FICCI Frames 2008 has generated a lot of interest not just in India but among the large number of foreign delegates as well. The opening day saw special addresses by guests of honour, including Stewart Beck, Assistant Deputy Minister, Investment, Innovation and Sectors, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada; Dominique Dreyer, Ambassador of Switzerland to India; and Viviane Reding, European Commissioner, Information Society & Media, European Commission.
Beck termed FICCI Frames as the best forum to bring India, Canada and the world’s best minds to come together to exchange ideas. He said, “Canada is strengthening itself economically and socially. Last year, India played an important role in Canada’s prosperity, by making investments to the tune of $5 billion in Canada, and this figure is growing. Moreover, India also has a big role to play in the era of globalisation.”
Commenting on the gaming industry in his country, Beck said, “Canada is one of the biggest producers of video games. There are 2,300 gaming companies in Canada, with an 80,000-strong workforce. Our gaming industry is growing at a rate of 20 per cent and we are the leaders in animation and special effects. We are looking forward to India filming more movies in Canada, besides looking at more gaming partnerships with India.”
Dreyer said, “We (Switzerland) are the partner country this year. Bollywood films have made Switzerland known in India, and we are thankful to Yash Chopra for choosing Switzerland as the destination for Bollywood films. We are looking forward for more tie-ups with Indian films.”
Reding observed, “The European Commission’s role is to facilitate filmmakers to make good and relevant cinema. UNESCO has a joint venture with India to bring to the fore the cultural diversity of the country. We can achieve a lot together as Europe and India have a lot of similarities regarding cultural diversity. Both India and
Europe have 22 languages, both countries have same democracy, rule of law and freedom of expression. Now, we need to fight censorship worldwide. Both Europe and India make nearly a thousand films a year and films are our heritage. We should give importance to free trade agreement as there is a Chapter on Culture Cooperation. We have formed a new media legislation that is tuned in to the new technologies, but preserves our rich cultural heritage.”
Addressing the gathering, Amit Khanna, Chairman, Reliance Entertainment, and FICCI Convergence, said, “Today, Internet is the backbone of our economy. The media and entertainment industry is worth $2 trillion today. In a few years, the size of this industry would be worth $30 trillion. Entertainment is big business today, even grim coverage of news about wars, elections and crime have become akin to entertainment.”
Khanna further said, “Along with technology, demographics and culture are going to be global forces. However, for media practioners in Indian entertainment, I believe this whole debate is about access, delivery and content, all of which are going to change dramatically. Currently, we don’t have a proper convergence law in place. I believe people would agree to receive services in exchange of monetising the attention. There is overlapping of technologies in multiple forms. Services can be monetized too. We need to reinvent our policy and realise that trust and talent can’t be copied.”