What do Rana Daggubati’s Bahubali and Rajnikanth’s Robot have in common? Apart from being top grossers with star-studded casts, both films have made news for the extensive and innovative use of visual effects.
As the appetite for visual effects, animation and comics in films increases, India’s first National Centre of Excellence in animation, visual effects, gaming and comics (AVGC) is all set to come up in Mumbai.
The National Centre of Excellence in AVGC is aimed at creating a platform for formal education in this sector and address the shortage of skilled professionals through undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD and short-term programmes.
The project, a PPP between the ministry of information and broadcasting and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), will be set up and run by the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC).
“The centre will impart world class education in AVGC to cater to the needs of Indian industry and global players. Initially, the executive council of IIMC will be the managing committee,” KG Suresh, director general of IIMC, said.
And admissions could begin as early as the next academic session.
The Rs 200-crore institute is expected to produce as many as 1,600 professionals in the fields of animation, visual effects, gaming and comics—sectors that have been projected to be major recruiters by the Media and Entertainment Skills Council (MESC) of the skill development ministry.
According to sources, the proposal to set aside land for the institute has been sent for the approval of the Maharashtra cabinet.
Suresh said there will be no delay in starting courses as the IIMC is on the look out for premises to rent. A permanent building for the institute will be constructed after land allotment by the Maharashtra government.
According to the I and B ministry, the AVGC industry constitutes over 7% of the overall media and entertainment industry in India and is expected to reach a size of Rs 14,747 crore by 2019.
“Indian animation companies are now moving up the value chain and are creating more original content. Many studios have developed intellectual property (IP) and entered into co-production agreements with international studios. This has led to an increase in demand for talent required to produce high-quality content,” the MESC’s 2014 report on the sector says.
Referring to the employment generation potential of the sectors, a source said the industry currently employs 85,000 people, which includes freelancers, but with the demand for animation films and comics on the rise globally, India could emerge as a major hub for content creation.