Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ratatouille wins animation Oscar

Six years in the making, Emeryille's Pixar Animations Studios was rewarded for its patience and determination Sunday night when "Ratatouille" came away with the Oscar as the best animated film of the year.Scripted and directed by Brad Bird, who won two Oscars for Pixar's "The Incredibles," the film is the tale of a rodent named Remy, with delicate taste buds, who by chance is let loose on a classy Parisian restaurant and succeeds in winning over the city's top food critic. In his acceptance speech, Bird backhandedly thanked his junior-high guidance counselor, whose questioning of his career choice as a filmmaker prepared him for the grilling down by Hollywood producers. But, according to many critics, the night should have been a much larger triumph for the film. Although it landed five Oscar nominations and was ranked by many critics as one of the year's best, it was never a serious contender for best picture. And its other nominations across three different disciplines -- best original screenplay, best score, best sound mixing and best sound editing -- suggested the kind of broad consensus that often results in bigger awards. Its five nominations rank as the most ever for a computer animated film, and rate second among all animated films, only surpassed by the six received by Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." That picture, done in the traditional Disney style in 1991, stands as the only animated film to ever be nominated for best picture. If not for the best animated feature category, it's safe to say "Ratatouille" would have been strongly considered for best picture. Lewis, the film's producer, is quick to point out that he has no sour grapes with the academy -- and that he's ecstatic about the five widespread nominations.
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Friday, February 22, 2008

Animation & Gaming industry in India wants income-tax breaks

The animation and gaming industry in India wants income-tax breaks on a par with software companies to produce cheaper films and compete in the Asian market. Software companies housed in software technology parks enjoy tax breaks on their export profits. Though the benefit ends in March 2009, it might be extended for 10 years, considering that the surge in the rupee has impacted their bottom lines. The animation and gaming industry is lobbying for similar tax benefits. “We have given a formal proposal to the information and broadcasting ministry seeking a tax holiday on export profits under Section 10 A of the Income-Tax Act. The finance ministry has also been kept in the loop,” said Ficci animation and gaming forum chairman and DQ Entertainment CEO Tapas Chakravarti. The industry also wants government-sponsored animation institutions, with IIT stature. “We have also asked the I&B ministry to amend the TV Broadcast Bill to promote local content on Indian television channels. This has been done in countries such as France, Japan, China, South Korea and Canada where more than 50% of TV channels’ animation broadcast consists of local content,” Mr Chakravarti said. According to a Nasscomsponsored study, Animation India 2007, India will need over 3,00,000 professionals in the content development and animation segment by 2008 to cope with the growing demand. At present, there are only 12,000 domain experts in this industry. Nasscom had also made out a case for the government to hand-hold the animation and gaming industry by providing assistance in manpower development and infrastructure. The animation market in India is estimated at $285 million and is expected to grow to around $1 billion by 2010. India is turning out to be a hub for outsourcing post production work, thanks to the growing market and lower overhead costs. According to a CII-AT Kearney study, the cost of making a full length movie in India is around $15-25 million compared to $100-125 million in the US. The industry apprehends that India may lose this advantage if it does not build a vast talent pool. ( courtesy ET)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Zapak Budget 2.0 will have Money Games & analysis of budget

Zapak has some serious plans for the upcoming budget. It will launch Zapak Budget 2.0 - a microsite - in association with Reliance Capital, which will have various features. There will be an analysis of budget across categories by corporate honchos and celebrities, along with video bytes on people’s budget expectations, across various categories. The visitors to ‘Zapak Budget 2.0’ will also be able to upload content on various categories. Daily winners will be announced for the best entries.A special game called ‘Game for Money’ would be featured on this site, to help visitors de-stress. In the game, players can invest his money in various options. Once done, he moves ahead with the intent of earning more money by rolling a dice. The player moves across the blocks, depending on the number which appears on the dice, each of which has a different message – e.g.- ‘Cash Theft of 10,000’, after which the player’s total worth and value of insurance is scored. The Goal is to increase the player’s net worth. And like real life, it’s Game Over when the player goes bankrupt.Simple indicators on the micro site such as What’s Hot & What’s Not, What’s expensive & what’s cheaper and Policy Changes that will impact the common man will make sure that the visitors get the information useful to them. Visitors will also be able to calculate the tax payable and even chat with a financial specialist to put their anxieties to rest and solve their queries.

Get DotAsia domian name now!

DotAsia Organisation has launched the Celebrity Pioneer Program, offering Indian celebrities the priority to register their domain name with .asia before the registrations are opened for public later this month on 20 February 2008. Early adopters of the programme include Indian cricketer Kapil Dev, pop singer Shibani Kashyap, a TV star Rakshanda Khan, 'Indian Idol' fame Rahul Vaidya, and pop singer and 'VJ' Anoushka, amidst many others.
According to Edmon Chung, CEO, DotAsia Organisation Limited, "There are more than 450 million online customers in Asia, and the .asia domain name is a gateway to reach this largest Internet market in the world. While .com ignited the ecommerce boom in the US, .eu was created for Europe. .asia is the first global top-level-domain that is headquartered in Asia and will be the platform for growth of the region. The Pioneer Domains Program focusses on building positive usage of the .asia domain which in turn drives adoption and development for the Internet community across Asia."
Shibani Kashyap added, "I own but I still opted to register and to secure my cyber identity and to reach out to my fans in Asia with a domain that conveys even better relevance to the region. I intend on making previews of my songs and videos available on my website. I really think that artists should be proactive and book their .asia domain name before anyone else grabs it."

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