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Luv-Kush follow in Hanuman’s footsteps
- Musical myth in the making

After Hanuman’s giant leap to glory, the animation industry has set its sights on little Luv-Kush to warm the box-office heart.

An NRI software engineer, Shashank, has started a $5-million project to shoot a 3D animation movie based on the lore of Luv and Kush, the twin sons of Ram.

Over 300 animators will work for one-and-a-half years at Rayudu Vision Media Ltd’s animation labs to create the 90-minute musical.

The film shows Luv and Kush fighting their father for abandoning their mother Sita in a forest.

The twins have tasted success in this part of the country before. Their story was the theme of a popular Telugu musical, which had N.T. Rama Rao in the lead.

“The success of Hanuman has driven the Luv-Kush project, which is slated to be completed by the middle of 2007,” said Rudra Maatsa, technical director of the film.

“The second animation movie will be made in three languages ' English, Hindi and Telugu ' initially and it will be later dubbed in four foreign languages,” Maatsa said.

Hanuman’s unexpected success has given a huge boost to India’s animation industry, whose business is set to touch nearly $1.9 million by 2009. It is expected to employ around 30,000 animators by that time.

The industry is also drawing foreign film production companies. “The cheap cost of production in India has been attracting global players in the animation and video gaming industry,” said Kiran Karnik, the chief of Nasscom.

But market players say that besides cost effectiveness, it is the creativity of Indian animators that has been driving the outsourcing trend. “The capacity of the Indian animators to absorb and create caricatures acceptable in the US and European markets besides Asia has been driving investments in India,” said Kedarnath Udaywar, who heads the Hyderabad Software Exporters’ Association.

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