Indian films making global mark: CII journal

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Indo-Asian News Service

Panaji, Nov 26 (IANS) Indian movies are the flavour of the season the world over, with the country's filmmakers making the most of globalisation, says FilmIndia Worldwide, a journal published by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

FilmIndia editor Uma da Cunha says: "At year-end 2007, Indian cinema has never felt so self-assured, so ready to take on the world, rather like the country's economy."

"The diversity, creative insights and technical virtuosity of Indian cinema are a pageant on world screens in the fall and winter seasons of 2007," says the latest issue of FilmIndia.Indian films are gaining increasing attention, at least in festivals. The challenge now is to reach out to wider audiences, beyond just the expatriate Indians, says CII.

CII figures for India reveal that film, advertisement, music, digital media and other creative copyrighted products account for $15 billion worth of production in this country.

It sees the "creative industries" of India as being an integral part of a knowledge-driven economy "capable of fuelling urban growth".

It calls for special steps to understand and manage diversity, and allow India the advantage of being a "multi-cultural, multilingual, multi-religious, pluralistic heritage that enables it to understand varied markets with ease."

CII argues that films, literature and music produced here would appeal to an audience in Western as well as Southeast Asian nations.

"A Hindi film can find an audience in the affluent Indian diaspora in the UK and the US, while Tamil films find a niche audience in Malaysia and Singapore and Bengali films have an eager audience in Bangladesh," says the industry body.

The latest issue of FilmIndia lists a range of Indian films taking part in global festivals during the fall and winter seasons.

The Fourth Dubai International Film Festival (Dec 9-16) will showcase eight Indian films. The Florence Indian Film Festival called "River to River" (Dec 7-17) will screen a wide range of Indian movies.

Indian films will also make it to the 12th International Film Festival of Kerala (Dec 7-14) and the 31st Cairo International Film Festival (Nov 27 to Dec 7).

Some of the festivals where Indian work has been recently showcased include the 3rd San Francisco South Asian Film Festival (Nov 16-18), 13th Lyon Asian Film Festival (Nov 6-11), and Third Eye 6th Asian Film Festival (Mumbai, Nov 2-8).

CII's Creative Industries Division says it is keen to help develop industries producing creative content in the field of media, electronic media, advertising, film, digital entertainment and fashion.

Da Cunha notes that film festivals are mushrooming in India too, with fests this winter in Kolkata and Kerala. In 2008, there will be festivals in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.

"Why not, given this nation of over a billion souls?" she asks.