Frames to focus on cinema

MUMBAI: The habit of lifting entire films frame by frame from non-Indian films is still ingrained in the Indian film industry

. Why can‘t India develop our home-grown creative talent to do original work?
This is a question to be addressed at one of the sessions at the Ficci Frames Convention to be held from 17-19 February in Mumbai. The session, "Copy, Cut, Paste to Indian Taste: Films in India" will bring together filmmakers Mahesh Bhatt, Imtiaz Ali, Shimnit Amin, Rohan Sippy, Dibankar Banerjee, and screenwriter Jaipdeep Sahni.

This year America is Frames‘ partner country. Keeping that in mind, the session "Overcoming obstacles to doing business in the world‘s two largest film markets (India and the USA)" looks at the challenges of excessive taxation, market access restrictions, labour strife and intellectual property disputes. I&B secretary Sushma Singh will deliver the session keynote. Panelists will be Anadil Hossain (Producer, Namesake and Darjeeling Limited), Elizabeth Daley (Dean, USC School of Cinematic Arts), Farokh Balsara (Leader, Entertainment Practice, Ernst & Young.)

Indian film pioneer Satyajit Ray

is the subject of a session which will assess how India‘s contemporary films match up to Ray‘s. Session moderator is filmmaker Govind Nihalani. Panelists include Javed Akhtar, Sharmila Tagore, Aparna Sen and Mrinal Sen.

Another session "Business of filmmaking 2008: agony or ecstasy?" examines the issue of why, despite the influx of capital into filmmaking, distribution and exhibition, 2008 has been one of the worst years ever for the Indian film industry.

Panelists include Goldie Behl, Vishesh Bhatt (Director, Vishesh Entertainment), Sunir Kheterpal (COO, Big Pictures), Vikas Bahl (COO, UTV Spotboy) and filmmaker Kabir Khan.

"De-risking the Cinema Business" will explore how does a small budget film become a box-office success with effective use of marketing tools? Faster TV broadcasts of freshly released films, and faster home videos releases are the new buzzwords. Mulling on this topic will be Ajay Bijli (MD and Group Chairman, PVR), Harish Dayani (CEO, Moses Baer), Madhu Mantena (Producer, Ghajini, Vijay Singh (President, FOX Studios India) and Ramesh Sippy (filmmaker).

Actor Kamal Hasaan will deliver a keynote at a session that looks at filmmaking in South India. A key issue to be covered is whether the industry should be open to outside investment or stay with the conventional structures.

The session "Globalisation of Indian Cinema" will trace the journey of Indian films into global theatres over the past decade. Looking at this will be Karan Johar, Jill Gwen (Distributor, Slumdog Millionaire), Pritish Nandy, Rahul Bose, Irrfan Khan, Tabu and Naseeruddin Shah.

For cinema lover and watchers, it can‘t get any better than this. So expect a full house.

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