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Bollywood to take on World harder

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Mumbai(UNI): While reckoning India as a global force in the entertainment business, experts said marketing local content worldwide was their biggest challenge. Speaking at a seminar, ''Bollywood's boom, a globalisation of culture'' yesterday, UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala said. ''We are insular in our approach. We have a huge domestic market and are unable to market ourself globally and it is a challenge we have to meet. We are a billion dollar industry and one-third of the world entertainment's share''.

Co-creative director and CEO of Prana Studios Pvt Ltd Kristin Dornig admitted that India is already a global force in the entertainment industry. ''My company does computer generated images for films and television from the world over,''she said. CEO of Star Group Ltd Michelle Guthrie said unlocking the full potential of local television and film content was the biggest challenge and also developing multiple revenue streams.

Producer of the movie 'Waterborne' Smriti Mundhra said, ''Branding of Bollywood is untapped and emphasis should be laid on marketing the content. Mr Screwvala on the other hand said the television industry, including news channels, were still in the nascent stage and was emerging as an extremely powerful medium. Ms Mundhra insisted that film and television content had proved effective in changing cultural biases.

Mr Screwvala admitted that regional cinema, which produces more films than mainstream Hindi movies, needs to be marketed well which could bring more revenue models for the entertainment industry. Speaking on the issue of India as a hub of film production and shooting, the panelists were of the opinion that entertainment was not on the priority list of the Government. Ms Kristin Dornig said there was world class talent in India and it was a country to watch in the next ten years.

Mr Screwvala said media and entertainment were not a career option of young people till a few years ago. But, it was not the case any more. He lamented that there were not enough schools to harness creative talent like story writing and screenplay skills.

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