UTV, one of India’s leading integrated media and entertainment companies, has invested $5 million in a brand new animation facility at its studio in Mumbai. The studio will be fully functional from April 1, 2006.
The investment will be used to create a world-class facility over 25,000 square feet replete with 225 workstations with blade render farms and Max software and equipped for high definition work for clients in North America and Europe.
Said Ronnie Screwvala, CEO, UTV, “We were the pioneers in animation in India, and in the next 18 months our focus will be to emerge as a clear leader in South Asia for service outsourcing as well as origin of content.”
At present, the work output is for 15 movies for direct-to-home videos of some of the most well-known international classics, a 52-episode TV series and 20 short series. The facility operates 24x7 with a built up capacity to execute over 150 minutes of high quality 3D animation a month.
Ronald Demello, COO, UTV, said, “We believe we are executing the single largest workflow out of India at present, and our excellence in 2D, and now 3D, animation has been acknowledged by our growing repeat customer base from Disney and Fox to Cine Group and Saban.”
Screwvala added, “In the next 60 days we will announce two animation movies primarily for Asian audiences, but with an appeal for a growing crossover audience too. These movies will be for theatrical release. We decided to do these animated movies since UTV has a strong position in animation, we have a robust animation facility and we also have Hungama TV, a channel for kids.”
Commenting on the factors that would drive Indian animation forward, Screwvala said, “The Indian animation outsourcing industry is worth $75-100 million. Factors such as more people looking for Asian animation content and India being an IT literate country with a strong knowledge and skill base in 3D technology will go a long way in developing the industry.”