Shekhar Kapur, Vani Tripathi Tikoo bat for creative freedom of OTT platforms

The duo has authored a report 'Embracing NonLinearity: The Future of India's Entertainment Industry', which has been published by Esya Centre

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 4, 2020 4:01 PM
Shekhar Kapoor Vani Tripathi Tikoo

Technology policy thinktank Esya Centre has published a report titled 'Embracing NonLinearity: The Future of India's Entertainment Industry', which calls for promoting creative freedom of OTT platforms.

The report has been authored by filmmaker and Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Chairman Shekhar Kapur and Vani Tripathi Tikoo, actor, producer and member of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

The report assumes significance in the wake of the government's move to bring the content part of OTT platforms under the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB). The OTT industry fears that this is a step towards regulating online content.

The report has suggested the country needs to effect three important transformations: promoting creative freedom, digital products and devices, and levelling the playing field at all levels of the creative supply chain.

"The first important transformation India should undertake is to usher in creative freedom, by encouraging industry standards to help provide viewers with information about content, allowing them to make their own viewing choices," the report noted.

In the context of OTT, it says that the "industry should be encouraged to come together and standardize, to ensure consumers have all the information and technological controls they need, for making informed decisions about the content they consume".

It has further stated that such measures should seek to protect children from inappropriate materials, inform viewers about the themes of any particular content, and provide tools such as parental controls to ensure that parents can effectively regulate the content viewed by young children.

The report has pointed out that creative freedom in the context of entertainment refers to the ability of creators to tell the stories they wish to tell, in whatever manner they wish, resulting in an ecosystem with the great diversity of content.

"Creative freedom also correlates positively with the overall quality of content – it lets artists take risks and experiment, instead of sticking to tried and tested formulas. The global success of Hollywood, which remains the most influential and prosperous film industry in the world, is attributable in part to the high degree of creative freedom enjoyed by artists in the United States," the report states.

According to the report, India has three innate strengths that it must leverage to become a content hub. These strengths are cultural heritage, it being well-suited for non-linear entertainment and that we are the largest consumers of data.

It also suggested that the country should emulate South Korea to emerge as a global entertainment hub. "Our creators are prolific in terms of output, but lag behind in commercializing their works to generate greater economic value. To achieve this, India can learn from the experience of countries like South Korea, which has emerged as a global entertainment hub."

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