Tuesday, March 5, 2024
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Bengaluru GAFX 2024 concludes with Grand Success, Setting the Stage for the Next Chapter of Growth and Opportunities in Karnataka

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The three-day Bengaluru GAFX 2024, organized by the Ministry of IT & Bt, Karnataka, and ABAI at the Lalit Ashok, concluded today, marking a resounding success. Themed ‘Augmented Intelligence: Powering AVGC,‘ the event served as a unifying force, bringing together the Animation, Visual Effects, Games & Comics (AVGC) industry for a collaborative knowledge exchange. The overwhelming response included enthusiastic participation from diverse backgrounds, including tech professionals, entrepreneurs, government officials, and students.

Shri Priyank Kharge, Hon'ble Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and Information Technology & Biotechnology
Shri Priyank Kharge, Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and Information Technology & Biotechnology

Delivering the special address at the valedictory function of the fifth edition of Bengaluru GAFX, Shri Priyank Kharge, Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and Information Technology & Biotechnology said “GAFX has been an active global platform enabling local talent to interact with global players and also define Karnataka as the leader in AVGC-XR intellectual property creation.”

“Year after year, Bengaluru GAFX spells out our dedication to becoming a global skilling hub and position Karnataka as the world’s top professional destination for creativity and technological advancement. It was also announced that creativity as a skill will be considered in Karnataka’s education policy. Additionally, a Centre of Excellence dedicated to gaming will be announced in the state as a state-of-the-art facility to offer further impetus to the sector,” He added

Furthermore, today, Shri Priyank Kharge, the Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, as well as Information Technology & Biotechnology, officially launched the Karnataka AVGC-XR 3.0 Policy. This policy outlines a strategic direction for fostering the growth of creative talent, enhancing educational opportunities, and driving economic development within the state, aiming for global recognition.

The Bengaluru GAFX 2024 has been a global standout, engaging participants from 10 countries in 120 sessions with insights from 200 speakers. The event garnered over 12,000+ attendees, involving 300+ individuals across all five categories, and awarded a total of INR 10 Lakhs. The Bengaluru B2B Forum 2024 featured 19 buyers from 5 countries, 42 pitches, and facilitated 174 business interactions, resulting in the signing of 53 Letters of Intent (LOIs) and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs).

Throughout the conference, groundbreaking technologies, and products were unveiled, promising to reshape the AVGC industry and societies. Industry veterans and thought leaders, including winners of prestigious awards such as Oscars, British Arrows, VES Awards, Cannes Golds, and esteemed Indian accolades actively participated, emphasizing the transformative potential of technological advancements. Bengaluru GAFX stands out as a unique event in the AVGC industry, facilitating the convergence of Indian and international synergy. Both international and Indian studios, along with industry veterans, presented some of the largest and most critically acclaimed titles during the event.

The Summary of Three-Day Bengaluru GAFX, 2024

·       The first day set the stage with a Fireside Chat titled “The Indian Video Gaming and Esports Industry,” featuring insights from Mr. Kris Gopalkrishnan, Chairman of Axilor Ventures and Co-founder of Infosys,and Mr. Rajan Navani, Vice Chairman & Managing Director at JetLine Group of Companies, and Founder & CEO of JetSynthesys. The session delved into the evolution and prospects of gaming, esports, and digital entertainment. Both speakers emphasized technology’s transformative influence, reaching beyond entertainment to impact education and healthcare. The discussion urged industries to reimagine and embrace global competition, highlighting India’s potential for global leadership. Esports emerged as a bridge between digital and physical realms, emphasizing social dimensions and new opportunities. The session also touched upon the recently released draft AVGC-XR policy by the Karnataka Government, aiming to generate 30,000 jobs in the sector by 2028, creating a talent pool and ensuring exports constitute at least 80 percent of the sector’s total revenue. 

·       Day 1 also featured the session “Investor Speak – Strategies for Staying Relevant and Resilient in the Indian Gaming Startup Ecosystem,” where Shri P V Harikrishnan, CEO of KITVEN Fund, emphasized the government’s role in creating a supportive ecosystem through policies and investments. He announced the launch of the Karnataka Information Technology Venture Capital Fund KITVEN fund-4 (AVGC) for Karnataka entrepreneurs, with a corpus of Rs. 20 crore. The fund, initiated by the Department of IT, BT & ST, Government of Karnataka, and with participation from other State Government firms/institutions, undertakes investments in the range of Rs. 50 lakhs to Rs. 100 lakhs per company during the initial stage, which can be enhanced up to Rs. 200 lakhs per company at a later stage/follow-on investment. 

·       On the 2nd day, attention turned to innovation with the unveiling of two state-of-the-art platforms. Avataar Creator, introduced by Gaurav Baid, Co-founder & CPO of Avataaris a revolutionary Gen-AI platform reshaping spatial storytelling. It provides businesses and individuals with an unparalleled tool for enhancing product narratives through advanced AI and cutting-edge 3D technologies. Avataar’s proprietary Neural Radiance Field (Nerf) technology simplifies the creation of 3D assets tailored for e-commerce, complemented by the Creator SDK for high-fidelity rendering and interactive experiences. The second platform, ScriptViz, launched by Vivek Reddy, CEO/Co-Founder of Viga Entertainment, is an innovative tool transforming the visualization of scripts for filmmakers, screenwriters, and directors. It incorporates the latest advancements in Large Language Model (LLM) technology.

·       In another session on 2nd day on “The Future of Education for AVGC,” explored technological advancements, special effects in movies, and the impact of animation on the entertainment industry. Dr. M C Sudhakar, Hon’ble Minister for Higher Education, Govt. of Karnataka, committed to crafting a curriculum integrating engineering technology and fine arts to meet industry demands.

·       On Day 3, Games24x7, India’s leading online skill-gaming platform, revealed 15 startups selected for its GameTech Accelerate program, launched in collaboration with the Government of Karnataka in December 2023. This innovative accelerator focuses on four key areas: New Games, Real-Time Analytics, Security, and Community Integration. The chosen startups will undergo mentorship sessions covering crucial aspects of startup success, guided by experts from Games24x7, AWS, and Lumikai. 

·       At the Bengaluru GAFX 2024, Day 3 showcased Digital Art and Traditional Art Competitions, including Traditional Painting, Digital Painting, Traditional Sculpting, Digital Sculpting, and 3D Character Animation. Participants from across India, both students and professionals, engaged in a creative display of artistic prowess. Manjunath S, secured the top position in the 3D Modelling-Student category, while Jayasurya M Rao claimed the first place in 3D Modelling-Professional. In the Traditional Painting-Student category, Sharath N emerged as the winner, and Kalyani Hadapad emerged victorious in the Traditional Sculpting-Professional category. Abhishek Anchan triumphed in the Digital Painting-Student category, and Vijayakanth K emerged as the winner in the Digital Painting-Professional category. Karthik I Kambar achieved success in the Traditional Clay-Student category, while Gitesh G Pawan emerged as the winner in the Traditional Clay-Professional category. Shyam P and Midhun Mohan secured victories in the Character Animation-Student and Character Animation-Professional categories, respectively. 

·       On Day 3, Shri Priyank Kharge, Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, and Information Technology & Biotechnology unveiled the Government of Karnataka’s collaboration with the All-India Game Developers Forum (AIGDF) for a Digital Detox Initiative. This initiative, focusing on gaming and social media, aims to foster a meaningful and constructive tech environment while minimizing negative effects. Online and offline Digital Detox Centers will be established across Karnataka, providing personalized guidance, practical tools for managing screen time, and community connection through workshops. Additionally, a statewide awareness campaign will be launched to promote healthy digital habits. This initiative aligns with the government’s commitment to building a digitally empowered Karnataka through responsible technology use. 

·       On the final day, Mr. Biren Ghose, President ABAI and Managing Director – Asia Pacific, Technicolor Creative Studios, presented the valedictory speech, highlighting the remarkable facets of the AVGC sector and the collective endeavors of industry collaborators for its triumph which revolved around the three key elements: Creativity, Collaboration, and Content. GAFX 2024 succeeded as a platform bringing together notable partners and associates including AIGF, FIFS, IDGS, EGF, EPWA, TVAGA, Asifa India, and wia (Women in Animation. 

·       Additionally, the Bengaluru GAFX B2B Forum serves as a meticulously designed platform connecting IP owners, developers, content creators, and production houses with the aim of fostering groundbreaking content. This event functions as an exclusive interface, drawing in selected international and national studios, producers, broadcasters, distributors, and financiers. Distinguished industry figures, including Rajeshwari Roy, Associate Chief Producer & Head of Content – Animation, Digital & Broadcast Media at Ramoji Group, Farnaz Esnaashari-Charmatz, Creator of Nickelodeon’s hit international franchise Shimmer and Shine, and Russell Tracy Jr. from Mikros Animation, have actively contributed to the stellar industry lineup at this marketplace forum.

The 5th edition of Bengaluru GAFX, concluding successfully, stands as a testament to the thriving AVGC industry in India, underscoring Karnataka’s pivotal role in shaping its trajectory. As the event wrapped up, the dates for the6th edition of Bengaluru GAFX 2025 were announced from February 26th to 28th.

Covered By: NCN MAGAZINE / Bengaluru GAFX 2024

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