Entertainment: It’s happening in India
WIPO Deputy Director General Rita Hayes meets leading figures from the Indian and international film industry.
A not-to-be-missed event for entertainment industry leaders of the Asian region, FRAMES held its sixth annual convention from April 4 to 6 in Mumbai on the theme: Entertainment: It’s happening in India. An initiative of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), FRAMES reflected the entertainment sector boom in India and India’s rising leadership position in the global entertainment marketplace.
The “Bollywood” film industry is one manifestation of this. Bollywood, with recent international hits such as Monsoon Wedding, Bride and Prejudice and Veer Zaara, represents a particular kind of movie, developed around dance, romance and strong family themes. “Like Hollywood movies, Bollywood movies take us away from our ordinary lives,” said Dan Glickman, the President of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. attending the FRAMES conference. “Great stories make great movies, in any language and in any culture. There is evidence of increasing cross-fertilization between these two great film capitals.”
PriceWaterhouse Coopers’ (PWC) 2005 report “The Indian Entertainment Industry: An Unfolding Opportunity,” presented at FRAMES, identifies the Indian film industry as the largest in the world in terms of the number of films produced and of admissions to cinemas. India produced some 934 films in 2004, including 254 in Hindi, 208 in the south Indian language of Telugu, and 130 in Tamil. Admissions in 2004, reached a record 3.1 billion, the highest in the world – the United States lags far behind at 1.5 billion. The creative industries sector is one of the fastest growing in the Indian economy, and growth is predicted to continue at an 18 percent compound annual rate. The largest contributor is expected to be the television sector – substantial investments have been made in the pay TV sector – followed by film.
Emerging technology such as digitalization and broadband will pave the way for the Indian copyright-based industries’ growth into the next decade. The animation industry and the gaming sector are also growing at a rapid pace. The combination of creativity, technological capabilities and competitive production costs explains why significant segments of the animation markets are being outsourced to India, and why the number of co-productions is increasing. However, discussions at FRAMES stressed that success will depend upon the industries’ ability to secure rights over content. According to the PWC report, television piracy is a major problem in the region: “Consumers either tap into lines or use illegal set top boxes. India has the greatest piracy loss in the region at US$565 million in 2004.”
The FRAMES inaugural ceremony gathered S. Jaipal Reddy, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, film star Amitabh Bachchan (known to fans as “Big B”), renowned director- producer Yash Chopra and ZEE TV Chairman Subash Chandra. WIPO Deputy Director General Rita Hayes gave the keynote address, in which she underlined the unprecedented interest in Indian entertainment and the consolidation of the Indian position on the global entertainment map. She stressed the need to provide a secure market place through effective enforcement and education of the stakeholders and the public to deal efficiently with the challenges of piracy.
Together with FICCI, WIPO also initiated a pioneering educational program on contracts for Indian filmmakers at the FRAMES convention. Top industry executives and a prominent New Delhi IP lawyer discussed how contractual obligations between producers, distributors, exhibitors, directors and actors should be drafted and executed in order to prevent the illegal distribution of films.