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FICCI Frames Diary, Day 3

Shahrukh Khan
The last and final day at FICCI Frames didn't turn out to be as hectic and loaded with seminars as the previous ones, but certainly had quite a few high-profile dignitaries as speakers. It's safe to say it turned out to be a star studded finale of the three day event. Here are the highlights.

A panel discussion on 'User Generated Content' was an apt one following the discussions over evolving digital technologies over the past two days. The discussion was moderated by Neeraj Roy, CEO & MD, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, had a panel of senior executives from technology developers and content providers - discussing the impact user generated content will have on different mediums. The panel also discussed the room for growth in this arena and the technological advancements that need to hand-in-hand to support content creation.

Like the previous two days, there was another session dealing with the television industry. It's nice to see that FICCI has been giving TV equal importance as the film industry. Moderated by Jagdish Kumar, President South India, Star TV Pvt. Ltd., the panel on "Where is the profitability in the TV industry" consisted of COOs, CEOs and MDs of the major TV channels. The panelists busted some myths about the TV industry's revenue turnover and then proceeded to discuss the prospects and avenues they are trying to monetize for higher profitability.

A discussion on film marketing was next, where the panelist shed light on the innovative strategies utilized in the past to those which are in play currently. The use of handheld platforms and internet was highly stressed upon, especially since the recent times have seen many films being released over the internet. The panelists found that to be a safer medium and also a great profit earning move. The future of digital-exhibition in Indian theatres was also brought up. With the lower costs of distribution, releasing films has become considerably cheaper and will aid smaller budget films to find a release.

A key note address by Uday Shankar, CEO of Star India - was thronged by delegates.

As we drew closer to the evening, the major highlights of the day began to roll out. The session on 'Film Industry Anti-Piracy Coalition Launch', with personalities like Yash Chopra, Harish Dayani, Siddharth Roy Kapoor and Sandeep Bhargava on stage brought out alarming facts and figures to establish the magnitude of losses suffered by the Indian film industry due to piracy - an astronomical amount of close to 20,000 crores. Many reports have stated that a major chunk of this money earned by pirates goes on to fuel terrorism and anti-state activities. The film industry, it seems has decided to come together and fight this evil along with the help of the government.

The next discussion on a key topic - 'Entertaining India in the Next Decade' was moderated by NDTV'S Vikram Chandra and the panel consisted of actress Vidya Balan, theatre personality Sanjna Kapoor, music composers Vishal and Shekhar and Yash Chopra. Together they painted an optimistic image of the future as they saw potential in emerging talent which is going to be supported adequately with evolving technologies. The internet according to all of them will make content much more accessible to the masses and hence change the scenario all together - but not in away where it would replace film and theatre, but instead create a new genre of entertainment.

The valedictory session had Ambika Soni, I&B minister of India and Ashok Amritraj giving the keynote addresses. Ambika Soni spoke about her opinions on the issues raised in the last 3 days of FICCI and also discussed the actions she will take to resolve those issues. Most importantly she elaborated on what will be the steps the government will take to combat piracy.

FICCI Frames concluded with an award ceremony, which honored various personalities from the Indian media industry. The winners included big names that were present personally to collect the awards - Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Ranbir Kapoor and Shahrukh Khan. The award ceremony turned out to be a gala event, with music performances and short speeches.

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