Ministry Packs Ideas on India as Content Hub

Apurva Chandra, secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, on Thursday confirmed plans to set up a national streaming platform on the National Film Development Corporation website. The move is an integral part of plans to promote India as a global content hub.

“We plan to do this on the site so that NFDC can not only co-produce and produce films, but also curate and showcase short films and other films. Because some who produce in India would otherwise not get a market. The NFDC platform can be leveraged to focus on such talent and also encourage quality content,” said Chandra diversity.

He was addressing a panel at NFDC’s Film Bazaar in Goa where the Content Hub proposal was discussed.

Chandra also confirmed a focus on supporting animation, visual effects and games.

“In India the cost would be a quarter or a fifth of what it costs in the US and Europe and the quality is actually on par with Hollywood films. So that’s very big, even for the gaming industry. Each game is a content-driven innovation running at very high production. India is already doing a lot but we have set up a task force and will submit the report to the government within the next 10 days or so,” he said.

“After that, we will start implementation, focusing on further training and also on education so that more and more people can enter this profession. We have a very talented group of people who are skilled in animation and visual effects, which is a mix of technical ability and creative ability. Around 150,000 people currently work in this sector with the potential to expand to a million or more,” Chandra said.

Chandra was joined on the panel by NFDC’s MD Ravinder Bhakar; Uday Singh, MD of the Motion Picture Association; Apoorva Bakshi, Managing Partner of Awedacious Originals; Festival programmer Paolo Bertolin and Todd Brown, Head of International Acquisitions for XYZ. The session was moderated by diversityis Naman Ramachandran.

On the prospect of India becoming a content hub, Singh said, “We have world-class crews and special effects expertise that can take advantage of the time difference between Los Angeles and India. We are very well positioned to become competitive on the world stage. So instead of just pushing, we have to pull. It’s not just about bureaucracy, it’s about rolling out the red carpet.”

Bakshi, who co-produced the Emmy-winning Netflix series Delhi Crime, said: “India is already a content hub. But we can do a lot more internally to support content creators, especially when it comes to promoting the story locally. Story development labs must be established at the federal and state levels. I think private labs are joining forces to fill this gap.”

The panellists agreed that an international marquee project would help draw attention to India as a film location.

“It will take time and a few projects for people to take a place seriously. Check out the change in the production community in New Zealand after Lord of the Rings. They are known to be built very reliably. In India you have high incentives, a highly qualified English speaking crew. Producers just have to have faith that the system can work,” Brown said. Ministry Packs Ideas on India as Content Hub

Charles Jones

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