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Day 1 delves into sessions on storytelling, kids entertainment and making of ‘Bharat Hain Hum’ –

Day 1 delves into sessions on storytelling, kids entertainment and making of 'Bharat Hain Hum' -

L to R: Naman Ramachandran, Monika Shergill, Akshaye Widhani

India’s premier media and entertainment industry event, FICCI Frames, kicked off its inaugural day with an array of insightful sessions, engaging panels and enriching masterclasses. Held at Hotel Westin, Powai Lake in Mumbai, this three-day event taking place from 5 to 7 March serves as a vital platform for stakeholders within the M&E industry to converge and delve into the cutting-edge trends and innovations shaping this sector.

The 24th edition of the event commenced with the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony, leading into the inaugural address delivered by RPG Group vice chairman and FICCI vice president Anant Goenka. He said that FICCI Frames has significantly influenced the trajectory of India’s M&E industry. Highlighting the sector’s remarkable growth over the past decade, he emphasised how the digital revolution has reshaped its landscape.

Viacom18 broadcast entertainment CEO and FICCI media and entertainment committee chair Kevin Vaz said in his address that the road ahead for the industry is brimming with possibilities and challenges alike. The integration of artificial intelligence – generative AI in particular – will reshape the landscape of content creation, distribution and consumption, and is now an inexorable part of M&E supply chains.

Indian actress Rani Mukerji said that FICCI Frames 2024 has set the agenda for an ever-changing media and entertainment industry. “The pandemic forced us to adapt, innovate, and reimagine the ways in which we connect with audiences. As consumer preferences evolve, there is a growing demand for unique and innovative content delivery,” she said.

L to R: Sidharth Jain, Abhishek Kapoor, Amish Tripathi, Saurabh Varma, Siddharth Kumar Tewary

Government of India, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting secretary Sanjay Jaju said in his address that India’s M&E sector is renowned for its creativity, innovation, and cultural richness. He stated that the AVGC policy is now in an advanced stage. “I can assure you that this policy is not only going to facilitate investments within our country and the states but will also foster innovation. It will ensure skill development and help protect intellectual property and will also contribute to building world-class infrastructure. We also envisage setting up of National Center of Excellence for animation, VFX, and extended reality sector along with setting up incubation centres,” he said.

Government of Maharashtra’s minister of skill development and entrepreneurship Mangal Prabhat Lodha said that the realisation of “Viksit Bharat” (advanced India) depends on the collective contribution of everyone, and skilling is integral to the future of our country.

In the fireside chat titled Lights, Camera, Action: Golden Era of Storytelling, Netflix content vice president Monika Shergill and Yash Raj Films chief executive officer Akshaye Widhani spoke about the evolution of storytelling with the advent of digital platforms. Everyone who comes to Netflix should be able to find something which is value for their time, said Shergill. She said that we box entertainment into numbers but stories that are well told remain etched in people’s hearts. Widhani added that Yash Raj Films’ vision and desire is to tell cinematic stories. Both the speakers shared how they collaborated on the documentary The Romantics and the series The Railway Men, which are both streaming on the OTT platform. The session was moderated by Variety‘s international correspondent Naman Ramachandran.

In From Playgrounds to Pixels: Evolution and Emerging Trends in Kids Entertainment, speakers examined the impact of technology on content consumption, educational aspects, and the evolving preferences of young audiences. The speakers of the panel included Viacom18 Kids TV Network business head Anu Sikka, Warner Bros. Discovery South Asia kids cluster head Uttam Pal Singh, Zebu Animation Studios founder & creative director Veerendra Patil, Green Gold Animation founder & managing director Rajiv Chilaka. The panel was moderated by Powerkids Entertainment CEO Manoj Mishra. Sikka said, “From the traditional realms of TV, to theaters and to smaller screens, we are crafting narratives ranging from 90 minutes to 90 seconds. In this age of expanded platforms, we endeavor to connect with young minds wherever they embrace a screen. The magic lies not just in the duration of our content but in the universal stories we tell. We need to recognise the imperative to transcend borders and captivate global audiences.”

L to R: Munjal Shroff, Neerja Sekhar, Ashish Kulkarni, Gaurav Dwivedi, Tilak Shetty

In the fireside chat The Future of Movie-Going: Trends and Technologies Shaping Cinematic Experiences, PVR Inox managing director Ajay Bijli spoke to ET online editor Deepak Ajwani about the Indian cinema, theatrical releases and storytelling.

In Transmedia Storytelling: Blurring Boundaries Across Films and Books, the panelists delved into the evolving landscape of transmedia storytelling, examining how storytelling techniques and plotlines can be woven across films, books and gaming platforms to engage audiences on multiple levels. The panellists included Indian filmmaker and director Abhishek Kapoor, author Amish Tripathi, Swastik Productions founder and creative director Siddharth Kumar Tewary, and Content Engineers CCO and film director Saurabh Varma. It was moderated by The Story Ink founder Sidharth Jain.

In an enlightening session Masterclass: Exploring the Dynamics of Multi-Platform Animated Series: Strategies, Content Creation, and Industry Impact, Graphiti Studios director and COO Munjal Shroff and director and chief executive officer Tilak Shetty unraveled the behind-the-scenes magic that went into the making of the animated series Krish, Trish, and Baltiboy – Bharat Hain Hum. This series, co-produced by CBC, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, and Graphiti Studios, took the storytelling realm by storm with its vivid portrayal of unsung heroes of the Indian freedom struggle. The other speakers of the session were Prasar Bharati chief executive officer Gaurav Dwivedi, and GOI Ministry of Information and Broadcasting additional secretary Neerja Sekhar. The panel was moderated by FICCI AVGC-XR Forum chair and Punnaryug Artvision founder Ashish Kulkarni.

The second day of FICCI Frames 2024 will delve into artificial intelligence, digital content creation and cinematic innovation. The highlight of the day, however, will be States in Sync: Shaping India’s Future through Collaborative Policies and Innovation in AVGC Sector where associations from different states will share their unique roles and initiatives for the AVGC sector.

Also read:

FICCI EY Report 2024: Indian animation sector contracts by five percent in 2023, positive outlook for FY24 rebound

FICCI EY Report 2024: Indian VFX segment reaches Rs 54 billion recording 10 per cent growth

FICCI EY Report 2024: Online gaming reaches Rs 220 billion mark, recording a growth of 22 per cent

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