#Frames2013 Time for the M&E sector to take the next audacious leap

13 Mar,2013

 

By Kshama Rao

 

The 14th edition of FICCI-Frames started on March 12, 2013 at Hotel Renaissance, Mumbai with this year’s theme being ‘Engaging a Billion Consumers’. The first day of the three-day convention started with Karan Johar, Co-Chair, FICCI-Frames moderating it with FICCI President Naina Lal Kidwai kick-starting the morning event calling it an “annual Mecca where the media and entertainment industries came together to take stock of the year gone by”. This was followed by Uday Shankar, chairman, FICCI Media and Entertainment Committee, talking about the theme this year and another keynote address by Andy Bird, Chairman, Walt Disney International. Other key members on the dais were Dr Soon Tae Park, deputy minister, ministry of culture, sports and tourism, Republic of Korea (Korea being the partner country for this edition) and Perneet Kaur, Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India.

 

Text of Uday Shankar’s keynote

While everyone made the right noises about digitization being the “significant driver of change”, the 100 crore b-o success “our next milestone has to be a 1000 crore one” and the various ways to engage a billion consumer through different media, it was Mr Shankar’s – he has got into the shoes of the late Yash Chopra to take on the mantle for taking FICCI to newer heights – fire and brimstone speech that had the audiences applauding the loudest. He said, “It’s time for the next audacious leap for the media and entertainment industry to take, setting a new milestone. The unthinkable is happening with digitization and though it’s taken a little while it’s happening for sure.” He then called for the government to align itself with the industry and its drivers for change. He asked for a pressing need to see the media and entertainment industry as any other business sector and work towards formulating policies and bring about change that could be a win-win situation for everyone concerned. He said it’s “time to nourish the industry and fuel it with policies and that in doing so, a change in the mind-set was required.”

 

He also talked about a strong desperate need for “measurement” and that lack of data in terms of viewership and footfalls in theatres being the single-most deterrent in the progress and functioning of the industry. “No one really knows the size of the market he or she is catering to, we don’t know the exact viewership; a film producer doesn’t even know how many people have bought tickets to his film! Let’s not forget that rational business decisions are made and based on accurate numbers which we don’t seem to have!”

 

Last but not the least, Shankar lamented about how despite being a largest democracy, we seem to have patience for those who practice intolerance. “Creative freedom comes with a premium. Freedom of speech is threatened here all the time.”

 

He also wondered why a film like a Slumdog Millionaire or a Life of Pi couldn’t have been produced out of India and it’s time we did so.

 

Andy Bird spoke among other things about the coming together of creativity, technology and the tapping of the international market at Disney as also the buying out of UTV and its contribution in helping Disney understand the Indian markets better.

 

While Ms Kaur lauded the efforts of FICCI and wished them in their endeavor, she also stated that as the upholders of the Indian culture the “entertainment industry also should show some restraint”.

 

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