Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur today addressed the India Forum at the famous Palais des Festivals in Cannes. Representing a 6000 year old culture and 1.3 billion people the Minister delivered his keynote address in front of audience comprising foreign and Indian filmmakers, journalists and delegates.
This year marks the 75th year celebration of both Cannes Film Festival and of establishment of India-France diplomatic relations. Speaking on the importance of Cannes the Minister said that over the years, ‘Festival de Cannes’ has played a significant role in strengthening Indo-French relations. The Minister noted historic highs of Indian cinema and said that Indian content has been ruling the hearts and minds of the global audience and the stepping stone was laid by bestowing the Palme d’Or to the prolific Indian filmmaker Chetan Anand’s film Neecha Nagar in 1946 and a decade later in 1956, Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali won the Palme d’Or. Today the recognition of our cinematic excellence the world over is set to manifest the country into the ‘content hub of the world’, the Minister added.
Speaking on India’s current presence in Cannes the Minister said “India intends to give you – the global audience, a flavour of the country’s cinematic excellence, technological prowess, rich culture and illustrious heritage of storytelling”. “India’s red carpet presence captured the diversity of our cinematic excellence not only in terms of representation of actors and film makers from various languages and regions, but also OTT platforms, with a strong presence of music composers and a folk artist who have enthralled audiences both young and old”, the Minister further added.
The Minister informed the audience about the presence of Indian startups in Cannes and said the startups from media and entertainment sector will showcase their technological prowess and pitch to the best from the world of AVGC along with a strong delegation of animation professionals from the sector.
The Minister informed the audience of the various measures by both Union and State governments and said while Center has envisioned major initiatives over the last 8 years to boost co-productions, film shoots and film facilitations in India, States like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have formulated their own film facilitation policies and provided co-production opportunities. He stated that these efforts aimed at boosting India’s media and entertainment ecosystem, which is expected to generate USD 53 billion annually by 2025.
In one such measure, “Government of India officially designated audiovisual services as one of 12 ‘champion service sectors’ and recently set up an AVGC task force comprising of industry leaders to prepare a policy roadmap for India to take a quantum leap in this sector and position us as the preferred ‘post production hub of the world’ “.
Anurag Thakur said that on one hand artificial intelligence, virtual reality, immersive technologies such as the Metaverse, present immense possibilities to India’s IT skilled workforce, the OTT market in India is predicted to grow at 21% annually to nearly 2 Billion Dollars by 2024 on the other.
The Minister promised that the Government will take all necessary measures to transform India into a Global Content Sub Continent and use the skills of our youth to make India the preferred Post Production Hub for the AVGC sector and to that end Government will speed up co-production collaborations from around the world and also offer the best locations in India for Film Shoots. These steps, Shri Thakur envisioned, will in the next 5 years, catapult Bharat into the league of leading quality content producing nations across the globe.
Thakur concluded his statement by extending a warm invitation to shoot in India, bask in its hospitality and relish its breathtaking landscape.
Shekhar Kapur spoke about the effect of access to cheap broadband and mobile devices having a disruptive effect on movie industry and said that India is about to become the world’s biggest ‘influencer economy’ and that cinema will soon be redefined by the young film makers.
India is a pool of restless dreams, dreams that are restless to make it big, of looking forward, added Shri Prasoon Joshi to the comment of Shri Shekhar Kapur. Shri Joshi further added that India has more and more self-belief, and that it shows in terms of the quality of recent cinematic productions. When a civilisation can express its core authentically, he argued, it becomes even stronger.
Apurva Chandra cited movies like Lunchbox, Mr and Mrs Iyer and Rocketry that are typically Indian in their story but have resonated with audience across the world. He further reiterated the incentives announced by the Government of India yesterday for film makers from across the world.
- Madhavan commented on how India has so much to tell the world in the field of science and technology and the cinema world must explore this idea. From Aryabhatta to Sundar Pichai India has extraordinary stories which are aspirations of youngsters around the world. Shri Madhvan also argued that the advance of new technologies is offering new opportunities to the cinema industry. He reminded that, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the micro economy has grown spectacularly; he suggested that digitalisation will offer new avenues to shine for Indian cinema.
Philippe Avril, French Producer who has worked in the past with Tamil and Malayalam movies, applauded the move, which he labelled as significant. He commented that India has immense talent and extraordinary potential in terms of story-telling but that cultural barriers can sometimes prevent stories to reach foreign audiences. To ensure that Indian stories are not lost in translation and effectively reach foreign audiences, Philippe Avril advised to encourage co-production across countries, which is precisely the strategy of the Government of India.