The 4th annual FICCI Media and Entertainment Business Conclave began at Park Sheraton, Chennai on 16th October. It was an opportunity for the Indian entertainment sector to explore its global linkage. Apart from aspiring filmmakers and media students, established personalities from the industry like Girish Karnad, Nassar, Shobanaa, Lakshmy Ramakrishnan, Shylaja, Mansoor Ali Khan, Lingusamy, Ameer and many more were spotted attending the sessions.
The inaugural function of the mega event saw Dr. Kamal Haasan, Chairman, Media and Entertainment Business Conclave, FICCI, Barrie Osborne, Oscar Winning director-producer, C Kalyan, President of South Indian Film Producers’ Association, B Shashi Kumar, President of the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce, P Murari, Advisor to President, FICCI and Dr. Arabind Prasad, Director General, FICCI on the dais.
Kamal Haasan gave an introduction to the FICCI and how Gandhiji started it and made it a part of the Independence struggle. He also elaborated on how it now acts as a decision making body in the Indian media and entertainment Industry. The other dignitaries too spoke on the challenges and issues faced by the industry.
The first session was about the opportunities in the digitized area. Rahul Jhori, Senior Vice President and General Manager of South Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, Narayan Rao, Executive Vice Chairperson, NDTV group, Krishnan Kutty, Executive Vice President, Star India, Ashok Mansikhani, President, MSO Alliance and Sashi Kumar, Chairman and Founder, Asianet were the panelists for the session. The main points of discussion were the pros and cons of digitization, how digitization has led to the growth of their own channels and the future challenges, when television will be completely digitized.
This was followed by a session on redefining digital production. Nicolas Aithadi, VFX Supervisor, Moving Picture Company, Vamsi Aiyagari, Futureworks, Muralidharan, CEO, Boston MediaTech Pvt. Ltd, Biren Ghose, Country Head, Technicolour India and Akhauri P Sinha, GM, Moving Picture Company (INDIA) discussed on the current trends in VFX and the future of the same. An interactive session between the budding VFX specialists and the exponents was the highlight of the session.
Barrie Osborne’s session was on the topic, ‘A 360 degree approach to producing a global film’. He shared his experiences in making blockbusters like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Matrix trilogy and the Great Gatsby. He also patiently answered all the questions (astute and dull) by the aspirants elegantly and in a language that was extremely simple.
The post lunch session was a visual effects demonstration by Srinivas Mohan, CEO, Indian Artists Computer Graphics. He made an awe-inspiring presentation on the making of Enthiran. The exploitation of human body scanning, motion control rig, animatronics and motion capture in Enthiran were stunning.
The session on Sound designing saw the presence of Oscar winning sound designer, Resul Pookutty, Wilfried Van Baelen, founder, Galaxy Studios, Senthil Kumar, director of Real Image and Vikram Joglekar, Senior Marketing Manager, Dolby India in the panel. Vikram spoke on the recent innovation by Dolby, called the Atmos, which according to him will create a better theater experience. Wilfried, made a stunning presentation on the new Auro 3D sound technology, which is being utilized in Vishwaroopam. Resul Pookutty spoke about the pros and cons of both the technologies.
The final session for the day was on ‘100 years of Cinema and the future of Indian Cinema’. Stalwarts from media and entertainment industry, including Kamal Haasan, actor Jayaram, director Priyadarshan, producer Suresh Babu, Disney-UTV’s Managing Director Siddharth Roy Kapur, actor-director Ramesh Arvind and Barrie Osborne spoke their minds on the topic. Radhika Iyer of NDTV played the devil’s advocate. The essence of the discussion was however, the increasing number of remakes and the poverty of new ideas. “There are a lot of directors, but no writers,” was the conclusion the panelists came to when, Girish Karnad rose from the audience and said that there’s nothing wrong in pinching, unless it doesn’t make a mark. “Hollywood makes 200 films a year and India makes a thousand a year. Where will we go for a thousand new ideas?” he asked. The session concluded with a collective thought that the new film makers must adapt novels and short stories instead of remaking films.
As the final programme for the day the FICCI honoured the great masters of Indian Cinema. Superstar Rajinikanth was the special guest for the evening. The association felicitated legends like actress Sukumari, Shiela, Jayanthi, director K Balachandar, Madhavan Nair, Girish Karnad, Dilip Kumar, cinematographer Santosh Sivan and producer Rama Naidu.
The day one was wrapped with a musical medley by singer Srinivas and troupe.
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