Must address problems of $2 bn Indian film industry: Experts

Mumbai: Problems plaguing the $2 billion Indian film industry, apart from issues such as promotion of cinema and the advent of digitisation, were in sharp focus at an annual conclave on media and entertainment industry that kicked off here Wednesday.

"Indian film industry is passing through great problems," said veteran Bollywood director Yash Chopra, speaking at the FICCI-Frames conclave, hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

"The government has not taken the problems seriously enough. I want to use this platform to spread awareness because it`s a crucial time for us," Chopra, who also serves as the chair of the industry lobby`s entertainment committee, said at the well-attended event.

The Indian entertainment and media industry saw a dynamic growth in the past year except the film industry and Chopra felt this segment of industry was facing many problems that need to be tackled. He hoped for healthy debates on how these can be addressesd.

According to a report released at the conclave here, the Indian media and entertainment Eindustry registered a 11 percent growth in 2010 to touch Rs.652 billion. But the year was a challenging one for the film industry.

With better content, increase in multiplexes, investment in research and continued cost corrections, the industry was estimated to grow from Rs.83 billion to Rs.132 billion by 2015, said the report prepared jointly by FICCI and global consultancy KPMG.

Other speakers at the inaugural session included celebrated actor Kamal Haasan, chairman and chief executive of News Corp James Murdoch and Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot. Filmmaker Karan Johar moderated the session.

"Developments in technology have helped in shaping the industry as well. Today, we stand at an important point in the journey of technology," said Pilot, commenting on the use of modern techniques in the media and entertainment business.

"One predictable change that has happened after the penetration of digitization is the change of equipment of the entertainment industry -- from analog to digital mode. This change has happened rapidly."

Murdoch, too, emphasised on digitisation.

"It is the key to unlock the potential of the creative sector. With digitisation, the Indian industry will finally have the incentives to invest and create. More important, Indian customers will have the content and choice worthy of their nation`s rich diversity."

Others on the dias included FICCI president Harsh Mariwala, Canadian High Commissioner to India and Bhutan Stewart Beck, Star TV chief executive Uday Shankar, Eros International executive vice chairman Sunil Lulla and actress Anushka Sharma.


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