MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT
Identified as a champion sector by Government of India, the Indian Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry is experiencing significant transformation combined with exponential growth. Over the years, the CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment has launched a slew of initiatives to foster growth in this sector. Regular meetings with key stakeholders on critical policy issues, year-round conferences and events that advocate expansion of the M&E sector have played a pivotal role in steering the growth of the sector. M&E’s potential to contribute towards GDP growth, export soft power, build socio-cultural empowerment and create jobs.
CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment has driven its vision to create growth templates in all verticals of the sector and to bring it on a common platform through a series of policy advocacy efforts. Stakeholder views and concerns on critical matters such as GST, improving the ease of doing business, skill development, export of cultural goods were persistently taken up with policy makers.
A strong need for a National M&E Policy is the need of the hour, given that India’s M&E Sector is governed by multiple acts, regulations, licensing and regulatory bodies. CII continued to advocate for a “featherlight touch content regulation centered on robust self-regulation. As media technologies converge rendering existing laws and regulations obsolete, a recommendation was made for the Government to set up a convergence commission to harmonize regulations on all entertainment formats.
Given the expectation that growth in infrastructure investments could make India the global M&E hub, the need for granting infrastructure status to M&E industry was further emphasized. Suggestions were made for enhancing ease of doing business in the sector by creating a robust online, time-based, single-window, transparent mechanism for granting permissions to channels, events, films, satellite bandwidth amongst others.
Though India has Audio Visual Co-Production treaties with 13 countries, in the last 15 years only a handful of films have been co-produced under these treaties. It was suggested that the Government set up a coproduction fund to encourage independent filmmakers to initiate projects under these treaties. Extension of the co-production treaties to services where India has a competitive advantage such as audio-visual services, post production and VFX was also advocated.
Amendments proposed to make the Cinematograph Act of 1952 more contemporary with the changing dynamics of the Indian and global cinema were pursued with the Government during the year.
Piracy threatens not only the M&E Sector but also impacts the Government’s tax revenue. A dedicated centralized anti-piracy wing that helps Industry coordinate with law enforcement agencies and other ministries to ensure that piracy/ copyright theft are curtailed has thus been strongly suggested to the Government. CII is also advocating for a centralized multi-agency body to deal with IPR infringement.
Though Indian films earn about 75% revenue from distribution, the cinema screen density in the country is amongst the lowest in the world. To address this challenge, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been requested to set up a Task Force comprising State Government representatives, NITI Aayog and key industry stakeholders to explore the faster issuance of licenses and permissions for film exhibition.
CII continued its efforts to promote Indian Cinema and other M&E industry verticals at the International Film Festivals and other international platforms, to help India secure its rightful place in the global M&E landscape. Participation in the Berlinale/European Film Festival, February 2018 in association with Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) helped project Indian Cinema, promote shooting locales and film related services in India.
India’s high level delegation at the European Film Market (EFM) discussed the changing narrative of India cinema with foreign delegates during discussions held at the Indian Embassy, Berlin, EFM Buyers’ Lounge and EFM Producers’ Hub. The delegates expressed their keenness to co-produce, shoot in Indian locales and engage with India.
CII’s 17th consecutive year at the Cannes Film Festival/ Market in May 2018 gave a fillip to the Indian entertainment industry on the global front. The Opening Cocktails, hosted in partnership with the Cannes Film Festival, at the 15th edition of the Producers’ Network and Industry Workshops saw participation of Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Ambassador of India to France and India’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Paris.
The first ever Indian M&E industry delegation to the Toronto International Film Festival (43rd edition), organised in partnership with the Ministry of I&B, was led by Mr Ashok Kumar Parmar, Joint Secretary-Films, Ministry of I&B. The delegation discussed India-Canada Co-production Treaty, ways & the means to ensure better co-operation and refinement of the policy structure between the two countries with the National Film Board of Canada, Canadian Film Commissions, Locarno Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival, Canadian Heritage, Screen Australia, AusFilm, Canada Media Fund, Telefilm Canada and other stakeholders.
The Global Exhibition on Services 2018 in Mumbai, served as a platform for over 20 international M&E buyers/investors to meet Indian companies and for Indian post production companies to expand their global reach.
In a closed door CEOs Roundtable with Mr Amit Khare, Secretary to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, the Secretary addressed the current issues & problem, while further advocating introduction of sectorial policies and regulation.
The 7th edition of the CII Big Picture Summit themed ‘Changing Media and Entertainment Landscape – From Convergence to Transformation’ addressed the M&E sector’s issues and challenges. The Summit saw over 75 industry captains, policy makers, thought leaders and other stakeholders interact with about 250 delegates to create a roadmap for the sector’s growth. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Electronics & IT and Law & Justice led the key Government officials in sharing their views and plans for the M&E sector’s growth ‘One Consumer, Many Interactions’, a CII-BCG report, released at the Summit, captures the changing media landscape where content, consumer and technology are wedded to each other.