MPAA chief talks up movie biz Down Under

MUMBAI: Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) chairman and CEO Dan Glickman delivered the keynote address to delegates attending the 2007 Annual Australian International Movie Convention (AIMC), talking up the industry’s success while emphasizing the need for a flexible approach to the rapidly changing film industry.


Glickman said that the Australian box office in 2006 “was such a tremendous part of [that] global success… six percent growth over 2005… the second highest-grossing year in Aussie history… nosing out the American box office, which grew by only 5.5 per cent.”


He emphasised that it was the great diversity of films, from big budget action to smaller arthouse, available to the public today that stimulated the success of the moviegoing experience: “…they do their job,” he said. “They make us laugh. They make us cry. They make us think.”


The movie-going experience is still about community, said Glickman, even though the concept of community has evolved. Groups of teenagers, who come together online to chat on MySpace, attend a movie together as a show of independence. “The collective experience of the cinema is very consistent with this desire for community”, he said. On piracy Glickman stated that, “we want to lock arms with our partners around the world to go after the source – the folks who record and distribute these films illegally. We are working with governments around the world to get serious penalties in place that can deter this activity.”


In the move to ensure consumers enjoy their content legally, the Motion Picture Association has invested heavily in technology. “These systems not only protect copyrighted content from illegal use, they also open up new possibilities – new choices – for how consumers enjoy their content legally.”


“Ultimately we will be successful because movies tell stories unlike any other medium – stories of love, life, fantasy, humor and history that appeal to all kinds of audiences,” Glickman concluded.