Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Shri Anurag Thakur today announced a partnership between the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and Amazon India in the field of media, entertainment and public awareness.
Speaking at the launch of the partnership Shri Anurag Thakur said that India being an ancient civilization offers millions of stories which are yet to be told. The gamut of stories transcends time and covers a vast domain from spirituality to software, traditions to trends, folklore to festivals and from rural India to rising India. He added that recently Indian content has experienced success at the international fora, and Indian actors have achieved high popularity among foreign audience.
The Minister delved into the steps taken by the Ministry to create a conducive atmosphere for the entertainment industry in India Sand said that the Government recognises the strengths as well as the opportunities of the Indian entertainment industry, especially new platforms such as OTTs. The Ministry has recognised audio visual services as a Champion Services Sector and recently brought out the self-regulatory framework of OTT content regulation.
Speaking about the partnership with Amazon, Shri Thakur stated that the partnership with Amazon India is unique on a number of counts and the Letter of Engagement spans across various aspects of the creative industry. The partnership would help strengthen industry-academia linkages through provisions for scholarships, internships, masterclasses, and other opportunities for students at Film and Television Institute of India and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute of India. The initiative would help to reduce the period of struggle for the talented artists coming out of prestigious film institutes of India, he added.
The Minister also voiced his concern for quality of content on OTT platforms saying OTT platforms have the responsibility of ensuring that their platforms do not propagate vulgarity and abuse camouflaged as creative expressions. OTT must reflect the collective conscience of the country, he further added.
Guest of Honour for the event, Shri Varun Dhawan spoke about the depths being reached by streaming services and said Indian cinema by way of streaming is now reaching a world stage and streaming services have today given Indian content a reach hitherto unimaginable. Shri Dhawan highlighted that streaming services act as a leveler and said that “new actors and creators, talent that had so far remained on sidelines can now connect with audiences worldwide.”
Speaking about the collaboration, Shri Dhawan said that “the collaboration of such a nature that promotes and supports our industry and talent fills me with hope and helps us all work towards redefining what is meant to be an Indian on the global entertainment stage”.
Secretary, Ministry of I&B Shri Apoorva Chandra said that the partnership between MIB and Amazon would lead to opportunities for the Indian talent at the national and international level.
Vice President, Asia Pacific, Amazon Prime Video, Sh Gaurav Gandhi said that “our wholistic collaboration with Ministry of I&B looks at every life stage and every corner of integration to stimulate the growth of the industry and we are very optimistic of the pathways it will create.”
Also present on the occasion were Shri Chetan Krishnaswamy, Vice President, Public Policy at Amazon India, Shri Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary, Min. of I&B and other senior officials of the Ministry.
About the collaboration
The Letter of Engagement (LoE) leads to a multidimensional partnership between the various organizations under the Ministry and various verticals of Amazon. These include National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), Prasar Bharati, Publications Division, and the media training institutions of Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) on the Government’s side. On Amazon’s side, the LoE involves participation of Amazon Prime Video, Alexa, Amazon Music, Amazon e-marketplace, and IMDb.
Public Awareness and Highlighting India’s Cultural Heritage
The Letter of Engagement with Amazon also includes aspects on promotion of Indian heritage through a dedicated catalogue of Publication Division’s books on India’s culture on the Amazon e-commerce website, and promotion of Indian music on Amazon Music and Alexa.
Speeches of the Hon’ble President and the Hon’ble Prime Minister, content related to key events of national importance and public interest campaigns, and daily news bulletins would be disseminated through Alexa and Amazon Music.
Promotion of Indian Talent
As part of the talent development component, Amazon Prime Video (APV) would sponsor scholarships, create internship programmes, and offer job opportunities for students of FTII and SRFTI. APV would undertake skill building activities in partnership with NFDC, conduct masterclasses by Indian and international film personalities in academic institutions for media and entertainment industry, and launch initiatives for honing the talent of the winners of the ‘75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow’ program.
To increase global discoverability of Indian talent Amazon would work with NFDC to increase the ease of availability of information about Indian artists on IMDb, a global database for the creative industry.
Showcasing Indian Content at a Global Stage
As part of the collaboration with the Ministry, International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Award winning films, and films produced as part of India’s international co-production treaties would be onboarded by Amazon Prime Video for being available to a global audience. APV would also explore possibilities of development of films and web-series highlighting India’s achievements to the world.
APV and MiniTV would onboard the rich archival content owned by Prasar Bharati and NFDC for easy access to the youth of the country, and across the world. Amazon would continue to collaborate with NFDC for featuring content, technology exhibitions, creator workshops, and talent interactions at the prestigious International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and regional film festivals.