ON THE WAY TO BEING GLOBAL CONTENT HUB: INDIA FORUM
The main stage Riviera at the Cannes Palais shone bright in Indian colours at the India Forum panel discussion on Day 3 of the Cannes Film Festival. Moderated by filmmaker and CBFC member Vani Tripathi Tikoo, the discussion had Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur make an impressive pitch about India becoming the new global content hub. He said, “Our digital demography, immense technological talent, cultural diversity and multitude of local stories give us global advantage.” It was echoed by Apurva Chandra, Secretary, I&B Ministry, who spoke of the incentives announced to attract international productions.
Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said, “India is going to be the new influence economy”, and predicted India’s media and entertainment sector turn into a trillion dollar industry. While European filmmaker Philippe Avril made a point about Indian filmmaking discovering an ecosystem of its own, CBFC chairperson Prasoon Joshi earned applause by making a key point about new-age Indian filmmakers not being ridden by inhibitions or lack of confidence. “India is raring to go,” he said. The discussion turned into a debate when Scott Roxborough, Europe Bureau Chief, The Hollywood Reporter, advised caution against being “too boisterous”, and political intervention coming in the way of creative pursuits in Indian filmmaking. A counterpoint was made by actor-filmmaker R Madhavan: “India is beyond the point of Western appeasement.” He also advocated for more films to be made on India’s achievements in science and tech. Meanwhile, Grammy winner Ricky Kej, who was in the audience, spoke about the significance of collaboration.
The discussion ended on a high note with Tikoo reciting a Hindi couplet and calling for India to march towards becoming a global content giant.