Toonz opened the 2019 edition of the Animation Masters Summit in Trivandrum

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, Toonz Media Group inaugurated the 2019 edition of its two-day Animation Masters Summit (AMS) at the TechnoPark Campus in Trivandrum, Kerala in Southern India, with the guest presence of Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, British Deputy High Commissioner, Chennai, India.

This year’s edition honours two new Masters for their contribution to the world of animation, Anu Sikka, Head of Content, Kids Entertainment Cluster, Nickelodeon India and Viacom 18, and Professor Raman Lal Mistry, animation guru and celebrated film designer. Established as the first ever animation event in India in 1999, each year Toonz celebrates the 'Art of Animation’ bringing together experts and leading figures from the Global Animation Industry from across the world to interact with aspiring artists and creative talents, and for masters to showcase their work to animation professionals, entrepreneurs and the media., sharing their knowledge, experiences, insights and inspirations. The theme at this year’s AMS is Connecting Content: "Seeing the Big Picture".

Toonz Media Group CEO, P. Jayakumar, in his opening speech to a packed 450 industry crowd, has expressed how ‘the AMS is an integral part of Toonz’s legacy and commitment to celebrate the art of animation’ and carried on to express ‘the importance of working to build engaging experiences to connect with kids’.

Honoured at this year event is Sikka who has received the Jury Award for "Outstanding Contribution to Indian Animation". Sikka has made a very large impact on all area of kids’ entertainment, with her untiring passion and professionality to both the Indian Animation Industry as well as India children across the continent. She laid the milestone for localising content, creating a wave of interest that sparked both creativity and content creation, greenlighting evergreen content such as Pakdam Pakdai (also known as Rat-A-Tat) and produced by Toonz, which is still being produced and broadcast both in India and around the world today.

Receiving the Legend of Animation Award, Lal Mistry is credited for creating the logo of the first ever Indian animation channel, Doordarshan, is a legend in the Indian aimation industry. With his unique style of drawing, he has inspired artists and talents across India over the decades and has set himself as a pioneer of animation education in India, helping nurture the talent of future generations in industry. His energy and timeless dedication to the Art of Animation ha converted him into a true Animation legend.

Master speaker sessions in Trivandrum over the two days of the AMS are: Christian Schneider, CEO of Gummybear International, and the Creator of the YouTube global success song I’m a Gummy Bear is talking on the importance of the idea and getting it off the ground; Debbie Sterling Founder and CEO of the successful interactive kids’ games company, Goldieblox on re-inventing Girlhood and creating a 360-degree view; Uttam Pal Singh the head of leading kids’ channel, Discovery Kids India on connecting the creator and the audience and getting to know kids and keeping them engaged; Peter Dodd, writer, animation artist and director who has worked on Watership Down, Frankenweenie, Fantastic Mister Fox and Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride who will talk on what it takes to build a concept, create it into a viable project-

Also, Mayur Puri, screenwriter, lyricist, actor and film maker; and who Pixar, Disney and Marvel entrust when localising content for India on how to localise content without losing the flavour, and how to strike the right chord; Vivek Ram, modelling and visual effects expert who has worked on global hits such as The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; The Incredible Hulk, and Alvin and the Chipmunks on the Retelling of Indian Mythology in a contemporary manner; and Srinivas Mohan, visual effects supervisor with 25 years’ experience in the film Industry, on the role VSX plays in the story-telling and narrative process.

Coinciding with the AMS, Toonz launched the Cocoon Concept Lab with 74 entries from around the world,  a programme to support authentic story-telling and ideas by providing individualized concept development for emerging concept creators and writers with a TV/Digital series idea or screenplay; and the winning project which will be announced at this year’s Animation Masters Summit, will be taken to the international market to develop further under the Toonz banner.