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Entertainment industry needs to train, nurture talent

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MUMBAI: The industry needs trained talent to rise from slumber! The entertainment industry needs to brace itself for harder time if it does not act soon - was the central theme of the seminar on "Education and Manpower Training: Mandatory for growth" held on the first day of Ficci FRAMES 2003. It also highlighted the pressing need to re-organise the entire industry.

 

Here are some snapshots of the interesting array of opinions expressed during the discussions and some responses to the questions raised at the end of the session.

iSOMES director Nalin Kohli donned the twin role of a speaker and moderator. Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advance Learning president and CEO Robert Turner spoke extensively about the Canadian media education scenario and his institution in particular.

To illustrate his point, Turner presented an animated film conceived and executed by the students of the institute. While stressing on the importance of collaborating various media on an international level, he spoke about the possible contribution which institutions (like the one he represented) could make.

Turner spoke about the need to draw a common international syllabus for media studies. He also expressed the need to garner international talent from India and other emerging economies. In the course of the lecture, he showed his willingness to collaborate with the Indian institutes to chalk out a study course.

Turner's pitch was supported by statistics and charts which showed that there were a large number of students studying in the Canadian Institutes. These students receive job offers from prestigious media companies and take home a handsome pay packet, he added.

The second speaker of the day, Cybermedia group CEO Pradeep Gupta, began by speaking about the institute he represented, the School of Convergence.

During the course of his lecture, Gupta spoke about the new media that is fast emerging and the shift of media focus from vertical to horizontal. To illustrate the new age media he discussed the current cricket World Cup match scores,especially the India versus Australia match and drew some kind of a parallel.

To illustrate his point Gupta said: " Content essentially is the match but while I received it via SMS; some one else might have heard it on radio while somebody must have seen it on the television".

Convergence media was the focal point of Gupta's speech. Coincidentally, the educational institute that he represented was also based on the same theme. "Over the years we may have created a damn good technicians but if they do not know the business aspect of the media it is just a sheer waste of talent," Gupta added.

Gupta also spoke about the future evolution of India as an important media centre and a major animation hub. And after a four minute movie presentation created by the students of the institute that showcased their talent, Gupta set the stage for the next speaker.

The third speaker was National School of Drama director and well-known film personality Anupam Kher. "With a slew of satellite channels and subsequent plethora of shows, media professionals are churned out at an unbelievable speed. Anybody can get up and say that I am an actor, similarly any body with pot loads of money can claim to be a professional and you cannot stop them," stated Kher while describing the sorry state of the industry.

After a short but emotional narration of his days of struggle, Kher spoke about the need for trained professionals. To emphasise on the importance of training he said: "I did not falter after innumerable humiliations and insufferable poverty because I had the arrogance of education".

Another issue that Kher dwelt into was the mushrooming of media institutes. He emphasised that the genuine institutes need not be paranoid as only the good one have the capability to survive.

The last speaker of the day Nalin Kohli rushed through his entire presentation about the institute, a subsidiary of BAG films iSOMES. Highlighting the importance of training he said: "Unlike a decade ago, the media scene especially that of television, has become exceedingly cut-throat. and it seems sheer waste of both money and manpower."

During the Q&A session that followed several members of the audience refused to buy the claim that enough has been done. They opined that the bigwigs of the media need to stop passing the buck and put their arms together to give back what they got

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