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Technology upgradation key for robust growth of entertainment industry news
10 October 2008

Chennai: The government is proposing to invest around Rs240 crore for various development projects for the film industry including setting up of a national centre of excellence for animation, gaming and visual effects  said V B Pyarelal, joint secretary, ministry of information and broadcasting, government of India, while delivering his inaugural address at the seminar on "Growing Power of Regional Cinema" organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Chennai.

The proposed centre of excellence would promote technical talent in the entertainment sector through specific courses such as animation, digitization, visual effects, etc. Rs 50 crore would be set aside for this project said Pyarelal.

He said that the government is taking all efforts to curb piracy, which is a major problem for the film industry.

The ministry is also setting up a Moving Image Museum in Mumbai. The museum will have interactive gadgets and will be preserving the heritage of the Indian film industry he said  and urged the film industry to cooperate with the government in preserving films. 

Delivering the theme address, L Suresh, president, South Indian Film Exporters Association, said, "Today, the Indian film industry is the largest in the world in terms of ticket sales, and earnings in Indian film industry is worth around $ 1.8 billion in 2006 (around Rs7,500 crore). The industry is expected to grow at 25 per cent per annum in value terms for the next four years to reach $4.5 to $5.1 billion (around Rs 20,000 crore) by 2011.

The Tamil film industry accounts for approximately 1 per cent of the gross domestic product of the state of Tamil Nadu.

He said that the export market for films from South India is growing exponentially and urged corporate houses to venture into this field. 
The film industry should leverage the huge IT talent available in Tamil Nadu to promote new technologies in the film industry, including digitisation of films said Dr C Chandramouli, IAS, IT secretary, government of Tamil Nadu in his keynote address at a special plenary session on "The Digitisation of  Regional Cinema". 

Dr Chandramouli said that the government of Tamil Nadu has introduced digitization in Arasu Cable TV network through latest technology, which bears ample proof of the state's leadership in promoting new technology in the entertainment sector. The government would also consider setting up a digital technology park in the state, if industries come forward to partner with this initiative, he added.

He said that the film industry need to introduce more technology in film making and digitisation is one such area, where it would enhance quality as well as address issues such as piracy, etc.

Dr Chandramouli also stressed on the need for creating more talent on technology related to film production, distribution, etc to meet the growing demand, especially from overseas production houses.

Speaking on 'TN cinema, moving towards value creation'.  T G Thiagarajan, co-chairman, taskforce, on TN Cinema, said, "The Tamil film industry is probably different from the others because of the value additions like content, effective distribution and marketing of films. Innovation is the key to appeal to global audience. And Tamil cinema has done well in domestic and overseas markets, he added.

S Ramasundaram, IAS, chairman and managing director, Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd, in his address at the valedictory session said that the government of Tamil Nadu was committed to the development of the film industry and TIDCO would come forward to set up a film city and studio in the state through a public-private partnership approach or joint venture mode. He urged the industry to partner with the state overnment towards initiative.

K S Srinivasan, director and CEO, Pyramid Saimira Production International Ltd said that today there are hardly any studios available for film and television shootings due to lack in infrastructure. Most of the media movie parks have been closed down. He urged the Government's support in creating more natural locations for the film industry so that the talent of the highly skilled workforce in the film industry could be retained.

Earlier in his welcome address, C K Ranganathan, vice chairman, CII Tamil Nadu, said, "The Indian film industry is on the threshold of a transformation driven by digitization and changing customer's preferences which will have a significant impact on business models - both within and across the media and entertainment value chains. 

Ranganathan said that film industry is facing several challenges in terms of protecting IP rights, nurturing a talent pool and globalization of Indian content.

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Technology upgradation key for robust growth of entertainment industry