India’s first international AVGC-XR festival coming to Mumbai

03rd December 2023
India’s first international AVGC-XR festival coming to Mumbai

Mumbai,  December3 2023: Turning a new leaf in India’s AVGC-XR Industry, AVAF unveils the debut edition of AniMela - India’s first-ever international Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, Comics and Extended Reality (AVGC-XR) festival.
The festival encompasses four fun-filled days of film screenings, knowledge-sharing sessions, immersive experience zones, VFX making of, comic book/graphic novel creators and more to celebrate India’s creative prowess and technological strides in AVGC-XR, a much-needed platform to promote and claim India’s space in the International arena. The AVAF has partnered with the Government of India (Information & Broadcasting Ministry) and the Annecy International Animation Festival to bring AniMela to Mumbai at the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) from 18th to 21st January 2024.
India is home to abundant untapped creative talent in the AVGC-XR space. However, it is seen only as a powerhouse that provides back-end support to large studios in the West, while the truth is that there exists immense potential, creativity and technological know-how in Indian creators, animators, VFX artists, game developers and comic book/graphic novel artists to create plenty of original, homegrown content that can travel worldwide and become global properties with the right mentorship, networking and opportunities.
 Serving as a front-row ticket to world-class animation crafted by emerging Indian talent, the festival is more than just a celebration; it's India's pivotal moment to claim its stake in the global AVGC-XR landscape. All this underlies the big dream of propelling the country from the sidelines of being a ‘service-provider’ and backend to the world, to being a front-running creator-industry with original IPs and stories that travel worldwide. In line with this, the festival stands on four pillars:

Film Festival - Showcasing some of the world’s best animation film screenings and VFX behind-the-scenes, including international features, shorts, fiction and non-fiction films. There will also be open-air screenings, film premiers, meet & greet sessions with the filmmaker, alongside exciting behind-the-scenes VFX of blockbusters.
Experiential Zone - Attendees can immerse themselves in numerous booths and arcades. At the video games zone, they can engage in exclusive demos of the latest in the gaming industry by indie game artists and game developers, meet & greet with world-renowned gamers, game developers and influencers, and gaming contests with exciting prizes. The XR/AI zone is where attendees can interact with different worlds through VR and AR, the best international IPs, and more. Meanwhile, the comic section curated by Indie Comix Fest, will showcase specially curated indie comics, graphic novels and art exhibitions, alongside an opportunity to meet, learn and sketch with the best artists in the country 
Knowledge-sharing & Mentoring - The Knowledge Section will consist of masterclasses, workshops, and panel discussions by renowned global experts like Luce Grosjean (CEO- Miyu Distribution, France), Rajiv Chilaka (Creator of the ubiquitous ‘Chhota Bheem’), Academy Award nominated Australian animator Lachlan Pendragon, Isabel Herguera (director of Spanish- German Animation Feature Sultana’s Dream) Mickael Marin (Director of Annecy Animation Festival), Veronique Encrenaz (Head of Annecy’s Market – MIFA), award winning Indian animator Upamanyu Bhattacharyya and many more...
There will be a dedicated space for family screenings, activities and workshops for the younger audiences. 
In a first for India, AniMela is bringing the prestigious International MIFA Campus (IMC) to India to continue educating and nurturing young Indian talents in this sector. As a part of IMC, AVAF has received 60+ work-in-progress projects (feature, shorts or series) from creators for evaluation. From these, 5 selected animation project holders will get an opportunity to participate in a 4-day workshop conducted by renowned industry experts from the Annecy Animation Festival from 16th to 19th January 2024. The experts include animation filmmaker Reza Riahi (amongst his many credits, he’s also worked on the Academy award winning film “Breadwinner”), France based Screenwriter Johanna Goldschmidt and Animation Producer Delphine Nicolini. Furthermore, these five selected projects will also be presented to international buyers, producers and distributors at the ‘India Pitch Session’ at Annecy - MIFA in June 2024. 
There will also be participation from educational institutes like the School of Visual Arts (New York), Griffith Institute (Australia), Rubika Institute(France), Whistling Woods International and Frameboxx, and many more who are in advanced stages of discussion.
Networking - AniMela will provide several opportunities through networking lunches and dinners with international guests (studios, distributors, buyers) from Canada, France, Spain, the UK, Australia, Turkey, and Japan, amongst others. This is vital to the last mile for the AVGC-XR sector via marketing expansion and monetisation opportunities.