CII’s India – The Big Picture Conference kicks off in Goa

Mumbai: Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting and External Affairs Anand Sharma has assured all help and assistance to boost media and entertainment industry in the country, which he described as not only entertaining but also educating in social life and employment generating.

Sharma was speaking at the inaugural function of the day long India – The Big Picture Conference organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries in Panaji today. ‘New Dreams, New Directions’ was the theme of the Conference.

Sharma said that the country has bountiful creative and technological talent available, and can become hub for outsourcing as well as making and exporting original animation films to other parts of the world. He said, "The Government has liberalized the policy with regard to foreign direct investment and expressed hope that the foreign companies will take the benefit of this in ever-greater numbers to usher in new models that will lead to greater cooperation and greater profitability. The initiatives taken in this direction has already started yielding results."

The minister also announced plans to set up a National Centre of Excellence for gaming, animation and visual effects and a Moving Image Museum at Mumbai. There are also plans for upgrading the Films and TV Institute of India, Pune and adding new streams of courses to meet the demand in new emerging areas. The National Film Archives of India too is being upgraded for preserving classic films.

Sharma described cinema industry as the most powerful unifying bond amongst Indians, which he said also has the potential of bringing together various cultures and peoples of the world and can ultimately help development of tourism sector of the country. The Minister stressed on evolving plans for utilizing natural beauty of the country for promoting the country as shooting destination of the world.

Chief Minister of Goa Digamber V. Kamat said that the brand name of Goa for international film festivals is fast catching up and Government will leave no stone unturned to establish it further. He said, "An ideal location for establishing world class infrastructure for shooting, where film people from all over the world can come is being identified in Goa."

I&B secretary Sushma Singh described the film industry as the fastest growing sector of the Indian economy. Singh said that the government has already formulated policy on IPTV and policy on Mobile TV is under active consideration. The government is keenly observing technological advancement in the entertainment sector and the policy on convergence and regulations aimed at developing new models of entertainment will also be formulated taking the industry in confidence. Third phase of FM radio is also on the cards, she said.

The conference deliberated upon New Revenue Streams –Merchandising & Theatre Chains, New Media and developing New Markets. The Seminar was attended by film personalities in large numbers.