09:54 | 09.08.10 | Interviews | exclusive 5209

“MarAni Business Forum to gather animation and IT companies of Armenia under the same roof”

The first MarAni (Market of Animation) Business Forum is planned to be organized from September 11 to 13 within the framework of the upcoming second ReAnimania 2010 international festival of animation films, which is to take place in Yerevan. MarAni Business Forum’s Director Hayk Asriyants told us about the details of the upcoming event. 

- What will MarAni represent? What does this Forum aim at?

- MarAni Business Forum will gather animation and IT companies of Armenia under the same roof. The Forum aims at establishing business ties between animation studios and IT companies of Armenia, representatives of related spheres, as well as participants of foreign animation markets. 

The Business Forum will consist of two parts: the first part will represent the exhibition, where companies will present their own pavilions, their products, services and solutions, and will be able to organize presentations lasting up to 90 minutes in “Moscow” cinema video hall. The second part of the Business Forum will represent ANITA (ANimation and Information Technologies of Armenia) roundtable, which will be attended by heads of animation studios, the IT sector and other interested companies, as well as Armenian and foreign experts, invited by us.

During the roundtable, they will discuss the issues in the markets of animation and information technologies of Armenia, and will work out paths of cooperation and mutual development.

- Can you represent the experience of cooperation between the Armenian IT sector and animation studios?

- Establishment of cooperation between animation and IT companies starts to reveal itself mainly in the sphere of creating computer games.

At present, there are about 15 companies in Armenia, which work to create computer games. Many of them have expressed readiness to participate in MarAni.

All in all, 20-25 companies will participate in the Business Forum. 7 of those companies represent animation studios and the remaining companies are representatives of the IT sphere.

The IT sector takes significant interest in the Forum. The Union of Information Technology Enterprises (UITE) of Armenia, Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) and 3D Modeling Union of Armenia already render us their assistance. We continue negotiations with other representatives of the sector.

- And what about other interested parties?

- Today, without animation it is impossible to imagine not only computer games, but also the majority of modern computer programs. The Forum will also be of interest for the advertisement market, design studios, show business, construction companies and furniture producers. To make the long story short, it will be of interest for all those, whose products, services and solutions may be presented with the help of animation technologies.

Animation in Armenia, as a sphere of art, has a history of over 70 years. ReAnimania Festival and MarAni Business Forum aim at reviving our animation traditions, giving it a new life. As of today, animation market of Armenia is in many respects comparable for instance to the Turkish animation market. Here we speak of the number of studios and annual issues, which are practically the same in Armenia with the population of 3 million people and in Turkey with the population of 75 million people. 

Thus, there is great potential in the sphere and further accomplishments of Armenian animation studios in much depend on the number of commercial orders. Here we speak of for instance games, ads, other videos, etc.

Armenian advertisers also take interest in this sphere, since here they can familiarize with the capacities of Armenian animation studios, dealing with ad production, on the spot.

When animation studios are “enriched” with commercial orders, they will be able to afford dealing directly with art and shoot cartoons on their own funds.

- As far as I know, such a Business Forum is unprecedented in the entire region. What is the interest demonstrated towards MarAni by potential foreign participants?

- At the moment, participation of 2 French IT Companies and 2 American studios – famous Exodus Film Group and Fugitive Studios – has been confirmed. By the way, Roger Kopelian is the Art Director of the latter. He was involved in production of about 50 Hollywood movies, among which “The Lord of the Rings” film trilogy and “Terminator 4”.  

It is notable that now Roger Kupelian has undertaken creation of a historic film about Vardan Mamikonian in Hollywood, and the Armenian presentation of the project will take place at MarAni.