MPAA CHAIRMAN CALLS FOR GREATER PARTNERSHIPS AND ALLIANCES BETWEEN U.S. AND INDIAN FILM COMMUNITIES
on March 14, 2012
SINGAPORE/MUMBAI - Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), delivered the keynote address at India's 2012 FICCI FRAMES today, speaking to an audience of Indian government officials, film and entertainment industry leaders and key media at the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Center Hotel in Mumbai, India.
Dodd's visit to India came after stops in Beijing and Hong Kong to meet with U.S. and Chinese government officials and representatives of the film industry to discuss market access and other issues in the wake of a major new agreement between the United States and China which will increase the number of major U.S. films distributed in that country and provide improved revenue sharing.
In his speech in Mumbai, Dodd called for greater partnerships and alliances between the U.S. and Indian film industries and expressed his delight at the synergies being created between both communities.
"I am honored to be here to celebrate with all of you something else that unites our two countries: movies. Like America, India is a nation where movies matter. And as in America, movies matter not only to the richness of your culture but to the vibrancy of your economy and the prosperity of the Indian middle class," Dodd said.
Dodd commended India for the rapid evolution of its cinema industry, Senator Dodd added "Two years ago the Indian film industry was a US$3.2 billion industry. Two years from now, in 2014, it is estimated to exceed US$5 billion, which is incredible. The industry contributes an estimated US$645 million to the Indian economy each year and supports an estimated 1.8 million jobs. As the trade body for the Hollywood entertainment industry, MPAA could not be more delighted."
Dodd also drew attention to the threat of content theft to the industry. "Content theft threatens the health of our industry and the prospects for its future success. According to a report by Ernst & Young, movie theft costs the Indian film industry nearly a billion dollars each year and threatens more than half million Indian jobs. I bring this up not to cast a shadow on your success but rather to invite you to join us in common purpose. Content theft is a global problem and we must have a global commitment to solving it."
While there is a broad consensus that the community must act to stop the theft of intellectual property, adequate initiations too need to be in place. LA India Film Council is one such step. He said "This is an important opportunity for the Indian government to move forward with strong protections against online theft. We encourage the Indian film industry to reject as we have, the false argument that you cannot be pro-technology and pro-copyright at the same time and we applaud India's aggressive plans for broadband and cable TV digitization."
Dodd concluded by acknowledging his love for the world of cinema. "Technology evolves. Economies change. But at the heart of what we do, is the timeless tradition of film. And that is why I am so proud to be a part of this industry and so pleased to share this occasion with you."
Senator Dodd's remarks as prepared for delivery can be found here.