Mumbai– The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has initiated discussions with the Department of Commerce on the modalities to set up a Copyright Board to oversee strict implementation of intellectual property (IP) laws for entertainment industry, particularly the film sector.

Inaugurating the 18th edition of FICCI FRAMES 2017, Ajay Mittal, Secretary, Information and Broadcasting, assured the media and entertainment industry professionals that the censorship challenges posed by fringe elements would be met by the rule of law.

According to a FICCI release, Mittal said the government has created a new category of visa called ‘Film Visa’ and shooting of a film in India would be enough ground for issuance of such a visa for the crew.

He said an award has been instituted by the central government for the most film-friendly state to make the country more attractive for production of films by foreign production houses. An amount of Rs one crore has been set apart for the purpose.

Mittal said apart from emphasis on ease of doing business, the government was also looking at creation of suitable content for kids that brings them closer to their culture and moral values.

Sudhanshu Pandey, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, said that Indian film industry accounted for a mere seven per cent of the global industry’s revenue which needed to be raised significantly.

Pandey said the need of the hour was to create 20,000 more digital screens in the country to create a critical mass which the industry could leverage.

It was also important for the media and entertainment sector to make a major contribution in marrying the two flagship programmes of the Government — Make in India and Digital India — for the benefit of industry, he added.

John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, Canada said that the city of Toronto has signed an MoU with the Indian Consulate to give a fillip to the India-Canada Co-production Agreement. “We want to collaborate with you and extend to you the financial incentives offered by Toronto to filmmakers from India,” he said.

Nadir Patel, Canadian High Commissioner to India, said that it was time to narrate the Canada story to India in an ambitious and aggressive manner. “We need to talk about what Canada is doing to facilitate industry collaborations with professionals and we see a lot of relevance in coming to Ficci Frames as a partner country.”

Pankaj R. Patel, President, FICCI and Chairman and Managing Director, Cadila Healthcare Ltd., said that the need of the hour was to maintain a balance between content and its monetization.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Chairman, FICCI Film Forum, Director and Founder, Romp Pvt Ltd., said theatres and cultural centres must be built across the country.

Participating in a session later, S. Rama Rao, Senior Advisor, Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and International Relations, Solstrat, said IPR plays a critical role in protecting innovation.

He said protection of IP was critical for encouraging innovation in media and entertainment industry.(IANS)

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