It is clear that Indian cinema is evolving, which would help it not only expand globally and increase its business abroad but also help Indian businesses while building India’s soft power, writes Veteran Indian film industry leader Ravi Kottarakara, President, Film Federation of India and South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce
India, as a cinema nation, holds a significant mind space both domestically and globally. Not only is India’s economy growing strong, but the filmed entertainment space is also passing through an exciting phase.
A few days back, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with talented professionls from the Kannada film industry. Those moments captured on film, send a clear and strong message–the Indian film industry is high on the government’s priority list for expanding its soft power abroad.
For the first time in our recent history, we have recognised Indian cinema as a separate genre with a national audience. There are many cinemas of India, made in filmmaking centres across the country.
Our films have received recognition and acclaim not only in India but also among audiences worldwide. Examples include RRR, Kantara, KGF, Pushpa, Vikram, PS-1, Baahubali, and, most recently, Pathan.
Our regional films have become not only a new national phenomenon but also a global one.
This changing face of Indian cinema is very apparent, and this would not only assist Indian cinema grow its global footprint and increase its overseas film business, but it would also benefit Indian businesses and the brand India globally. The Indian film industry has effectively recovered from the COVID pandemic and is strategically positioned to assist India’s economy in reaching $5 trillion by 2025. When the Film Federation of India and the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce signed an MoU with the Spanish Film Commission, we had this idea to link and expand collaboration between Indian and Spanish producers, filmmakers, talents, and professionals. We would be the connecting point for filmmakers and producers to meet, greet, network, and do business. India has inked co-production treaties with 15 nations, and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FFI, SIFCC, and the Spanish Film Commission is the first step in expanding our footprint in new areas and enabling ease of doing business.
The Indian content on screen reaches over 100 countries on all major streaming platforms. This is just the tip of the iceberg, which is expected to grow in the coming years. After Hollywood, Indian cinema has the highest reach (in terms of distribution of films), reaching over 100 territories globally. India’s strength is emotional content–telling human stories that resonate the world over, irrespective of the language barrier. The Indian film industry is fairly unique in the world. The country, along with America and China, is among the few that can sustain their industry domestically.
What is unique is that you can make a film just for India, or even one region within India and still make it successful everywhere.
Ravi Kottarakara, a film industry veteran of 40-years, is also a champion for the growth and development of the Indian film industry. He is President of India’s leading film industry body Film Federation of India (FFI) and also Presdient, South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce (SIFCC).