The Big Picture Conference 2007, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) as a run-up to the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), had representatives from the Government of India sharing the platform with industry heads to address the problems hampering the growth of the film industry in India. As is the case with numerous industry forums and debates, here too, despite serious deliberations, not many solutions were forthcoming.
Addressing the assembly during the valedictory session of the two-day Conference, noted filmmaker Shekhar Kapur managed to ruffle a few feathers among the industry people, but continued to be in the good books of Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Das Munsi, who was also on the panel.
Urging the Indian industry to understand the meaning of media, Kapur defined it as “the emotional interface between a creator and a consumer”. Stressing on the need for having such industry forums, he pointed out the importance of raising proper and relevant questions to get the right answers that would help this industry go forward.
Predicting the future of this industry, Kapur said that there would be a move towards a more “event-culture”, where events would gain prominence that would in turn earn more revenues for the fraternity.
Bobby Bedi, Chairman, CII National Films Committee, was of the opinion that the discussions managed to answer a few points with regards to the digitisation of this industry, while the good and bad of corporatisation was discussed at length. “The bottlenecks in talent management have also come out clearly over the two days,” he added.
Commenting on the outcome of these extensive panel discussions, Asha Swarup, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, observed that it was “useful and helpful” for her and that she had managed to understand some of the important issues facing the industry with more clarity. When queried on whether all major issues were discussed, she replied, “While some major points were discussed, others could be discussed at the other forums organised by FICCI and NFDC (National Film Development Council) to be held over the course of the IFFI.”
Though piracy is one of the major problems facing the industry with crores of rupees in revenue lost worldwide, and though it was also one of the heated points of debates at the Conference, no concrete solutions for plugging it came out of these discussions.
With so much time and effort spent in staging these industry forums, discussions and debates, one wonders whether they really are serving the purpose, or acting as a mere networking platform for the industry representatives?