Till now it was a dream. Now it has become closer to being real. Our students will have the flexibility to study Python and Performing Arts together. Subjects like Dance and Design which once were to be pursued as a hobby, can now be a mainstream subject from sixth grade to PhD.
We are talking about the New Education Policy unveiled by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The nine-member team lead by space scientist Dr Kasturirangan authored the New Education Policy (NEP) which has brought in a massive mind shift in mainstreaming creative and performing arts education in the country.
A casual chat with Ashish SK, an industry veteran in animation, gaming and VFX space who has been propagating this idea with a zeal of a crusader resulted in this week’s lead feature on the big picture impact of NEP for media and entertainment industry. There could not have been a better game changing moment for the Indian M&E sector.
Another big moment for India this week was Chaitanya Tamhane’ s Marathi film The Disciple being selected in the 77th Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion Competition Section. For the first time in 19 years, an Indian film found a place in the world’s leading film festival. The Disciple will also be screened in the 45th Toronto International Film Festival in September.
Saibal Chatterjee’s article explains why it is a best moment for India. Also India’s regional film spread is visible this year at Venice. Ivan Ayr’s Punjabi film Meel Patthar (Milestone) and Sushma Khandepaun’s Gujarati short film Anita have found a space to compete in the Venice Film Festival. The Heritage Online launched by Locarno Pro is one of the best innovative services that has been created in recent times. More than that, it will be remembered and etched in History as this has evolved and shaped during the pandemic. This meaningful initiative aims to bring heritage films to the audiences of online platforms.
“Our new project Heritage Online fills a gap in the audiovisual industry landscape and will foster links between rights holders, VOD platforms and world cinema distribution,” says Heritage Online Project Manager Markus Duffner.
Heritage Online is an innovative service offered by Locarno Pro, with the aim to expand the horizons of Video On Demand and its global catalogue in order to include the past
For the Future of Films, Locarno Pro remains an international hub for the independent film industry even in this “standby” year. The virtual Locarno Pro will launch Heritage Online, which aims to fill a void within the international film industry, with a platform where past and future go hand in hand.
Heritage Online is an innovative service offered by Locarno Pro, with the aim to expand the horizons of Video On Demand and its global catalogue in order to include the past. This unprecedented tool, a connective tissue that was previously unavailable to the international industry, will ideally bring the Lumière brothers next to the Marvel heroes.
Thanks to Heritage Online, rights holders (international sales agents, film archives, institutes, restoration companies) will be able to share their catalogues with potential clients, that is to say VOD platforms, from the giants in the field to smaller entities. By accessing this database of international film history, streamers will be able to view detailed information, including specifics concerning rights, and watch the submitted films. Locarno Pro is launching Heritage Online Platform enabling distribution of Heritage Films connecting right holders of classic films (premiered before 2006) and online OTT and VoD platforms.
During the days of Locarno Pro, on August 8, the catalogues of a selection of companies and institutions participating to Heritage Online will be promoted through a newsletter and the website. Moreover, the topic of heritage and library films’ distribution on streaming services will be discussed in a Round Table that will be streamed online on August 8.
“We believe that this initiative can really increase the circulation of Heritage and Library Films in what we think will soon be (or is already in most territories) the new standard for Home Video: Streaming Services,” says Heritage Online Project Manager Markus Duffner.
“Locarno Pro is always responsive to the needs of industry professionals. Its mission is to create tools that help people in cinema to work even more effectively. Our new project Heritage Online fills a gap in the audiovisual industry landscape and will foster links between rightsholders, VOD platforms and world cinema distribution,” says Duffner.
Heritage Online is a B2B platform and Heritage Films right holders can do a selection of their catalogue on the platform for a basic subscription of chf85 (Approx Rs 6400) A premium subscription priced at chf160 (Rs 12,000) for enables right holders to include one film in the Online Screening Room, where potential clients have the chance of streaming a selection of titles.
Subscription for VoD broadcasters is free. By creating a private account via free sign-up, they will be able to access the database and, like all other professionals with an account, take part in virtual meetings, pitches and roundtables. Starting in 2021, Heritage Online will be available via yearly subscription or a Locarno Pro accreditation.
Heritage Online offers film professionals a year-round database where streamers (and other buyers) will be able to watch available titles, consult their detailed technical information, including availability of films in the various territories, and get in touch directly with rights holders.
Heritage Online Project Manager Markus Duffner speaks
What’s the objective behind this? Will it continue beyond Locarno Pro Days?
With the absence of DVD distribution in favor of a dominating Online Streaming market – the distribution window that was dedicated to Heritage Films has shifted towards the second option. However, we think that Streaming Platforms are still looking mainly for recent and new content, rather than filling this gap left by the growing absence of DVDs. There are of course some great exceptions (MUBI, Criterion Channel, i.e.,) and our aim is to connect the Heritage Right Holder with Streaming content buyers (also Theatrical, TV, DVD buyers, Festivals and other film professionals can register to Heritage Online) through a year-round online Database dedicated to Heritage and library content (eligible titles are those that have premiered before 2006).
What’s the response among participating countries?
We have launched only a couple of weeks ago, but we already count registered users from all continents. We got a great feedback from both Right Holders and Streamers (VOD Platforms) since the early days of the project and we’re receiving more requests every day. I believe that the project will live throughout the year, gaining more and more importance with time.
Will Cinemalovers be able to watch films from Heritage Online?
The Online Database and its Screening Room is only accessible to film professionals with a registered account. I believe many of us in this industry are also cinemalovers (smiles).
Valentina Merli and her team has put together a programme that would benefit the local Swiss film industry as well as global independent filmmakers
The Locarno Film Festival’s Locarno Pro industry side will have a strong virtual presence from August 5-11 offering opportunities for discussion, professional meetings on co-production and screenings to film industry professionals as a clear signal that the pandemic will continue to bring industry professionals under one umbrella. The 73rd Locarno Festival will take place from 5 to 15 August 2020.
Locarno Pro 2020 will be a virtual territory of meetings, exchanges and growth for auteur film professionals. “Industry professionals across the world will get to meet online and work towards a fresh start. The Locarno 2020 – for the Future of Films is a special edition, due to the Covid-19 situation, to continue to support and help independent cinema from all over the world. This is also what we want to do with Locarno Pro. It is important for us to maintain the presence in difficult moments,” says Valentina Merli, head of Locarno Pro.
This is the first market for Valentina Merli as head of Locarno Pro. She has taken over from Nadia Dresti, who continues to work with the Locarno Festival as a Festival’s International Advisor.
Valentina Merli and her team has put together a programme that would benefit the local Swiss film industry as well as global independent filmmakers. “We think that being online allow us to have a wider international professional audience, this is its main advantage,” says Valentina Merli in a Zoom chat with Pickle.
Locarno Pro will aim to enhance and deepen connections between the diverse players across the world. For seven days from August 5 to 11, Locarno Pro will propose initiatives and events that will accompany the industry in examining an undoubtedly difficult year, while seeking to develop ideas and proposals with an eye to the future, thus contributing to the overarching mission of Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films.
Locarno Pro 2020 has also given Valentina Merli and her team an opportunity to think out of the box and reinvent activities. They have moved beyond discussing Covid-19 impact, but bring some visible changes to cinema, industry professionals and filmmakers.
Major highlights of Locarno Pro 2020 includes the ninth edition of the annual think-tank meeting StepIn; a roundtable to mark the launch of Locarno’s Heritage Online initiative; the SwissBiz Roundtable, aimed at the local film industry; and the Open Doors co-production platform and producers Lab.
“Heritage Online is a digital tool that extends the outreach and distribution of Heritage Films through VoD (Video on Demand), thereby significantly expanding the range of titles offered by such services,” explained Valentina Merli.
StepIn is one of the most renowned international think tanks imagining and discussing the way forward for the film industry. The virtual event will be hosted this year in the Variety Streaming Room, consisting of three 50-minute sessions taking place during the first three days of Locarno Pro (5-7 August, each starting at 5 pm Central European Time). These will deal, respectively, with the future of the theatrical distribution, the state of independent film production, and the future of film festivals and markets.
Each session will be moderated by key journalists from Variety and will involve top international speakers from varied sectors of the film industry, such as, to name a few: Producer Rodrigo Teixeira (‘Call Me By Your Name’, ‘Port Authority’); NEON’s President of Distribution Elissa Federoff; Film4’s Director Daniel Battsek; Director/Writer Kasi Lemmons (‘Harriet’); Marche du Cannes’ Executive Director Jérôme Paillard; and important Film Festival Directors such as Alberto Barbera (Venice Film Festival), Lili Hinstin (Locarno Film Festival) and Tabitha Jackson (Sundance Film Festival).
The SwissBiz Roundtable will bring local Swiss cinema professionals together on August 10 for a discussion on the challenges facing the film sector in the aftermath of corona virus pandemic and way forward. This roundtable will offer professionals in the Swiss film industry an analysis of this delicate historical moment in order to understand the trajectories and strategies that can help keep alive national auteur cinema. Five players of the Swiss industry moderated by Pascaline Sordet (Cinébulletin) will intervene as speakers: Joel Fioroni (Exhibitor, LUX art house), Andreas Furler (Founder and Managing Director, Cinefile), Karin Koch (Producer, Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion), Jela Škerlak (Head of Exhibition and Diversity and Eurimages Representative, Federal Office of Culture (FOC)), Thierry Spicher (Distributor, Outside The Box).
The Locarno Pro 2020 program has been supported by the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) / MEDIA Desk Suisse and the collaboration of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs for the Open Doors section.