Govt formulating SOPs for film shooting: Minister

The central government is in process of formulating standard operating procedures (SOPs) for film shootings, said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday, even as Maharashtra and a few state governments have allowed TV producers to resume shootings.Javdekar, who was addressing the media and entertainment industry via a video message during the inaugural session FICCI FRAMES 2020, said that the virtual space is the new normal.“Virtual is the new place for forging real partnerships. Our government will partner with the industry for progress of the sector and to harness the soft power of India, which is media and entertainment,” he said.The information and broadcasting minister said, though the contribution of the Indian media and entertainment sector is small to the global market currently, there is a huge potential.“Content produced by India is consumed in more than 150 countries and Indian cinema creates a large number of job opportunities and earns significant revenue,” he said.Javadekar emphasised that the sector needs new entrepreneurs, founders and owners to steer the industry forward.“The government will stand shoulder to shoulder with the industry and I urge you to share your suggestions and recommendations with the ministry for propelling the sector forward,” he said.Earlier, Anurag Thakur, minister of state for finance said that it is the right time for India to grow and showcase the country’s soft power to the world.“We have to build an ecosystem that nurtures talent and enables growth of the industry. I urge FICCI to create a roadmap and discuss it with the government for advancement of the industry,” said Thakur.Uday Shankar, Senior VP, FICCI, and chairman of Star & Disney India, said that the industry is set to take a huge hit on account of disruptions caused by the pandemic.“Media has been hit due to industry’s disproportionate dependence on advertisements. While it is true that advertising revenues have helped the industry grow and sustain, there have also been a lot of distractions, where businesses have prioritised advertising over content,” he added.Sanjay Gupta, chairman, FICCI Media and Entertainment Committee and country manager, Google India, said, forward-looking policy initiatives like simplification of the taxation framework, adoption of a light-touch regulatory approach, bestowing infrastructure status to the industry and support to accelerate exports of films and games will allow the industry to grow to $100 billion by 2030.