Pic: Twitter/ Anurag Thakur

India’s Entertainment Ascendance: Anurag Thakur Forecasts Global Ranking Surge

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Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur declared that India is poised to secure its position as the third-largest media and entertainment market globally within the next five years. Speaking at the inauguration of the 54th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Panaji on Monday, Thakur underscored India’s growing influence on the global stage.

Thakur emphasized India’s current standing as the world’s fifth-largest economy and the fifth-largest player in the media and entertainment industry. Expressing confidence in India’s trajectory, he predicted that the country would ascend to the third-largest economy and media and entertainment market globally within the next half-decade.

Acknowledging the transformative impact of original content creators in India, Thakur announced a groundbreaking initiative at IFFI. “For the first time and from hereon, IFFI will bestow the best web series OTT award. It will acknowledge the transformative role of original content creators in India and celebrate their contribution to employment and innovation,” he said.

Thakur shed light on the significant role played by over-the-top (OTT) media services, especially during the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The OTT (segment) is currently growing at a rate of 28 per cent. That is why we decided to institute this award,” he said.

Highlighting the impressive growth of the OTT segment, Thakur revealed that it is currently expanding at a remarkable rate of 28 percent. This growth trajectory, coupled with the industry’s noteworthy performance during the pandemic, influenced the decision to introduce the “Best Web Series OTT Award.”

In addition to recognizing digital innovation, this year’s IFFI promises several firsts. The festival aims to expand the scope of the ‘Film Bazaar’ by introducing a curated VFX and tech pavilion, showcasing cutting-edge innovations from the cinema world. A new documentary section has also been introduced to support non-fiction storytelling.

The festival will host “Cine Mela,” a celebration of India’s diverse culture, adding a new dimension to the event. Furthermore, IFFI has introduced a section dedicated to the showcase of meticulously restored classic feature films. “We are going to show you seven world premieres of meticulously restored masterpieces of NFDC (National Film Development Corporation) and NFAI (National Film Archive of India) under the National Film Heritage Mission,” Thakur said.

Under this mission, Thakur outlined the ambitious plan to restore and digitize 5,000 films and documentaries, ensuring the preservation of India’s rich cinematic heritage. The developments at IFFI reflect the government’s commitment to fostering innovation, celebrating diversity, and acknowledging the evolving landscape of India’s media and entertainment industry.

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