Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur on Saturday made a pitch for India transforming into a world cinema destination and also becoming a global hub for post-production of films.
Addressing the inaugural session of the 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Thakur also said that with India’s unique combination of connectivity, culture and commerce, the country was poised to become the epicentre of the global cinematic ecosystem.
“We aim to make India a powerhouse of content creation, especially of regional cinema, by scaling up regional festivals,” the minister said. “We aim to make India the world’s post-production hub by leveraging the immense tech talent among our skilled youth. We aim to make India the hub for world cinema. A destination for films and festivals and the most favoured place for filmmakers and film lovers,” Thakur added.
Thakur’s speech followed a glittering lamp lighting ceremony that saw a host of dignitaries, including the Governor of Goa P.S. Sreedharan, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L. Murugan share the stage with actress and Mathura MP Hema Malini, celebrated lyricist Prasoon Joshi, southern actress and politician Khushbu Sundar, and the general secretary of the Film Federation of India, Ravi Kottarakara.
The inaugural event was anchored by Bollywood producer-director and talk show host Karan Johar and TV anchor-comedian Manish Paul.
In his speech, Thakur said: “India can captivate the world by narrating India’s story. The story of a rising, powerful, vibrant billion ready to lead the world the Indian way. Further, the film and entertainment industry has huge employment opportunities as we leapfrog into the digital era of content filmmaking and not forget about film archiving for the future generations.”
The minister said India was in a position to capitalise on the young people engaged in filmmaking. These young people, he pointed out, were “the powerhouse for fresh content creation and new narratives”.
Thakur said: “The media and entertainment sector builds on three unique propositions India offers. Abundant and competent labour, ever-growing consumption expenditure and a diverse culture and linguistic heritage. Where else in the world do you have this powered by the extensive footprint of mobile, internet and digitalisation?”
Answering his own rhetorical question, the minister emphatically said: “With this unique combination of connectivity, culture and commerce, India is poised to be the epicentre of this cinematic ecosystem. Today, the India story is being written and defined by Indians.”