It was indeed a historic moment for India’s content creation, distribution and broadcast industry at this year’s MIPCOM which concluded at Cannes, France on 18 October 2018. More than 300 Indian delegates swarmed the French Riviera village – the largest delegation in the Reed Midem market- cum-festival’s history.
The highlight of the market was the first ever Indian pavilion which had around 38 companies registered on it, the screening of Eros Now’s digtial series Smoke, the presence of Shemaroo Entertainment CEO Hiren Gada and Zee Entertainment’s Sunita Uchchil on a panel which discussed how Asia was developing.
What generated the most oohs and aahs was the Indian pavilion which was located in the basement of the Palais des Festivals. Led by Services Export Promotion Council director general Sangeeta Godbole and her team, it had a mixture of service providers such as dubbing and subtitling company BOL, Native Ninjas, animation studios such as Digitoonz, Eplus Technologies, BFX CGI, Big Animation, Ayanaa Cinematics, Animantz, Aadarsh Motion Philm CGI, Nilesh Patel Studios, Locomotive Films, Phoebus Creations, Rockline Group, Rotomaker India, Sacom MediaWorks, Sony Music, Technicolor India, Thought Cloud Studio, Vedatma Studios, and Broadvision Group.
The big draw at the market was the Indian cocktails and snacking session that the SEPC put together on the Indian pavilion on 16 October evening. The menu was very appealing with many savories and the Indian Sula wine and French wines, apart from beer, juices, sodas, flowed freely, even as Bollywood music played in the background.
Indian participants and foreign delegates could not get enough of the bonhomie, delicacies on offer and said it reminded them of the Zee TV beach party during the MIPCOM India country of honour celebration in 20007.
Said Godbole: “It is the Indian government’s intent to help India’s very small and small content creators to take their work globally. And also help highlight the fabulous creative talent we have in India. We have subsidised the rates that they have to pay to enter what can otherwise be an expensive market for the small studios. This was our first entry into MIPCOM and we are very enthused by the response and can only look forward to scaling up our presence by taking a larger
pavilion with many more smaller entertainment companies registered in MIPCOM 2019 apart from promoting the Indian presence in a bigger way.”
Present at the celebration was Indian embassy’s Paris-based chief of the economic and commercial wing Sarvjeet Soodan who said that he was delighted by the presence of the pavilion and the plethora of Indians at MIPCOM. He promised that the Indian embassy and its officials would be available to support the initiatives of the SEPC at the coming MIPCOMs in anyway that was needed.
Film maker Ketan Mehta who now heads animation powerhouse Cosmos-Maya was also delighted about the pavilion. Said he: “It took me as a creator a long time to get to know how to take my content global and sell it internationally. We struggled in our time and I am very happy that the smaller studios have this opportunity to leap frog and achieve in a couple of years what took us many more in our time. Congrats to the SEPC.”
Reed Midem India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh representative Anil Wanvari – who drove the initiative from the Paris-based organisation’s side along with international sales manager Paul Barbaro. “In earlier years too, efforts were made to set up an India pavilion but the response was tepid from both industry and government. We started the conversation with the SEPC a year or more ago and it took the grit of Sangeeta to see this to its logical conclusion,” said Wanvari. “Now smaller studios who come in as participants can at last have the address of the Indian pavilion from which they can operate and fix meetings to showcase their content or services to potential international customers and buyers.”