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India's red carpet presence captured diversity of our cinematic excellence: Anurag Thakur at Cannes

Cannes [France]: Speaking about the "cinematic excellence, technological prowess, rich culture and illustrious heritage of storytelling" of India, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday said that India's red carpet presence captured the diversity of cinematic excellence not only in terms of representation of actors and filmmakers but also through OTT platforms.

Swati Bhat

Pic Courtesy: AFP/ANI

Thakur's remarks came while delivering the official keynote address after inaugurating the Indian Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival. The Union Minister said, "India's red carpet presence captured the diversity of our cinematic excellence not only in the terms of representation of actors and filmmakers from various languages and regions but also the OTT platforms."

With aspirations of transforming India into the content hub of the world, he added, "Indian start-ups from the media and entertainment sector are also present to showcase their technological prowess and pitch to the world, from the world of AVGC along with a strong delegation of animation professionals from the sector. The celebration of India at Cannes and the recognition of our cinematic excellence, the world over is set to manifest the country into the content hub of the world." "Indian cinema has played a crucial role and portrayed our fight for Independence, be it through turbulent times and in our times. Today, the media and entertainment sector in India is a significant contributor not only to the creative economy but also for projecting India's soft power abroad," Thakur said.

Further speaking about the government's efforts towards the initiative, Thakur said, "Our government has envisioned and spearheaded major initiatives over the last 8 years to boost co-production, film shoots, and film felicitations in India. States such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and others have taken the lead through film felicitation policies and providing co-production opportunities. He further said, "In 2018, we had officially designated audio-visual services as one of the 12 champion sectors, and recently set up an AVGC task force comprising of the industry leaders to prepare a policy roadmap for India to take up a quantum leap in this sector and position us as a perfect post-production hub of the world. A few weeks ago, the world's largest digitization and restoration process of 5900 films, documentaries, and features was initiated in line with our vision to preserve, protect and promote our cinematic heritage for our future generations."

He also spoke about India's vision of touching the 2 billion mark by 2024. "We are seeing that within India and across the world, the nature of the media business and the content creation, consumption, and distribution has changed. The advent of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and immersive technology such as the Metaverse presents immense possibilities to India's IT-enabled services and IT skilled workforce. According to the reports, the OTT market in India is predicted to grow at 21 per cent annually. Some are thinking about whether it'll grow by 21 per cent or not, but let me say, it has been the case even during the pandemic, and while it is going to grow 21 per cent annually, we are going to reach the 2 billion mark by 2024 and you could see where it is going to touch by 2040," said the Union Minister.

Thakur delivered the keynote address in the presence of the Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification and Veteran Lyricist Prasoon Joshi, Actor and Director R Madhavan, Indian Filmmaker Shekhar Kapoor, and Secretary Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Apurva Chandra.

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