First from right: Bhavika Chouhan

AnimationXpress’ second edition of EduSpark Summit and Awards was held on-ground this year at Sheila Gopal Raheja Auditorium in Bandra, Mumbai on 24 June. This edition witnessed as many as 40 plus prolific speakers and 1000 plus attendees.

With this year’s theme Education: Entering a Golden Age, the summit aimed to understand the changing educational scenario with the new education policy, advent of AI, other technological innovations, evolved mindsets and acceptance of new career options in the world. The summit concluded with the EduSpark Awards. The awards honoured and recognised the changemakers who have contributed towards moulding the education system in the fields of animation, VFX, gaming, esports, Web3 and e-learning.

The entries for the awards were judged by stalwarts like: Punnaryug Artvision founder and FICCI, AVGC Forum chairman Ashish Kulkarni; Animation Xpress founder, chairman and editor-in-chief Anil NM Wanvari; graphic storyteller, mentor & pacifist Sekhar Mukherjee; Technicolor Creative Studios, Head of Academies – India, Sandeep Sharma; Srishti Manipal Institute of Art Design and Technology, Immersive Learning Chair Nina Sabnani; and animation film designer and BYJU’s chief creative director Dhimant Vyas.

Prof Ujjwal Chowdhury (L) and Sanjay Khimesara (R)

For EduSpark Awards 2023, the judges considered a range of criteria, including but not limited to educational initiatives, research contributions, teaching methodologies, student outcomes, and the overall influence on the education ecosystem. Under five broad segments i.e. Animation, E-learning, E-sports, Gaming and VFX, institutes and individuals were recognised for their consistent work based on entries. Special honours were given in the form of two awards: Women in AVGC Industry and Movers & Shakers.

One of the major highlights this year was the Eduspark Competitions. The Digital Painting and Mobile Filmmaking competitions were organised on-ground simultaneously. The Digital Painting competition was powered by the event’s associate partner Wacom. The below winners won a tablet each from Wacom:

  • 1st: Om Alqumdayi, Design Skills Academy for “Indian Mythology”
  • 2nd: Srinivas, Design Skills Academy for “Dark Fantasy”
  • 3rd: Arya Bharathan, ITM for “Power of Art”

The Mobile Filmmaking was powered by the event’s support partner Whistling Woods International. The winners were:

  • 1st (The winner will get access to two online certification programs from Whistling Woods International): Nimish Kandalkar 
  • 2nd (The winner will get access to one online certification program from Whistling Woods International): Yash Kinger

The event’s career guidance partner Creative Multimedia organised a lucky draw session. Two winners got the book Exciting Careers in Digital Media written by Creative Multimedia founder and CEO Rajasekhar Buggaveeti.

Arijit Saha (L) from Starblast Animation receives EduSpark Award

Here’s the complete list of EduSpark Awards 2023 winners:


Advocate for Education
Institute: Creative Multimedia


  • Ankit Jain 
  • Sanjay Khimesera 
  • Santosh Raskar

Emerging Leader

  • Department of Animation, Chandigarh University 
  • P.A. Inamdar College of Visual Effects, Design & Arts

Individual: Vivek Nag

Innovative Curriculum Award

  • SXILL 
  • Dr. D. Y. Patil School of Design

Inclusive Learning Award
Institute: Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology

Education Technology Innovator of the Year
Individual: Ramakrishna P

Lifetime Achievement Award
Individual: Nina Sabnani


Advocate for Education

  • Media & Entertainment Skills Council
  • Starblast Animation


Innovative Curriculum Award
Institute: Hero Vired

Advocate for Education
Individual: Akshat Rathee


Advocate for Education
Institute: inGame Training Academy, Lakshya Digital
Individual: Hanif Mohammed

Emerging Leader
Institute: Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming and Technology
Individual: P. Surya Prakash

Innovative Curriculum Award

  • Whistling Woods International 
  • FX School powered by EDGE Metaversity

Inclusive Learning Award
Institute: P.A. Inamdar College of Visual Effects, Design & Arts


Advocate for Education
Institute: Design Skills Academy.
Individual: Mike (Madhava Reddy) Yatham.

Education Technology Innovator of the Year 

  • IACG Multimedia College 
  • Prime Focus Academy of Media and Entertainment Studies

Emerging Leader
Institute: ITM Institute of Design and Media

Innovative Curriculum Award
Institute: Whistling Woods International


  • Bhavika Chouhan 
  • Vinita Bachani 
  • Amala Akkineni



  • Toonz Academy 
  • Tron Education


  • Ashish Kulkarni
  • Anuj Kacker
  • Mohit Soni
  • Rajesh Turakhia
  • Vishal Jain

The second edition of EduSpark Summit & Awards was a gathering of creative professionals, industry leaders, educationists and aspiring artists under one roof. The event ended with the participants leaving with a day full of insightful and engaging conversations, with a promise to be back for the next edition.