DQ Entertainment International, which is participating in EFM for the first time, will look for distributors and financiers for its latest theatrical movie- The Quest for Never Book. Manoj Mishra, Chief Operating Officer, DQ Entertainment, talks about The Quest, The Jungle Book and other projects
What are DQE’s objectives and priorities at EFM?
This is the first time you are participating as an exhibitor. Our primary focus during the market would be to meet independent theatrical distributors from different regions of the world and our priority at EFM this year will be to find reliable and strong distributors and financiers for our latest theatrical movie –The Quest for Never Book(Peter Pan) while also to explore potential for co-production with other leading distributors and investors for partnering in our future theatrical projects such as The Jungle Book. Yes, we are participating for the first time at EFM.
Tell us about DQE’s transformation in animation movie space. DQE’s Peter Pan movie was nearing completion. Also your Jungle Book movie…
Our commitment to animated features marks another major milestone for DQ Entertainment with the scheduled release of our latest movie –The Quest for Never Book. We have involved a truly world class team with remarkable animation accomplishments for this feature film and the result is a distinctive and captivating movie for families the world over to enjoy. The movie is complete and ready to hit the silver screens around the start of this summer in most parts of the world. We intend to lock our distribution partners for various important regions during this market while we already have distributors in place for many regions.
The Jungle Book movie too is in pipeline at DQE with a world class sizzle reel already worked by us. We are also presently working on closure of the budget for the same. We will announce to the market regarding the developments on this movie once we have everything in place and ready to begin production.
Are there any new launches at EFM? What are the co-productions current-ly on/or in pipeline for DQE?
As mentioned before, our brand new launch at EFM would be –The Quest for Never Book – a 90 minutes animated theatrical feature film inspired from our globally popular Peter Pan franchise. We are also having few other theatrical movies based on classic properties planned for the future in the pipeline presently, details of which we will be announcing in due course of time.
What is the state of animation industry today? DQE works with some of the top European and American partners and collaborate with them. How is the landscape changing with digital takeover of the M&E space?
The last couple of years were such a turbulent time for the animation industry in general. DQE however has managed to endure during this hard times & road blocks and is poised to take off on an upward growth trajectory from here on. We have understood the importance of collaborations and co-productions with strong global partners early on and have aligned our business according to the current atmosphere with the right mix of production of own IPs, co-production and service projects.
The rapid growth and changes happening in the digital space especially in the M&E sector is quite evident with major SVOD platforms beginning to produce content exclusively for their large global subscriber base apart from acquiring thousands of hours of already produced content. This phe-nomenon is set to grow at a very rapid pace and we are sure that the digital segment will become a very dominant player in the M&E space soon. Producers have now started realising the potential of the digital platforms in reaching out to a much larger audience base than before and are making content without being fully dependent on television broadcasters alone for showcasing their shows to the world audience.
Do you see animation in broadcasting getting impacted by OTT, video streaming and new emerging digital platforms specifically for animation content? What’s driving animation business today?
We can already see that. Traditional linear broadcasting is impacted by digital platforms such as OTT and VOD. Cable and satellite subscriptions are already declining as more people are opting to access content through digital platforms. While exclusivity and original programming have become important for live action programming, for animated content, producers looking to monetize their IP will want a wider reach and distribution on greater number of platforms on non-exclusive basis.
How has DQE embraced digital distribution? Is there a DQE App on the anvil?
This is working in progress and we are diligently working on this front. You will soon hear from us.
Do you see animation content top in the radar of OTT?
The OTT platforms still are skewed toward the 18years and above age group while the animated content is more fit for kids below 12 years. However, as technology is advancing rapidly and more and more devices start falling in the hands of the kids, as is being witnessed globally, it won’t be too long before animated content will be one of the top content being watched in OTT platform. Presently, demand for kids’ animated con-tent will be a mixed bag driven by OTT as well as linear TV.
How do you see the business for animation content in the immediate future? How do you see it from the perspective of a personalized service emerging in the OTT regime?
The future for animated content globally is expected to remain bright and is growing at a healthy rate. The amount of animated content that has been produced in the recent years has increased vastly which can be validated by the increased number of animated movies being nominated in the Academy Awards animated film category. Digital platforms such as OTT have helped in the huge consumption of animated content from across the world. It has played a great part in plugging the gap between the content that are produced by many independent producers whose shows are not acquired by the traditional broadcasters and the audience. The audience now have a platform from where they can consume the animated content of their choosing and at a time they want.