Did someone say, beware of the Ides of March? Well, if you are hoping to be a substantial stakeholder in the global entertainment industry, March 15 this year should actually see you hooked to the proceedings at FRAMES 2004 in Mumbai.
FRAMES, since its inception in 2000, has become the most definitive benchmark for cross-flow of business ideas and opportunities in the domestic entertainment domain. True to the ‘fabulous’ business opportunities that are emerging in the entertainment industry globally, Ficci, the organizer of the annual conference, has decided to scale up the event several notches. For starters, the conference will have the presence of a 14-member business delegation from entertainment giant Walt Disney International, led by its president, Andy Bird. The global character of the conference will be further honed by the participation of business delegations from the UK, Canada, Australia and Pakistan.
Importantly, the conference will steer clear of any hype and be highly business-focussed. Ficci Secretary-General, Dr Amit Mitra, substantiated this by stating that “there are fabulous opportunities in the entertainment industry and all these will get showcased at the conference’’.
Animation and gaming are two distinct areas that have seen exponential growth in business opportunities. True to this, FRAMES 2004 has provided for special sessions on both these areas. Siddhartha Dasgupta, Joint Director, Ficci, who has virtually set the stage for FRAMES 2004, said that special Animation FRAMES Awards in ten different categories will be given out on Day 2 of the three-day conference.
On the gaming front, the conference will see the presence of global major Electronics Arts, which is the fourth largest global company in terms of market capitalization. Indian gaming companies like Jadoo Works, India Gaming and Contest2Win will also mark their presence. “Gaming is today a $28-billion global industry and there are possibilities of work in this field being outsourced to Indian players,” Mitra said.
The BPO-backlash notwithstanding, outsourcing opportunities galore in the pre-and-post film production processes. “A co-production treaty has been signed with Italy. Similar treaties will be signed shortly with six other countries. This will open up tremendous business opportunities for those engaged in pre-and-post film production in the country,” he said.
Business development is the raison d’etre of FRAMES. To further this goal, this year’s edition will have 16 and not 25 sessions. “We felt the participants should have sufficient time to ideate, as also assimilate all that happens at the conference. We have also narrow-focussed many of the themes to pure business matters, like ROI in TV, ROI in advertising, experience with pay TV, etc.,” Dasgupta explained.
Two months ago Ficci had launched a website that facilitates the funding of film projects as per international norms. Dasgupta said the conference will also be an opportune moment for the lending agencies and the applicants to take their discussions on individual projects further.
Notably, discussions on talent management in the entertainment industry will also figure prominently at the conference. “The Rs 30,000-crore domestic entertainment industry is woefully lacking in talent management. Three Canadian institutes would be here scouting for partners to set up training programmes,” Dasgupta informed.
FRAMES 2004 will then a multi-pronged effort to grow the entertainment industry, in India and overseas. “We have come a long way since 2000. After all, it was the annual conference that won ‘industry status’ for the domestic entertainment segment. Several entertainment companies in due course launched their IPOs. FRAMES indeed gave vision and shape to the entertainment industry,” Dasgupta said.