Glickman: India now a Hollywood partner

Co-financing and co-production both readily available

NEW DELHI -- Hollywood players should now see India as a major partner for film co-financing and co-productions, MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview Tuesday.

On Monday, the MPA and representatives of leading theatrical chains PVR Cinemas and Big Cinemas launched "Make a Difference," an initiative against camcorder piracy which will set up a series of anti-camcorder training sessions for theater employees across the country.

"India and the U.S. have a special relationship when it comes to movies given that both countries have major film production industries. In a rapidly globalized world coupled with technological advances, it's only natural that filmmaking is becoming a truly global enterprise," Glickman added, in light of Reliance Big Entertainment (which also owns Big Cinemas) co-financing DreamWorks' recent exit from Paramount.

Looking at Hollywood's business history with Asia, such as Japan's Sony buying Columbia Pictures in the 1980s, Glickman said that India "is unique in that it has a huge film industry with a sizable audience. The Hollywood studios are looking to broaden their market in India while Indian films are seeking to gain more market share in the U.S. One of the ways to do that is to co-finance and co-produce films. This is growing steadily given that over the last couple of years Hollywood studios have forayed into Indian film production while Indian companies are now being seen as serious sources of co-financing by Hollywood players."

Glickman also noted that the Indian theatrical landscape was going digital "which is helpful for the shift to 3D, which also helps combat piracy." India has also adopted a digital platform, dubbed E-Cinema, that does not adhere to the Hollywood studios' approved Digital Cinema Initiative standards for d-cinema that specifies a 2K resolution. "The choice of standards is really a decision of the studios and we as the MPA do not have any role to play in this matter," Glickman said.

Comparing China to India, Glickman noted that China "still has market access problems for Hollywood studios, unlike India which also has more awareness against piracy considering that the local industry here also suffers from piracy. Also, there is more creative freedom in India compared to China when it comes to producing local content."

The MPA also launched a program Tuesday in New Delhi with the U.S. Embassy's cultural wing U.S. Information Service, which runs the American Center, will host premieres of major Hollywood releases in the city ahead of their commercial release.