MUMBAI – The annual FICCI FRAMES three-day industry confab opened Wednesday in Mumbai with a keynote speech by Motion Picture Association of America chairman and CEO Chris Dodd, which also marked the former senator’s first visit to India. Attended by key film and entertainment industry figures, the event is organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry with this year’s partner country being Japan.
“I am honored to be here to celebrate with all of you something else that unites our two countries: movies. Like America, India is a nation where movies matter. And as in America, movies matter not only to the richness of your culture but to the vibrancy of your economy and the prosperity of the Indian middle class,” said Dodd.
Commenting on the rapid growth of the Indian film industry, Dodd added, “Two years ago the Indian film industry was a $3.2 billion industry. Two years from now, in 2014, it is estimated to exceed $5 billion, which is incredible. The industry contributes an estimated $645 million to the Indian economy each year and supports an estimated 1.8 million jobs. As the trade body for the Hollywood entertainment industry, MPAA could not be more delighted.”
But Dodd also drew drew attention to the threat of content theft to the industry, “Content theft threatens the health of our industry and the prospects for its future success. According to a report by Ernst & Young, movie theft costs the Indian film industry nearly a billion dollars each year and threatens more than half million Indian jobs. I bring this up not to cast a shadow on your success but rather to invite you to join us in common purpose. Content theft is a global problem and we must have a global commitment to solving it. This is an important opportunity for the Indian government to move forward with strong protections against online theft. We encourage the Indian film industry to reject as we have, the false argument that you cannot be pro-technology and pro-copyright at the same time and we applaud India’s aggressive plans for broadband and cable TV digitization.”
In addition to presentations by leading industry executives, the 13th FICCI FRAMES event will also include masterclass sessions featuring the likes of director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy), visual effects Oscar winner Harvey Lowry (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and award-winning editor Mark Goldblatt (Terminator, True Lies, Return of the Planet of the Apes), among others.