Rajat Ojha is an industry veteran with 27 years of experience in the interactive media industry. Rajat is in the list of top 20 influencers of VR/AR industry globally and has been working in VR/AR since 2006. Rajat is behind some of the most successful video game IPs in the world like Resident Evil, Battlefield, Final Fantasy, SGS and many more. Rajat is a parallel and serial entrepreneur. Rajat is mentoring over 50 startups and incubators across the world and is advisor to 20+ companies including Samsung Harman, Digital motives etc. Currently Rajat is busy building India ka Apna Metaverse PartyNite at Gamitronics which is already considered as among top 3 Metaverses. PartyNite is boasting 85M visitors right now with hundreds of thousands visitors everyday. Rajat is one of those entrepreneurs who could take his gaming expertise to masses with metaverse and also theme parks where he tells the story in physical world.
Film Director and Producer
Damián Perea is an industry veteran who has been in the animation industry for over 25 years as Film Director and Producer. For 18 years, he has been directing and producing The Summit, Conference & International Film Festival Animayo, the only Spanish animation festival declared “Qualifying Festival” by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. From Animayo, he generates training opportunities and professional outlets, focused on new generations and promoting a powerful animation and visual effects industry in different countries. He is ambassador in Spain of the European Animation Émile Awards, member of the European Film Academy of Cinematography (EFA) and member of Egeda Spain. In 1997 he was director and producer of the first animation film made in the Canary Islands (Spain), with awards such as “Canarios del Mundo” or “Joven Canarias”. He accumulated two nominations for the Goya Awards, one very recently, in 2023, as executive producer of the animated short film “Amanece la Noche más larga” and another in 1999 as director and producer of “Podría ser Peor”.
Visual Development Artist & Production Designer
“Rupali Gatti is a Visual Development Artist and Production Designer specializing in Environmental Design for 2D, CGI, Live Action full-length features, VR Ride Films, Ad Commercials, and Stop motion Claymation. She is best known for her considerable work as an environment designer in the blockbuster action film Baahubali: The Beginning, directed by S. S. Rajamouli and starring Prabhas. Her works and contributions in projects include Tumbbad, Arjun 2, Udyaan, Laal kaptaan, Leila, Manto and many more with leading studios and artists. Rupali also enjoys teaching and has conducted several masterclasses and workshops and is also a guest faculty and VFX course design panelist at FTII. She was the Production Designer for 2D animation film Bombay Rose, written and directed by Gitanjali Rao, which was also one of the 16 contenders for Oscars 2021. Rupali graduated in Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Raheja School of Art, Mumbai in 1996 and is also a gold medalist.”
Managing Director of Framestore India
Akhauri P Sinha is the Managing Director of Framestore India, where he has set up and established Framestore’s newest studio, a state-of-the-art facility in Mumbai that will work alongside Framestore’s established global network. Prior to joining Framestore, he was Managing Director at Method Studios, where he headed the studio’s Indian operations. An industry and content veteran, Akhauri has worked across film, TV and VFX for over 20 years, including in leadership roles spanning companies such as UTV, Nimbus, BBC Studios and MPC.
Executive Head, CFOL, FTII
Dr. Milind Damle is an alumnus of FTII Pune in Film and TV Editing. He has been practicing radio, film, and TV and print as mediums of expression in various capacities. His doctoral thesis is titled “Creative Analysis of Song Picturisation Techniques in Films Directed by Vijay Anand”. Dr. Damle is a recipient of 2 fellowships by NFAI NFDC. The one that is completed in April 23 is about ‘Transformations of Premchand by Satyajit Ray’. In 2022, his research has been published as a book titled “A Monograph on Gajanan Jagirdar” by publication Division which was a part of his first fellowship by NFAI. After working with Star TV, Dr. Damle now works with FTII as a full time faculty in TV Direction department as HOD. He is also the Executive Head, Center for Open Learning.
Creator, Storyteller, Facilitator-Healer, Farmer, Musician, and Nomad Traveler
Siddharth Maskeri is driven to spreading happiness and togetherness through his thought-provoking and humanifying stories. Siddharth took a conscious leap from the field of microbiology into the field of storytelling and animation. He made his debut in Indian Cinema with his story – Masti Express. In 2012, he was sponsored by the French Embassy to visit the acclaimed animation festival Annecy to share his stories. Some of his works and current projects include Get My Goat – a Dreamworks YouTube animated series; interactive experiences for Bihar Museum in Patna; Enko The Eskimo – a kids’ animated series co developed with Emmy Nominated Writer Mike Blum and Cartoon Network USA; and many more.
He has collaborated with some of the leading studios across India such as Toonz Animation, Assemblage Entertainment, and Citrus Ink Studios to create compelling value-based content for Indian and International audiences. Pa Ja Ma, a family comedy animated series which premiered on Sony Yay on 5th December 2022, is Siddharth’s recent success in collaboration with Toonz Animation. His love for sharing the art of story ideation, visualization, and 3D animation has inspired learners across several reputed animation schools in India such as NID, Whistling Woods, and MAAC.
After serving the film industry for 20 years, in May 2017, Siddharth and his life partner Smriti started Soulify, with a mission to raise human consciousness through storytelling, writing, art, theatre, and filmmaking. Along with their 9-year-old son, Advait, they dissolved their concept of ‘home’, embraced the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, and have been traveling in their car across India since 2019, to share their philosophy and creative thought processes. Their online sessions on the art of storytelling and animation have been loved by organizers and participants across the world.
Darrpan Mehta is one of the most heard, versatile and popular Voice Artiste in the country. With more than two decades of rich experience across every segment of voice acting for media and broadcasting, Darrpan still retains a childlike enthusiasm for the craft! He has the distinction of being the voice over for almost all the national and international film & television award shows. Darrpan is also the Founder of India Voice Fest, India’s first and the world’s biggest Voice Industry Conference and Awards event. He is the founder of Sugar Mediaz, an audio content production and voice acting training solutions company based in Mumbai. Darrpan is committed to create awareness about the fascinating craft of Voice acting and give the underrated craft its due place of pride in the lives of people!
Arjun is a techie with an eye towards the future and a passion for innovation. Armed with a master’s degree in Information Technology from Edith Cowan University in Australia, Arjun wasted no time launching his own R&D firm in 2010, where he was actively involved as a researcher and technologist. During his time with the firm, he helped launch over 100 groundbreaking startups, a number of which became unicorns. Having been credited with co-founding GuardianLink, Arjun is heading its technology division making it India’s biggest NFT ecosystem company with partner ventures like BeyondLife.Club, which launched Amitabh Bachchan and Stan Lee (Marvel Comics Creator) NFTs.
Tugging at your heart is this adman’s speciality. Courtesy the scores of ad campaigns he has spearheaded including the Google Reunion Ad, Cadbury, Thums Up Palat De, Shaan Masala, Tata Sky Daily Dillagi, Indian Railways, Fortune Oil Dadi Ma, Fortune Oil Mother Exchange, and many more. Sukesh Nayak, Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy India has a kack for creating advertisements that have viewers not just stoping and taking note, but also watching them over and over. Viral advertisements aside, Nayak has crafted compelling campaigns on social causes, leveraging the power of engaging storytelling to convey some hard-hitting messages (Hamam Waterproof Saree, Masaba ‘I will wear out plastic’, Thums Up Taane Palat De, DNA Fights Rape, Cadbury Purple Heart). Listed amongst Campaign Asia’s 40 under 40 in 2015, Nayak has won more than 400 national and International advertising awards, including the Clios, One Show, London International Awards and Cannes, in a career spanning over two decades.
Animation Director - Producer
An alumni of Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Ghent and the California Institute of Arts, award-winning animation director-producer Paul Demeyer showed his extraordinary talent in animation right from a very young age. His earliest recognition was winning the Student Academy Award for his short film The Muse at CalArts. A Belgian by birth, Demeyer returned to Europe and kickstarted a flourishing career as a storyboard artist, director and animator. He got his big international break with the animated short The Goose Girl inspired by a Grimms Brothers fairytale. The Goose Girl went on to win laurels for best children’s film at multiple international film festivals. Demeyer later directed award-winning episodes of the groundbreaking television series Duckman. He served as creative director on Nickelodeon’s acclaimed Rugrats series, also directed the Rugrats in Paris movie. His recent credits include donning the role of supervising director for Disney’s Miles from Tomorrowland, and episodic director of Disney Jr.’s The Rocketeer. Demeyer is also a visiting faculty at several top fine arts and design schools including CalArts and University of South California.
A man who wears many hats, Ravishankar Venkateswaran is the tenacious mind behind India’s first ever feature-length animated film in Sanskrit. His film Punyakoti was not only the first of its kind but was also crowdfunded and crowdsourced. Ravi started off as a copywriter after earning a master’s degree in English Literature. He was exposed to the world of digital animation through his work on the first interactive multimedia CD-ROM based on Indian fables way back in 1995. Having worked with one of the top IT companies in India, Ravi now heads a Digital Marketing Studio based out of Bangalore. His passion and strong drive to showcase India’s cultural fabric at the global stage is what made Punyakoti a reality.
Emmy Award-winning music composer Wendell Hanes is known for his versatility, and extraordinary flair in sound design. With over 2,000 commercials and 35 films scored and another 30 projects supervised, Hanes has made his mark in multiple-genres and formats of music composing. Among his notable works include the Television Academy Honors Award winning HBO series Black and Missing, Emmy nominated Netflix sitocom Family Reunion and award-winning documentaries like The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion, The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show and The Killing Of Breonna Taylor. Having won every major award in Advertising including Clios, Cannes Lions, Effies, Addy’s, London International Awards and Golden Award, Hanes’ company Volition Sound has worked with almost all major brands and networks from McDonalds to Pepsi to ABC and HBO. Winner of a Sports Emmy in 2021, he has produced and arranged several of ESPN’S flagship musical themes. A hardcore Hip Hop aficionado, Hanes has also collaborated with rappers like Drake, Nikki Minaj and Yo Gotti to create unique soundscapes with his classical scoring and distinctive sound design.
Oscar nominated, Annie Award-winning screenplay writer Meg LeFauve holds the writing credits for some of the most popular animation features of our times. Marvel’s blockbuster Captain Marvel, Pixar hits Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur to name just a few. Meg began her film career as a producer and President of Egg Pictures, where she produced Emmy and Golden Globe nominated films. A storyteller par excellence, Meg has taught at the American Film Institute and served as co-chair of the Graduate Producers Program at University of California’s School of Film and Television, where she taught master level story and development classes for several years. Meg is currently writing a series for the new Peacock Channel as well as the animated film My Father’s Dragon for Netflix and Cartoon Saloon.
Award winning music composer Vidjay Beerpoot is the man behind the soulful score of the new animation feature Ainbo and the edgy soundscape of Netflix’s The Little Vampire 3D. Adopted from India and brought up in Netherlands, Vidjay has gone through an interesting creative journey through different cultures all the way to Hollywood. Today, based in Los Angeles, he composes music for movies, TV shows and video games all over the world, including for Disney, Netflix, Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers, Sony and Nickelodeon. Vidjay is currently composing scores for multiple animation projects including Disney’s brand new TV show Minnie’s Bow Toons Party Palace Pals, Disney’s India-themed animated TV show Mira Royal Detective and Cinema Management Group’s upcoming animation feature Panda Bear in Africa.
Licensing & Merchandising
He began his career as a designer and then went on to work with some of the top media and entertainment brands, right from MTV and Pogo to Viacom and Times of India. Throughout his career, Jiggy George deftly balanced the ‘ying’ and ‘yang’ of creativity and commerce, achieving what very few in the industry can boast of – an undying passion for creativity, coupled with a nuanced understanding of management. Today, Jiggy is a successful entrepreneur and founder of Dream Theatre, one of India’s leading brand management & licensing companies. He is also the head of the India Chapter of Licensing International. An avid film and music buff and a travel enthusiast, Jiggy has written widely on entertainment and has also scripted an animation film, that is on the anvil.
From award-winning commercials to the country’s longest running ad campaign, ad man Rahul daCunha’s portfolio is formidable, to say the least. Working with some of the biggest and oldest brands in India, Rahul mastered the art of snugly positioning brands in the public psyche through immensely relatable, riveting campaigns. Most notable being the campaign for Amul, widely adored for its subtle, superbly-timed social commentary. But advertising is only one side of this creative genius. As a theatre artist, Rahul has worked on some avant-garde productions as a director and playwright. His plays have travelled across the world from Australia to USA. Rahul is also a regular columnist for newspapers and periodicals. He is currently working on his first screenplay.
Writer, director and creative producer
Vani started associating with the animation industry at a time when the rest of us would have just started watching animation. Thanks to her dad, who started an independent 2D animation studio out of their home, Vani grew up in an exhilarating creative environment throughout her childhood. Starting with painting, photography and amateur film-making as a teenager, she went on to establish a successful career in animation. She worked as the Head of Creative Management for DreamWorks Animation in Shanghai and as Executive Director of Rhythm & Hues studio in India. She managed the teams of artists and technicians that created the VFX and digital characters in Academy Award- winning movies like Life of Pi, The Golden Compass and The Chronicles of Narnia. Vani continues to work towards realizing her father’s dream of tapping into India’s rich cultural heritage to create original animation properties for global audiences.