here. End user segments such as TV programmes, commercials, game shows, online education, CAD applications and popular feature films such as 'Humtum' are increasingly using animation to cater to the growing demand.

ELCOM Software CEO R D Mallik said he had bagged a few contracts from overseas market like Germany and Canada but said the state was facing acute shortage of skilled professionals, adding that he needs about 50 creative minds to cater to the growing demands. Mr Mallick also evinced keen interest for more use of animation in the Tollywood films.

There is a boom in animation programmes with nine channels exclusively catering to the children's appetite for cartoons. Indian Animation industry is expected to reach $15 billion by 2008 as the country is becoming a hot destination for outsourcing assignments to global studios like Walt Disney Pictures, Warner Bros and Cartoon Network.

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