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This issue of TW has two sets of page numbers - International pages TW-1 to TW-68 for TW, and India pages TM-1 to TM-32 for TM. TM is inserted between pages TW-54 and TW-55 of TW.

TheatreMagic

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Bollywood, Hollywood Join Hands to Fight Piracy

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Continental Coalition S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

Cometh Megaplexes!

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Reliance Media, UFO in Joint-Initiative

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IPL Matches on Big Screen

Cricketing Cinema: Howzzaaat!

Touching the Next Frontier

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Simplifying Technology

S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

Scrabble Digital Initiative

Barco India: New Focus TM-

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TECHNOLOGY A New Big Digital Gateway

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contents

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MINDSCAPE

TM EDITORIAL

Alternative Cinema (Technology) Technology domain undergoes a major revolution once in every ten years, they say. A quick retrospect of Indian cinematic history vindicates this assumption. Beginning from 1900s, when JF Madan laid foundations for Indian Cinema, each subsequent decade had been influenced by a decisive development changing the course of the industry for the following decades: ET and Talkies; guidelines and grand designs; size and scale; sound and projection; plexes and digital dimensions! Integrated into these decisive courses, we have had cinemascope, 6-track stereo sound, xenon projection, multichannel surround

sound etc - each of them impacting their era. However, the ‘revolutions’ of the matrix called Indian Cinema became more noticeable and significant primarily due to the era of information (explosion)! That both the cinema operators and their patrons today are better informed and demand more they continue to explore the domain and push the frontiers of experience- which is why, today, we have the arrival of alternative cinema. Non-feature entertainment options such as sports and music are beamed into the movie house live and in 3D.

beaming does bring the potentiality of making an otherwise movies-only house into a profit centre of multiple means sports on big screen, music concert live, and may be very soon, a product launch pad, and even a fashion ramp! With digital cinema and satellite link and content availability options, there can be opportunities abound. Let’s hope this concept of alternative cinema augers well for the industry.

Though not a regular and effective alternative yet, the non-feature content

Bhavanashi Ramakrishna Editor, Theatre Magic


Breaking News...

Cometh Megaplexes! For all those who had been pondering over India not having megaplexes despite being a potentially surging (and bulging) cinema market, and for those who had been dismissive about reports of 'boutique' cinemas, 'signature' and 'platinum club class' cinemas, here is yet another take- Megaplex of the highest kind! And, this time not from one, but two! That both the applicators concerned have established credentials than the previous claimants gives a good deal of credence to the latest news outing. Skeptics, however, can have a field day till either of them, if not both, appear on ground, sometime next year. A TM perspective: Indian cinema exhibition industry had experienced - just as its patrons did some of the novel forms of cinematic entertainment for over a year or so. Beginning with 2K digital, 3D digital, alternative content in the form of exclusive full-length musical movie and highly hyped Indian Premier League cricket matches, the industry had been showing a paradigm shift the way it addressed its business and patrons. Now, it appears moving to the next level- the megaplexing! Though the concept had been spoken about long back by one of the country's exhibition majors, it did not appear on ground for various reasons, known and unknown. However, it is being brought to the fore again, now from two very potential players from DelhiPVR Cinemas and Cinepolis India. PVR, taking its brand distinction to further highs, intends to create a whole big Entertainment City at Noida, with a 15-screen megaplex,

besides many premium offerings, while Cinepolis India has plans to build a 14-screen megaplex at Thane. Cinepolis's 14-plex would be coming up as part of the Vivacity at Thane, and is expected to open by June 2011; thereby become India's largest multiplex, and first megaplex. On the other hand, PVR's Entertainment City would be part of the Logix City Center in Noida, and would take around twoand-half years to be commercially operable- it, thereby, would pip past Cinepolis to regain its title for largest

multiplex / megaplex in the country. More, that the cinema major has apparently drawn up plans for similar Entertainment Citys in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Pune and another location in NCR over the next three years, the company's cinematic aggression appears more ambitious than ever. The Logix of Entertainment The PVR Entertainment City, launched in partnership with the Noida-based IT infrastructure major Logix Group, will

A Mega Hit or Flop Story ? For about two years now, cinema exhibition industry in the country had been fed with enthusiastic reports about some ambitious entrepreneurs contemplating building megaplexes of 15-plus screens, ultra-luxury cinemas branded as 'boutique', 'signature', 'platinum club class' etc. with premium offerings. While some had been discounted by analysts - basing their skepticism on the

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then market conditions and sustainability of the concept as well as that of the promoters' seriousness to pursue the cause - one claim appeared pretty much potential precisely because of the momentum generated by the promoter. However, with the market turning truant, the first opportunity of a megaplex went far from being true, just as the other formats did. While

the markets, influenced by this backdrop, began disbelieving any tall claim by the big brethren and new, rich cousins, one potential promoter presented the industry and cinemagoer community with a 'Premiere' offering- the one and only PVR. The Delhi-based exhibition major credited with ushering multiplex concept into the country, had long


be part of the Logix City Centre, located at Sector-32 in Noida. To be spread over 1.2 million square feet, the mega retail entertainment destination is claimed to be ushering in first of its kind concept in the country with a mix of office towers, two luxury hotels and shopping, besides cinematic and allied entertainment. The entertainment component to be spread over two floors of 150,000 square feet will comprise a 15-screen megaplex - including four 'gold class' screens - 24-28 lane bowling alley, an Olympic size ice skating rink, a microbrewery-based Beer Island and restaurants, besides a range of food courts. "We are extremely delighted to announce the launch of the first ever PVR Entertainment City in India," declared PVR chairman and managing director Ajay Bijli. "The Entertainment City will be a Mecca of entertainment in the NCR region as we will house all our formats under one roof," he said and added, "this is a huge step forward for us to realize our dream of becoming an integrated entertainment company. Our innovations are driven by our customers' aspirations, and I am sure this new format will be well received by our patrons."

collaboration with Thai exhibition leader Major Cineplexes - had acted as a catalyst for it to doggedly pursue the format to higher levels.

company's as well as the country's first megaplex. The company has tied up with Sheth Developers for their upcoming retail space, Vivacity at Thane.

"PVR Entertainment City will create new benchmarks and will be a onestop shop for all the entertainment needs," Arora said, adding, "it will be the ultimate fun destination for the entire family."

The ensuing 14-screen megaplex will have four screens dedicated to Cinepolis VIP brand, an ultra premium cinematic offering. That the company had already made public its plans for creating a foot print of 500 screens by 2016, which include building premium megaplexes, its first step towards the goal is taken with a good deal of attention. The company's financial muzzle and business model also impart considerable credence to its pursuits in the country.

That the Logix City Center as a whole, is being planned as a green building, its mega entertainment fare, apart from the high-profile corporate activity, is batted with an eco-friendly tag- another 'first' distinction for the megaplex. According to Logix Group chairman and managing director Shakti Nath, the giant entity will be at par with best of the buildings in New York and Las Vegas. That the group has signed one of the world's best hotel operators to manage both hotels inside the complex, the Logix City Center is claimed to be the most unique ever in the country! The 'Mega'polis in Thane Cinepolis India, playing true to the brand distinction of its Mexican promoter Cinepolis, has come up with the

According to Pramod Arora, PVR Group President, the company had been progressively leveraging the synergies of its various brands to expand into retail entertainment space. The success of PVR Blu-O - launched in

back made it big with a 11-screen multiplex - India's first 10-plus screen - in Bengaluru. Two years ago, the same company further strengthened its brand distinction with what it called PVR Premiere with very premium offerings (Read 'A New Premiere Cinema Fare' - TW March 2008). Simultaneously the company also launched a new genre of cinematic offering Blu-O with Thailand's Major Cineplexes'

collaboration. The market was indeed fed with theories that the Thai exhibitor - known for its inclination for large format cinema - was keen to create megaplexes in India, and PVR's name was an obvious partner to the story. However, none of such theories turned practical. PVR, given its expertise in the business gained from its past and present collaborations with

"Vivacity will be one of the landmark upcoming retail destinations in the country," Cinepolis India joint managing director Deepak Marda said. "We look forward to our participation in the project with our flagship, first of its kind theatre concept that will establish new standards for cinemas in the country and transform the way we watch movies." According to Sheth Developers vicepresident (leasing and marketing) JP Biswas, their partnership with Cinepolis reiterates their commitment to bring not only the best brands but also world-class entertainment to customers. "We look forward to Cinepolis India bringing its international lineage in delivering world-class entertainment to cine enthusiasts," he said, adding, "this will add to our aim of giving best shoppertainment experience to our customers."

international cinema chains, is seemingly coming good yet again. One hopes it will. Cinepolis, on the other hand, is equally potential in terms of international expertise. It is indeed moving one step ahead at the moment. It is up for the market now to decide what is what.

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Disney India's First Outing on South The Walt Disney Company India - the Indian concern of Hollywood major Walt Disney Studios - is seemingly ambitious about making a foray into moviemaking in the country and particularly South India. The company recently announced its first locally developed studio project aimed specifically at Southern audiences. A yet to be named epic fantasy adventure, the movie is scheduled to release in January 2011. The movie, which commenced production in November 2009, features a host of leading local talent including Siddharth, Shruti Haasan, Lakshmi Manchu, and Harshitha. "We are thrilled to be working with such a high calibre cast and a team of talented filmmakers on this exciting film which will appeal to Indian moviegoers of all ages," said Mahesh Samat, managing director, The Walt Disney Company India Pvt. ltd. India happens to be one of the largest markets outside of the US that Disney had invested in for local production. "As we work to build a family entertainment brand in India, we plan to provide Indian audiences with an unparalleled roster of locally relevant stories and engaging characters," Samat said, adding "we will continue to tap into the local creative ecosystem to develop content which resonates with Indian kids and families."

The fantasy adventure move is set in the fictitious teardrop shaped land of 'Sangarashtra' and explores the inseparable bond between man and the myths that remain relevant even today. The story focuses on the journey of a nine year old girl with special healing powers and her quest to save Sangarashtra from the tyranny of an evil Queen, played by Lakshmi Manchu. The girl portrayed by Hrishitha is protected by a blind swordsman played by Siddharth who faces great adversity and helps the girl on her epic journey. Shruti Haasan plays a gypsy woman whose destiny is tied into that of the swordsman and plays his love interest. The Telugu language movie, which will be dubbed in Tamil is expected to broaden the company's appeal to southern India. It is being produced by K. Raghavendra Rao known for his expertise and experience in developing movies for the South, and is directed by national award winning director Prakash Rao Kovelamudi. Prakash Rao, while he is excited about the whole initiative, felt that it was a great challenge bringing these amazing worlds and characters to life. "The story is an epic tale of adventure and fantasy," he said, "we are immensely proud to work with Disney on this project. With its legacy of incredible storytelling and creating enduring characters they are the perfect partners for this film."

PVR Deal Falls Apart;

DT, Not on Sale Putting all speculations to end, DLF Group, the promoters of Delhi-based DT Cinemas, clarified that the group was not in negotiations with any company for a takeover or a stake. The industry grapevine has been rife with theories that DT Cinemas was up for grabs by some of the forceful exhibition chains in the country, after the falling apart of the company's reported deal with PVR Cinemas. Rumour mills have been active that the real estate giant had been contemplating selling its cinema brand to Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG)-owned Reliance MediaWorks. That the Mumbai-based exhibition major had been reportedly desperate for acquisitions following its futile attempts to acquire another Mumbaibased cinema chain Fame, the industry was given to understand that the Reliance cinema concern was equally eying the ailing DT Cinemas, as the latter was considered an easy take following the falling apart of its deal with PVR. It may be recalled that in February this year, the deal between PVR and DT Cinemas had fallen apart as DLF was reported to have failed to fulfill certain conditions required for the transaction to be complete before the deadline. In the wake of the latest market reports, DLF sought to clarify that "contrary to market speculations, DLF management confirms that their cinema venture under the aegis of DT Cinemas shall be owned and operated in the foreseeable future as a DLF group company." Interestingly, even as the DT Cinemas acquisition theories continues to hover over the industry, its market value is reported to have more than doubled even in the face of a troubled business status. According to sources, while the company was valued at Rs. 50 crore at the time of the deal with PVR, its current value has been estimated at Rs 125 crore.

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DT Cinemas currently operates a total of 26 screens from five locations spread across the national capital region and up north. It also has plans to expand to cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Calcutta, and Goa for a pan-India presence.

UFO Moviez Goes Ambitious on 3D E-Cinema solutions provider UFO Movies is reportedly planning an ambitious initiative to expand its recently taken up alternative content supply in 3D digital format via satellite-based delivery. According to sources, the company plans to invest to the tune of Rs 100 crore to provide state of the art digital cinema systems with satellite-based delivery of 3D content to theatres across the country. As part of its 3D roll out plan, it intends to enable as many as 1000 screens in the next two years, with about 500 screens to be covered by the end of this year, and the rest slated for 2011, say sources. More importantly, the company's 3D plan envisages creating an end-toend platform for ingestion, distribution and exhibition of 3D content for theatres which means creating the entire infrastructure to create 3D content. The end-to-end solution includes services ranging from acquisition, post production to exhibition. It would be an integrated model on the lines of its currently running digital cinema solution, indicate sources.

the exhibition industry to brace up the model unless there is a local content available since they would not depend on Hollywood/Bollywood all through the year. On the other hand, it is also unthinkable for 3D content creation till there is a critical mass for of theatrical base for exhibition. While UFO intends to leverage its existing strengths in creating infrastructure to promote its 3D business cause, it is cautiously away from content creation. It is to be seen in this backdrop, about practical viability of the whole proposition.

PremierWorld Unveils 4D Theatres PremierWorld Technology announced the availability of their 4D theatres with Motionchair technology. The Motionchair is a pneumatically operated motion base with four cinema types seats that incorporate built in SFX. PremierWorld is already offering a range of Virtual Reality Theatres and experiences based on hydraulic motion bases. However, with a view to bringing in more flexibility and variety of thrills, the company brought to market the new Motionchair-based 4D technology. This technology is particularly suitable for spaces where

access and head room are limited. Therefore, the Motionchair installations optimize the use of spacemore seats in a given area and more flexibility as to the number of seats starting as low as eight and going all the way to hundreds of seats in a theatre. Pneumatics or compressed air is the most popular driving medium for this type of seat worldwide. It has the advantages of: low power and low running cost, flexibility in installing the pneumatic power unit which requires very little space, clean and low noise, virtually no heat is generated and its gives an excellent quality ride. Motionbase is a genuine 3 degrees of freedom (DOF) motion base. It is easy to verify this as it has three cylinders. There are often misleading claims as to the number of DOF but it is easy to verify - unless the product has three cylinders or motors it is not 3DOF. Motionbase gives a powerful fast ride and motion that riders appreciate. Theatres have not less than twelve dramatic and exciting SFX. A High Definition picture gives realism and the DynamicVision 3D system is specially engineered for motion viewing as the 3D image remains strong and dynamic whatever the position of the viewer's head - and in a PremierWorld 4D theatre there is a lot of movement.

Reportedly buoyed by the recent satisfying success of screening of Indian Premier League matches to cinemas in digital 3D format, and the growing enthusiasm among theatre operators about 3D digital, the company is said to have hit upon the idea of creating a strong business case / base for its cause. Further, the company's move on 3D is attributed to two factors. While there is an admitted enthusiasm about alternative content and 3D in the country, it is extremely difficult for

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Multiplex Money Matters PVR to Invest Rs. 120 Crore for Expansion Despite having had one of the hardest years of business during FY 2009-10, Delhi-based multiplex chain PVR is extremely bullish about the expansion of its business. The company has reportedly earmarked a massive amount of Rs 120 crore for its expansion plans across the country in 2010. Almost half of the amount is to be allocated for South India alone, to be spent over the next 18 months. "We plan to invest about Rs 120 crores this year, and expand our presence across the country," the Group President Pramod Arora disclosed. "For South India specifically, we are looking at investing Rs 50 crores in the coming 18 months," he said and added, "we have very aggressive expansion plans for this year, not just in the multiplex space but also for PVR Pictures and bluO." The disclosure came during the launch of its latest multiplex in Chennai recently. The seven-screen cinema at Ampa City Walk in Chennai is the 'brand' new cinematic destination in the Tamil Nadu capital. The 1794-seat multiplex is equipped with DCIcompliant 2K digital projection systems, besides the ultra luxury

Reliance MediaWorks Hikes its Stake in Fame In a bid to grab more operating space in Fame Cinemas, the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG)-owned Reliance MediaWorks recently acquired an additional 1.89 lakh shares of Fame India along with two other group firms, taking the total stake in the multiplex chain to 14.34 per cent.

offerings of premium seating and high quality movie watching ambience. According to Arora, South India is an important market for PVR and "Chennai is a step in the right direction to accomplish the company's expansion plans." Commenting on the new launch in Chennai, PVR Cinemas CEO-Digital Cinema Amitabh Vardhan said: "We are ecstatic about launching in Chennai, this city was on our expansion radar since long. It is our constant endeavour to reach out to movie lovers and provide them the best in entertainment." The Ampa City Walk launch took the company's total screen count to 123 screens from 17 locations.

R-ADAG's three entities namely Reliance MediaWorks, Reliance Capital and Reliance Capital Partners have together acquired 1.89 lakh equity shares, or 0.54 per cent stake at an average price of Rs 78.33. The acquisition of shares was made through open market transactions. It may be recalled that Inox Leisure and Reliance MediaWorks had been in the fray to acquire a stake in Fame India. The latter has already made an open offer of Rs 180 crore to buy 52.72 per cent stake in Fame at Rs 83.40 per share. The group's multiplex chain under the brand name BIG Cinemas operates 253 screens across India. On the other hand, Inox Leisure has 33 multiplexes and 123 screens in 23 cities across the country.

PVR Net Plummets by 84 Per Cent PVR Cinemas suffered, probably, the biggest dent in its profits among all the multiplexers in the country for the FY 2009-2010 with 84.5 per cent drop in consolidated profit-down to Rs 1.35 crore from Rs. 8.71 crore earned last year. Total income on consolidated basis for 2009-10 was down 4.73 per cent to Rs 338.55 crore against Rs 355.39 crore in the previous fiscal. Revenue from the movie exhibition business increased to Rs 303.47 crore in the reporting fiscal from Rs 293.55 crore in the previous fiscal, while that from movie production and distribution fell to Rs 25.38 crore in 200910 down from Rs 72.12 crore in 2008-09.

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On a standalone basis, the company posted a decline as much as 97.41 per cent in net profit at Rs 0.26 crore for the fiscal ended March 31, 2010, against Rs 10.07 crore in the previous fiscal. Total income on a standalone basis dipped 3.75 per cent to Rs 278.36 crore for 2009-10 from Rs 289.23 crore in the previous fiscal. Like most other multiplex chains in the country, the shutting down of cinemas during the first quarter of the year under review due to the face off with movie producers has lent a major blow the company's earnings.

Inox Net Up by 7 Per Cent Inox Leisure Ltd., reported net profit of Rs 26.06 crore for the financial year ended 31 March 2010, with a seven per cent growth over Rs 24.34 crore earned during in FY09. Though the total revenues from the company's theatrical business increased from Rs. 225.17 crore in FY 2009 to Rs. 253.60 crore in FY 2010, the net profits from the division dropped from Rs. 25.09 crore to Rs. 20.05 crore. However, the company's net sales were up 12.38 per cent to stand at at Rs 253.65 crore,


marginally up from Rs. 225.90 crore earned during the previous fiscal. Revenues from film distribution were also down to Rs 19 lakh compared to Rs 1.52 crore earned in FY09. On the other hand, the film production division contributed RS 29 lakh. The relatively poor profits had been attributed to the closure of many of its cinemas during the first quarter of FY 2009 owing to the dispute with the producers-distributor combine. Even as profits and revenues took a dent, the company continued its expansion during the year with six new properties in cities of Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Siliguri, Visakhapatnam and Thane- taking its tally of total screens in operation from 91 to 119. The company also launched its second multiplex in Visakhapatnam and its third multiplex in Bangalore in April 2010, taking its total tally of multiplexes to 34 with 129 screens in 23 cities across India. During the year,

the company acquired the promoters' shareholding in multiplex chain Fame (India) amounting to 43.28 per cent stake and further acquired another 7.21 per cent stake. Inox Leisure currently owns 50.48 per cent stake in the company. Inox Leisure director Deepak Asher said, "the significant growth shown by Inox in the past fiscal, in spite of the difficult beginning to the year as a result of the film industry strike, is only reflective of our commitment to execute our growth plans and deliver enhanced value to our stakeholders."

Cinemax Net Up by 53 Per Cent Cinemax India saw a net profit of Rs 16.97 crore for the financial year 200910, which is a growth of 53 per cent over the net profit of Rs 11.05 crore earned for previous fiscal. The company's net sales for the year stood at Rs 176 crore.

The company notified that its profits took a dent due to the standstill status of the business follwing the infamous 60-day stand-off between the exhibitors and the producersdistributors combine. Cinemax India chairman Rasesh B. Kanakia said, "we have seen a lot of ups and downs in last year with unfortunate strike hitting Q1 of FY09 badly, but the industry bounced back in a strong way and we have seen growth in the net profit." Based on a strong market sentiment, the company added 20 more screens to its brand during the year, while it has drawn up plans for 40 more screens in the coming months. Due to the increased locations, the company also had increased footfalls during the year- with a 22 lakh more footfalls, rising from 85 lakh to 10.8 lakh. Additionally, Cinemax, which operates 94 screens across India at present, plans to expand operations to 140 screens by the end of FY 2010-11.


in IM Global Big Entertainment's (S)take Reliance Big Entertainment has acquired an undisclosed majority and shareholding in the Los Angeles ie mov nal natio inter d London base uary Febr In al. Glob IM pany sales com a ed form es pani com two 2010, the al Glob IM saw that nce sales allia handle Reliance's Hindi movies has internationally. This sales alliance iring acqu nce Relia to d resse now prog al. Glob IM in e stak a majority een The extended relationship betw to ed hop the two companies is for ensure an increased capability by IM g ncin independent movie fina and sales into Global, an expansion lish -Eng non financing for top tier tive language cinema as well as selec r othe and India rights acquisitions for Asian markets.

he said help nurture that progression," forward ing and added, "we're also look ence pres to helping Reliance extend its film e in Hollywood and the worldwid community." ional Ford, a former Miramax Internat ch Mar in al Glob IM ded head, foun blished 2007. The company quickly esta the in t agen s sale itself as a dling a international community han cial, artmer com m strea main variety of like ies Mov . fare re gen house and and Peli Oren by vity Acti al Paranorm A imed accla cally criti 's Tom Ford best Single Man were some of the al. Glob IM by dled movies han

's IM Glboal's founder Stuart Ford will ale amd Ancr pany com ing hold in retain a significant equity position as the business, and he will continue iCEO of the company under a mult year deal. years, "After a phenomenal first three onto e mov to y read the company is th," the next stage of its strategic grow t lates the on ting Ford said commen not d coul ly simp development. "I to wish for a more dynamic partner

IM Global currently has in post 51, Area up w production Peli's follo t Go, Mus g ythin Will Ferrell-starrer Ever es Jam ctor dire The Astral from SAW Ben Wan, The Company Men with John and s Jone Affleck and Tommy Lee that ies Mov ory. Cusack thriller The Fact y Berr e Hall are are in pre-production ing starr ner Cost n starrer Dark Tide, Kevi Of War e Littl A and directing vehicle ing Our Own, and Protection starr Madonna the des Dwayne Johnson, besi directed movie We. r The IM Global deal is another majo od ywo acquisition by Reliance in Holl Spielberg en Stev with d nere part it r afte

ation and Stacey Snider on the form its of DreamWorks Studios and with various film development deals ey, Carr Jim the likes of Nicolas Cage, s, mbu George Clooney, Chris Colu h, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Jay Roac Brian Brett Ratner, Julia Roberts, Grazer and Ron Howard. Big Funding Judge Dredd: Reliance IM with g alon t, men Entertain s' 3D Global, would finance DNA Film ie, mov The d. Dred e Judg movie is which is budgeted at $45 million, k boo ic com A.D. 2000 the based on by rs floo on go will and r characte the end of this year. by Judge Dredd will be directed e. fam t Poin Pete Travis of Vantage at d case show The movie trailer was ival Fest Film the recent Cannes ie is market. The script of the mov uce prod will by Alex Garland, who rew with DNA Films' And Macdonald and Allon Reich.

p Soccer, Music India Too Scores at World Cu world sports- a great musical Latin It’s not just the foot ball-crazy pean Euro and tries coun American ing nations that will go roaring scor Cup ld Wor er at the Socc Championship 2010 in ‘score’ Johannesburg. India too will ? rised Surp t. even ted at the cove

ons As if a consolation for those milli ng ruei been of Indians who had er, the over the country’s fate in socc Salim dream ‘merchant’ duo but Sulaiman are scoring not once getic ener t mos twice for the worlds’ no that sporting fete. In a feat Indian achieved till now, n Bollywood’s latest music sensatio and t brothers Salim Merchan

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r the journey in deed, especially afte ble dou y’s kutt Phu ool Rahman-Ras . year last Oscar honour

signed Sulaiman Merchant have been for on for composing the anthem Closing and y mon Cere ning Ope both Cup. Ceremony of the FIFA World RnB Adding to the plurastic sound, is who Bala ent artist Loyiso Vinc t and Nelson Mandela’s favourite artis will also er inan Wan Eric Kenian singer So, . hers brot the e perform alongsid to from Bollywood to Hollywood

Salim-Sulaiman duo – a regular raj with Ram Gopal Varma and Yash a Darn ot, Films with movies like Bho aste Mana Hain, Dhoom-2, Nam k London shot into fame with Cha De in 2007. this It may also be significant in that to our hon est bigg nd seco is the after Indian filmy music composers for ic mus ing scor ’s man A R Rah ng. 2008 Summer Olympics in Beiji


ign Mien & Men Buddha to Appear with Fore upcoming release The Way ear When Mahatma Gandhi can app ign fore with en on Indian big scre a men and mien, why not Gautam t wha tly Buddha? That’s exac must director Ashutosh Gowariker od peri the have thought. For, st moviemaker – even as his late Jee Hum lein Khe cinematic venture big the hit to Jaan Sey is waiting d screen – has already gone ahea stry indu by ed ider with what is cons ngouti s opu num circles as his mag gn the Buddha, with an all-forei . starcast and crew

ra Being produced by Dr.Bhupend Kumar Modi and directed by Gowariker, Buddha is slated to ntal relive the ancient India and Orie 2590 Past of circa 580 B.C. (or say BP). It will retell the journey of the Gautama Buddha right from ce Prin time when he was known as Siddhartha to his moment of the Enlightenment and turning into Bud dha . play While the hunt for the actor to it on, still be to said is the lead role ie mov the that note to g is intriguin allan have will primarily international crew except production designer Nitin ked Chandrakant Desai who has wor For ies. mov er arik Gow for most of w those who are interested to kno is that try artis l iona the internat flowing into the scripting of cinematic Buddha:

Back, Disney’s Hexe Lilli, Warner Bros.’ Das Wilde Leben, Blood Diamond, and films such as City a, of Joy, Flames in Paradise, May rs othe ng amo Return to Rajapur

Day, movies such as Independence ies, Diar cess The Jackal, The Prin nicles Maid in Manhattan, The Chro a Ninj ian, of Narnia: Prince Casp Assassin e April Ferry (USA) - Costum rd, Awa y dem Aca rigne Des er BAFTA and Emmy award winn 3: who has worked on Terminator , Rise of the Machines, Maverick rity Free Willy, Frailty, National Secu

Unit Glenn Boswell (AUS) - 2nd - has ator rdin coo t director / Stun en X-M like ies worked on mov Wolverine, I, Robot, all three d Matrix films, Dark City, The Islan Line Red Thin of Dr. Moreau,

Jarrod Linton(AUS) - Previz Supervisor- has worked on movies like Harry Potter and the Vinci Order of the Phoenix, The Da te cola Code, Charlie and the Cho en X-M Factory, Troy, The Spirit,

Wol veri ne David Russell (AUS) - Story Board artist- a renowned r storyboard artist and illustrato 80 over to ted ribu cont having movies including Hollywood Xblockbusters such as Star Wars,

en David S. Ward (USA) - Scre his for writer- best known Oscar winning screenplay in The Sting and Sleepless in Seattle

Michel Shane (USA) Executive Producer- who is known for having worked on films like I Robot and Catch Me If You Can ) Karl Walter Lindenlaub (USA yraph tog Pho - Director of Germ an-b orn Lind enla ub earned fame for his work on

ut Apparently feeling glorified abo Modi his boastful venture, producer a, is a was quoted as saying: “Buddh ed a truly global film, and we need al team that would have a glob uage lang d scen tran and ty ibili sens barriers.”

Men Wolverine, Batman, er Terminator II, Who Framed Rog & eo Rom ne, bsto Tom Rabbit, Juliet, Moulin Rouge •

/USA) Dileep Singh Rathore (IND ruce Prod - Co-producer / Line in ce rien expe with over 20 years estic producing and handling dom ons, ucti prod and international r’s Dileep’s credits include Peter Wei

According to sources close to to Gowariker, Dr. Modi’s decision the was lish Eng in make Buddha the critical differentiator between For ial. spec the conventional and subjects like Buddha, the storytellers need to keep in view it international audiences, and that in ie mov the e mak was decided to to English, it became imperative get to rtise expe l have internationa to eal app and the intended look the whole exercise. some That the movie is already into two-and-half months of pree production work with extensiv sessions with the director of r photography, costume designe the es and stunt-coordinator mak ie whole talk about the epic mov ons practically one. For the pers associated with the movie have als of etched their names in the ann als enti movie history with such cred d. llele that are unlikely to be para ber There had been countless num on, ies stor of ions vers ic of cinemat on told and s Epic an Indi and from no , ever How . scale al epic ly practical itive sens the hed touc one ever subject of the Buddha whose preachings had often been society disputed by some sections of the to e vanc rele of nds on the grou . ages ent subsequ is The search for cinematic Buddha however still on.

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Presidential Honour to Anupam Kher Noted actor Anupam Kher was honored with the Presidential Award of Global Indian by Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, recently in Colombo. Kher was given this prestigious award at the Global Leadership Forum which was jointly organized by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and International Indian Film Academy (IIFA). The Shimla-born actor was given the honour in recognition of his contribution to the movie industry in India. A multi-faceted professional artiste that he is, Anupam Kher had been playing an active role in theatre circuits, and directorial pursuits besides his typical acting exploits. He had also been running a training institute in India and

abroad for acting called Actor Prepares. A veteran of about 300 films, Anupam Kher has played varied roles in his 26year-long stint with Bollywood. Some of his landmark films include Saransh, Sir, and Daddy. Recently he was seen in offbeat films like Morning Walk, Khosla Ka Ghosla and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara. Kher made it big with direction too when he directed Om Jai Jagadish. He also produced critically acclaimed movies like Bariwali (1999) as well as Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Mara (2005).

Madhur Bhandarkar Felicitated Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar was felicitated at the India Show in Dubai recently. The show was organised by the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry from 8 to 10 June. Minister of Commerce & Industry Anand Sharma represented Government of India at the show that was inaugurated by HE Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade and Commerce. It may be recalled that earlier this year, Bhandarkar was also awarded in Moscow and Egypt for his contribution to Indian Cinema. Commenting on the honour, Bhandarkar said, "I am highly honored and very delighted. It is always motivating when one gets such felicitations of encouragement. I extend my heartiest thanks to the organizers of the Show

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and the audiences worldwide, who have always stood by me." The components of the show included a Made in India Trade Exhibition on all three days, besides a networking meet organized by Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry; an India Business Summit organized by FIEO, CII & IBPC, Dubai and India Culture Evening and Indian Cuisine Dinner.

3 Idiots Run Away with IIFA Awards The Aamir Khan box office trailblazer 3 Idiots has once again cornered most honours at the 2010 International Indian Film Academy Awards. The 11th edition of the annual film fete, held recently in Colombo, saw the Rajkumar Hiranidirected Bollywood drama walking way with as many as 16 awards, probably, more than any movie in the recorded history. So goes the list: Best Film; Best Direction; Best Performance in a Leading Role ( Female); Performance in Supporting Role (Male); Performance in a Negative Role; Best Story; Best Lyrics; Best Playback Singer (Male); Best Cinematography; Best Screenplay; Best Dialogue; Best Editing; Best Sound Recording; Best Song Recording; Best Sound Re-recording; and the Best Background Score. This is second time the movie has won so many awards from a single event. It may be recalled that the movie had won as many as 10 awards at the 16th edition of Star Screen Awards recently. During the IIFA 2010 event turned unique for reasons more than one. The weekend programming was marked by many interesting activities such as FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum, the IIFA Foundation Fashion show, the IIFA Foundation Celebrity Cricket Match, World premieres of Indian movies, IIFA Film Workshop and the IIFA Awards show. Other important honours at the event included that of yester year actress Zeenat Aman who was presented with Outstanding Achievement in Indian Cinema award, and J. Om Prakash who received honorary award for his Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema.


Enlivened by the music composed by Rahman, Ravaan fuses drama, action, love story, and musical. The film tells the adventurous story of a bandit leader who kidnaps the wife of the policeman who killed his sister, taking her through a journey during which once again the everlasting, epic battle between good and bad takes place.

3 Idiots Conquer UN Raj Kumar Hirani and his 3 Idiots are flying high. Having treasured global box offices, and fascinated many an international film fete, including the Indian Film Festival 2010 in Melbourne recently, they are touching every possible frontier of fame. Now their story is taken by none other than the United Nations. The movie was recently screened at the apex body of global togetherness sending the message loud and clear- Indian genius knows no boundaries. According to market sources, the Department of Management at the United Nations got in touch with Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s office in Mumbai regarding the screening of the movie.

What is more interesting is that the movie screening was followed by a two-hour long discussion session with the UN representatives. The session debated on how the movie has impacted mindsets across the entertainment diasporas. Along with Raj Kumar Hirani, the movie’s writer Abhijit Joshi has reportedly attended the question-andanswer session with the UN members as part of the post-screening discussion session.

Mani Ratnam’s Glory to the Filmmaker Award Yet another laurel for noted movie director Mani Ratnam! He will honoured with the 2010 JaegerLeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award at the Venice International Film Festival to be held in September. “One of the great innovators in contemporary Indian cinema, he helped introduce the auteur concept to contemporary Bollywood,” says the Venice Film Festival Director Marco Mueller explaining the event’s choice for the Raavan maker. “His movies display precision and poise, and have always been removed from the bombast and bluster of massproduced regional cinema.” According to the famed film event, Mani Ratnam used to make movies only in his native tongue, Tamil, but has been one of a handful of filmmakers to successfully handle the transition to the all-India market. The lavish musical numbers in his movies, some of the best-tailored in Mumbai and Madras in recent years, have influenced the style of many others as well as the design of commercials and music videos. “Ratnam’s most celebrated films have become part of the cinematic

imagination of the sub-continent,” Mueller noted. As in previous editions, the director will also be presented with a Reverso Jaeger-LeCoultre watch, a one-of-akind model with a commemorative engraving. On the occasion of the award ceremony, the Mostra communication agency will present the festival premiere of Mani Ratnam’s latest flick Ravaan, attended by the director and by the Indian movie super stars Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, Vikram, and Academy award winner music director A.R. Rahman.

Produced in association with Reliance Big Pictures and distributed internationally by Reliance Big Pictures and IM Global, Ravaan opened in theatres worldwide on June 18.

Khan and Karan, Finally Get One That the Karan Johar-Shar Rukh Khan combination (with the ever charming Kajol appeal, of course,) is a proven Bollywood formula and a sure-fire box office stuff goes without saying. Nothing new for that matter! What is new, however, is that the latest flick with the same formula – My Name is Khan – finally made its name on the international chart of ‘recognition.’ Karan Johar received his first award for MNIK in the form of Muslim Public Affairs Council Award (MPACC) in Los Angeles recently. An excultant Karan said post-MPACC felicitation that the award was truly a matter of great pride not only because it was MNIK’s first award, but also because it has come from such a special organization. Johar, the junior genius, has yet another reason to rejoice as MNIK will be screened at the prestigious art house The Angelika Film Center in New York. If it was 3 Idiots to run away with most awards for about a year now, it appears it’s 3 ‘K’s– Karan, Khan and Kajol – now to begin the chase!

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Bollywood, Hollywood Join Hands to Fight Piracy

Continental Coalition

After decades of debates on dents of movie piracy and efforts to curb the menace, two largest movie making industries of the world have finally come together. Hollywood and Bollywood - having struggled with inadequacies of their individual mechanisms to negate the smarter and potential pirates - have joined hands to pool in their combined energies towards a win-win proposition. The new Anti-Piracy Coalition, therefore, hopes to be more forceful and effective. A TM perspective:

FRAMES 2010 - the 11th edition of the annual event on film and entertainment industries orgainsed by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) - held in Mumbai recently turned up a big hope for the movie industry in the country. The three-day event, which would normally have little for the movie exhibition industry, this time, sprung a surprise by offering something really big. It turned a platform for bringing together the world's largest movie industries from either side of the globe: Bollywood and Hollywood. Henceforth, Bollywood and Hollywood will jointly fight the movie piracy menace by pooling in their combined energies. The joint initiative, a landmark development in itself, was announced as part of a technical session on entertainment organized by Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) at the FRAMES convention. The new Anti-

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Piracy Coalition will be led by Rajiv Dalal, chief of Motion Picture Dist. Association (India) Pvt. Ltd. (MPDA) - a wholly owned India division of the MPAA - along with heads of major

entertainment enterprises such as Yash Chopra (Yashraj Films), Mukhesh Bhatt (Vishesh Films), Sanjeev Lamba (Reliance Big Entertainment), Siddharth Roy Kapur (UTV),


SPECIAL FEATURE

Movie Piracy Under MPDA Act

Harish Dayani (Moser Baer), Ram Mirchandani (Eros International), and Sandeep Bhargava (Studio 18). The newly formed coalition, launched by MPAA chairman Dan Glickman, will target all forms of piracy both physical and online originating from and affecting India. According to the US India Business Council/Ernst & Young 2008 report on 'The Effects of Counterfeiting and Piracy on India's Entertainment Industry,' the Indian movie industry lost almost 1 billion USD (about Rs. 4700 crore) and over five lakh jobs due to piracy. A survey by KPMG also put India high on the piracy scale with 60 per cent illegal movie trade which makes it one of the highest in the Asia-Pacific. Apparently pleased over the coming together of two most prominent move industries in the world, MPAA chief expressed confidence that the coalition will bring a win-win proposition to both the industries. "These last two years of Hindi coproductions, joint television ventures, shared distribution rights, joint ownership of technology companieshave all led to Indian and MPA member studios working in tandem,"

As if taking a rather late cue from Tamil Nadu, the Maharashtra Government last year had brought the audio-video piracy in the State under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act that makes the offenders liable for stringent punishment like that of drug traffickers. The Ordinance enacted to this effect equates audio-video pirates with slumlords, bootleggers, drug offenders and dangerous persons, besides calling for the imprisonment of offenders for up to 12 months. With a view to ensuring that the enforcement of the Act is smooth and effective, the government had also created

Glickman said. "Such cooperation fosters conducive environments that allow movies like Slumdog Millionaire

an anti-piracy cell that constantly monitors and scans the market for any possible illegal trade, and also helps plan the offensive against them. It may be recalled that a few years ago, the Tamil Nadu Government under Jayalalitha regime brought movie piracy under the Goonda Act which resulted with tremendous effect. While neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have also been contemplating more stringent anti piracy regimes, the Maharashtra's Act was hailed as the most powerful ever in the country.

and My Name is Khan to achieve global box office success. And as successful as we have been or can be,

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SPECIAL FEATURE

we need to come together to overcome common obstacles to our joint success. That is why we are here today to announce the launch of this coalition," he said and added, "while piracy is damaging creative communities across the world, it need not be inevitable if we take steps to

collectively address this problem." According to Rajiv Dalal, Glickman's deputy in India, the RAND report on 'Film Piracy, Organized Crime & Terrorism' has clearly demonstrated that movie piracy funds terrorist activity. It was therefore imperative

A Draft Copyright Bill, At Last After years of (re)presentations and recommendations, Government of India made a specific move though an Act towards protecting copyrights of the cinema entertainment industry. The Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha recently by Union Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal. The Bill seeks to give independent rights to lyricists, composers and singers as the authors of literary and musical works in movies. If passed, the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010 will allow professionals like authors and lyricists to get royalties and other benefits from the commercial exploitation of their work. Currently, the right to receive royalty lies with music companies

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and producers. The Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010 also addresses the concern of the music industry that has been complaining about 'version recordings' of original songs and depriving music companies of royalties. It also gives the producer and the director joint ownership of the copyright, thus giving more power to directors. Until now, producers were the sole owners of copyright. Introducing the Bill in the Upper House, the minister said that "the legislation will help artistes and encourage a lot of new talent from the grass roots level." It may be recalled that the government had formed a 10member committee to look into the

proposed amendments to the Copyright Act. The committee comprised industry stalwarts such as Aamir Khan, Mukesh Bhatt, Javed Akhtar, Vishal Bharadwaj, Vishal Dadlani, Prasoon Joshi, Boney Kapoor, Anjum Rajabli, Madhu Mantena and T-Series CMD Bhushan Kumar. The industry is yet to react on the provisions made by the proposed draft Bill. That the committee comprised representatives of all the sections of the industry with sound understanding of the trade the effort is expected to bring significant good to the industry.


SPECIAL FEATURE Anti-Piracy Coalition Swoops on Pirates:

Raajneeti DVDs Seized The recently formed coalition between Bollywood and Hollywood studios continues to mount pressure on movie pirates with major raids conducted across important centres in Maharashtra and Gujarat. AA Khan & Associates, United Copyright Protection Association (UPCA) and police conducted raids in Wada, Ahmadabad and multiple raids in Mumbai seizing 25,000 pirated discs and 22 DVD writers worth Rs 26 lakh of recent releases like Raajneeti, Prince of Persia, Kites and Housefull amongst others.

for all state administrations in the country to take this menace seriously and place film piracy offenses under organized crime statutes like Maharashtra did in 2009. It may be recalled that last year, Maharashtra government enacted an Ordinance bringing audio-video piracy under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act that called for stringent action against pirates. The Ordinance was notified following a representation by the movie industry about the adverse impact on the theatrical fortunes of the industry as well as the livelihood of employees dependent on it. Speaking about the devastating effects of piracy, Harish Dayani of Moser Baer said that the Indian film industry and 'Brand Bollywood' are far too important to be destroyed by criminals. There was a strong need for a powerful legislative and enforcement mechanism in tackling the issue of copyright infringement. According to him, the enormity of the crime was perhaps not understood and the state of affairs in the movie exhibition business was largely due to large scale consumption of pirated CDs and DVDs.

In multiple raids that were conducted across Mumbai, close to 6000 pirated discs were seized. AA Khan & Associates conducted a joint raid with a PSI Kolekar from Wada Police Station, outside Mumbai of a pirated movie discs manufacturing plant. A total of 12,956 pirated DVDs of recently released Hindi and English movies were seized in the raid. One person was also arrested in the raid. 22 DVD writers and two processors were seized. The discs in the raid are estimated to be worth Rs 14 lakh and 3,000 pirated DVDs of Raajneeti were recovered. Under the jurisdiction of B Ward BMC, UPCA conducted a raid at the junction of Yusuf Meherali road and Abdul Rehman Street, Majid bunder, in Mumbai. The team along with BMC Officers seized a total of 1500

pirated discs of movies. Another raid that was conducted at Malwani Market in Malad West along with Malwani Police Station on a stall vendor pirated movies, a total of 2984 pirated discs were seized. Three people were arrested in the raid estimated to be worth Rs 4 lakh. At a raid conducted near Hotel Sarovar outside Kandvali West Railway Station, close to 1400 discs was seized from the stalls estimated to be worth Rs 200,000. Two people were arrested in the raid. In Gujarat, the UPCA conducted a joint raid with a team from Sirkach Police Station in Ahmedabad on a godown of pirated movie discs. A total of 5265 pirated DVDs were seized in the raid and four people were arrested. The discs in the raid are estimated to be worth over Rs. 2.5 lakh. More raids, more seizures worth Rs. 42 Lakh: Raids were conducted in Mumbai, Buldana, Vadodara and Surat recently during which the raid teams uncovered as many as 41,713 pirated discs including multiple DVD prints of recent Hollywood and Bollywood releases like Kites, Iron Man 2, Shrek 4 and Badmaash Company worth Rs 42 lakhs. The raids have been conducted by the police along with the recently formed coalition between Bollywood and Hollywood studios.

Highlighting the element of intheatre-copying of the movies,

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Anti-Piracy Teaching Through Comics Schoolchildren across the country will soon be learning about the dangers of online movie piracy through a comic book launched by the recently formed BollywoodHollywood anti-piracy coalition. The book titled Escape from Terror Byte City was launched by Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, at the inaugural session of the 'Cyber Safety Week' held recently in Mumbai. The programme - organised under the aegis of Motion Picture Association-Asia Pacific, and aimed at promoting awareness among computer-literate children about online piracy - was attended by Maharashtra home minister R. R. Patil and Mumbai Police commissioner D. Sivanandan. As part of the awareness programme, as many as 10,000 comic books will be distributed in the coming months in Mumbai to children aged five to ten in schools, multiplexes and malls. A local adaption of a comic originally developed by New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft, it tells the story of two boys who become trapped in a virtual city after downloading an unauthorized copy of a movie from a peer-to-peer file sharing site. The comic will be published in three languages - Hindi, Marathi and English - and it has been endorsed by the Department of Information Technology, Mumbai Police, Data Security Council of India (DSCI) and the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). "This is an excellent initiative by the film industry to raise awareness of the dangers of online theft," said Motion Picture Association Asia Pacific president and managing director Mike Ellis, who was present on the occasion. "The comic book was a success when we launched it in New Zealand last September and

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we are glad to see an adaptation being distributed in India," he said, adding, "While all of us in the industry continue to work with the government to address this issue, we must also get the message across to the public- by saying 'no' to illegal movie content." According to Motion Picture Dist. Association (MPDA) India managing director Rajiv Dalal, "as the first building block of the agency's brand-new educational initiative, it is targeting kids who are influenced by what they read and see. The MPDA hoped that putting this in comic form makes the message more accessible, interesting and exciting to the children. "We look forward to working with the Ministry of Human Resource Development to extend this initiative and have this comic distributed to all school children across the country," he said. UTV Motion Pictures vice president Prakash Nathan felt that Internet piracy was becoming increasingly rampant among online audiences, and there was a strong need to reach out to people across age brackets and social strata. "School children are at an impressionable age and do not always know the distinction between legal and illegal," he said, adding, "the comic book is a valuable step in educating them about online piracy."

Siddharth Roy Kapur of UTV said that nearly every Indian title was being camcorded and made available in pirate markets within no time from legitimate theatrical release. According to him, while the industry had come together to provide theatre security and anti-camcord training to theatre staff, all those efforts would be futile without the government passing anti-camcord legislation to hold perpetrators liable for the crime. While the in-theatre piracy continues to be big enough a menace, a matching threat has arisen from the virtual space- thanks to the emergence of a strong Internet and intelligent net-crackers! This is exemplified in two separate reports last year that placed India in the top ten countries worldwide for P2P infringements. According to producer Mukesh Bhatt, there is a whole big community of Internet users that views piracy as an activity without consequence and which engages itself in piracy with ease within both domestic and international sites through a range of piracy methods. Now that a notionally powerful body had been formed, the industry hopes the initiative will pay off rich dividends and safeguard the industry interests. That Indian movie industry is moving closer to its centenary year - supposed to be 2013 - the initiative is expected to be purposeful to make the centenary celebrations meaningful.


SPECIAL FEATURE

IPL Matches on Big Screen

Cricketing Cinema:

Howzzaaat! – By Bhavanashi Ramakrishna Indian cinema is 'sporting' entertainment, these days. The hitherto hypothetical 'alternative content' has finally zoomed onto the big screen in the form of the country's biggest sport- cricket. Having seen the impact of the cricketing jamboree during 2009 season of Indian Premier League (IPL), Indian cinemas and their exhibition technology solutions providers this time ensured that 'they too played the game' much to the excitement of the spectators! IPL 2010 - the third edition of India's most popular sporting fete ever - and cinema have come together to offer a 'sportainment' of a different kind altogether. Does it, or will it auger well for either parties? A TM perspective:

Remember those good, olden simple, sober and State-controlled days of cinema regime? Or ask those of yester generations who used to frequent cinemas- they are all the more likely to fondly reminisce their getting compulsorily treated, every time, to watching a Newsreel that surely contained at least a clip or two - in black & white - of that famous Indian spin quartet bamboozling many a great batsmen and, Sunny Little Master Gavasker easing away the fearsome West Indian foursome or the Aussie bouncy odyssey! They were a big draw for most of those serious cinemagoers, for whom the sporting video on the big screen truly played big as if they had been

watching it live, sitting in a stadium! However, the cinemas' gradually doing away with the newsreel culture had distanced even the remote chances of cricket or any sport from cinema. Come television- the idiot box practically transformed the sportainment into a drawing room past time for many years, and, of late, raised to 'spiritainment' in pubs and clubs for the gen-next.

Either way, cinemas lost some of their ground with the 'earliest form of alternative content' disappearing from the moviefare!

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SPECIAL FEATURE However, the magic was back, probably, the biggest way one could ever imagine- in the form of Indian Premier League, its third edition, to be precise. As a cinematic providence would have it, while the cinema exhibition mindset had dynamically begun moving into digital architecture allowing for exhibition multiple non filmy productions, the cricket-pulsation too had transformed inside out to reverse the excitement into an aphoristic 'small is big'- the shorter, T20 version of the game taking the country's billion-plus heartbeats in its tune. As the game change from either side moved into a cohesion of new entertainment offering, the big screen got a new script to sport with: Cricket in cinemas! With the frenzy of IPL-II denting the box office heavily last year, the cinema exhibition community and its technology supporters made sure that it will playback the game for the ‘payback!’ The result: as many as 90 per cent of the IPL matches were reportedly shown live in as many as IPL THEATRES State

No. of Screens

Assam

9

Bihar

36

Chattisgarh

25

Daman & Diu

19

Goa

6

Gujarat

70

Haryana

22

Himachal Pradesh

1

Jammu & Kashmir

3

Jharkand Kerala Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra

11 1 44 157

Orissa

21

Punjab

30

Rajasthan

34

Tamil Nadu Uttar Pradesh Uttranchal West Bangal

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1

Delhi

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5 61 3 64

India Gives a Miss to T20 World Cup Having taken all the thrills of IPL III, one would have expected the T20 World Cup too to get into Indian Cinemas. However, neither the timeslots of the matches were suitable to Indian comfort levels nor the technology was viable in terms of finances required. With both the cinemas and the technology providers being aware of the predicament, they both 'played' safe. The third edition of T20 World Cup

2010 was held in the West Indies from April 30 to May 16, just five days after the final of IPL III. The matches were played in two time slots 8 pm - 11 pm IST and 10.30 pm to 1.30 am IST. Half of the matches went with poor TPR not only due to the time factor but also crashing out of India in the Super 8s itself. So, it was neither a stimulating factor to pull crowds, nor a viable business proposition to go ahead with.

800 theatres across the country; the last four matches - two semi finals, third-fourth place, and the final - were shown in 3D digital across some 150plus theatres; and the box office was almost full to the brim!

In addition to this count, there are the big brethren- the multiplexes with 2k and 3D digital settings, furnished by Scrabble Entertainment and all that glamourous trappings! This score is said to be another 'century'!

A strange game where both the players won, for a practical win-win proposition!

"We screened IPL matches in at least one screen across all our multiplexes," confirmed an Inox executive. That the Mumbai-based operator had some 33 multiplex locations by that time meant it fielded more than that count for the match. "We dedicated 15-20 screens for the IPL," said Vishal Kapur, COO of Fun Cinemas. According to Big Cinemas COO-West, Aashish Saxena and PVR CEO-Digital Cinema Amitabh Vardrhan, the two multiplex giants too fielded at least one screen from each of their locations which meant another 70 screens approx.

According to IPL's website itself, the number of cinemas in the country that screened the matches totalled to 623, excluding the multiplex screens (and 3D screens)! Maharashtra led the 'game' with as many as 167 screens, followed by Gujarat with 70 screens, West Bengal with 64 screens and Uttar Pradesh with 61 screens- forming the top four. These are all, apparently, powered by UFO technology.


SPECIAL FEATURE

Eat Cricket, Drink Cricket Though Indian cinemas boast they made a big-screen case of IPL and made some good money too, it was the pubs and night clubs who reportedly made more money than cinemas. With the IPL matches coming live on television, most nocturnal entities in the country created special large-screen LCDs/ plasmas on their bar premises with a view to providing their guzzling customers more doses of

entertainment. That they didn't have to shell anything extra on admission, except for the liquor, most of the young preferred to settle in a corner or front of a pub and 'eat cricket,' and 'drink cricket!'

Though the beginning was of a mixed response with some cinemas getting a bullish opening box office while others had a bearish opening, the cinematic cricket picked up momentum as the tourney progressed, and reached the crescendo of excitement towards the end.

Says Vishal Kapur: "It started with a hype, and got diluted due to the

"IPL started slowly due to a combination of factors like examinations, besides the fact that people were still not getting used to the idea of watching it on the big screen," said the Inox spokesperson. "But with the word of mouth on the experience, and the ambience at multiplexes spreading we saw a steady increase in numbers," she said, adding, "the finals, which were also screened in 3D at our multiplexes in Nariman Point, Pune and Kolkata-Elgin Road, ran to almost full houses."

According to sources, most pubs in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata made better returns than their nearest swanky multiplex on many IPL match outings.

length of the tournament. The last five league matches, however, had good occupancies." The satisfying openings at PVR and Big Cinemas picked up gradually and went on to fill their box offices towards the end. According to sources, Cinemax and other multiplexes had an opening occupancy of around 15-20 per cent, and went up to 50-70 per cent toward the end.� "Occupancy across the country, on an average, has been about 50 per cent," elaborates the Fun COO. "Response to the final match has been too good, particularly in Mumbai where we had four shows, and all of them were houseful." Says Amitabh Vardhan: "Cricket and movies are two big passions for all Indians. We knew there was good match between them, and attempted to bring them to a common show. Though the beginning was sluggish, it did pay off well towards the end. That the multiplexes roped in 3D screens towards the end with a view to capitalizing the momentum also contributed to the box office riches. According to the PVR Digital Cinema chief, it was a timely cohesion of all the factors. There was a compelling technology like 3D availability, a willingness among exhibitors to invest in the technology since it already proved its impact, and an excitement among the countrymen about their preferred sport coming in big format.

"The 3D beaming of IPL matches was exceptional," boasts the PVR top executive, "it was as impacting as sitting in the stadium." Powered by corporate strengths and driven by dynamic marketing strategies, multiplexes also made it sure that they left no stone unturned to glamouize the sport like what they do to movies. While Big Cinemas almost created a 'stadium-setting' in the auditorium with cheerlanders, placards and posters for DLF Maximums and 4s, besides peppy music, Cinemax pitched none other than the then IPL Commissioner Lilit Modi. Cinemas also tried dividing the auditoriums into two halves of audiences as if supporting the two teams involved in the game, besides enticing interactive games to pull in more crowds. Some have given whistles and flags to the patrons to revel in their favourite cricketers' 'onscreen-performance' while some have roped in DJs to rock the excited ambience. Some have even served liquor and beer for the patrons of the shows sponsored by corporate bookings. That most cinemas priced their admission rates more or less around their movie ticket fares was also a booster for all those sport lovers in that they wouldn't shell more than a movie ticket price to see the game on big screen. While average collection per match per screen was said to be around Rs five lakh, the total box office collection out of IPL III was estimated to have averaged around 75 lakh per chain, Rs five lakh plus or minus depending on number matches they showed. So, it's a good prize money, considering various factors that applied to the whole game playing. The overall experience, however, is considered 'encouraging' almost unanimously by all the cinemas concerned. And they are enthused to do it again, Come October, Come Commonwealth Games!

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TECHNOLOGY

Reliance Media, UFO in Joint-Initiative

A New Big Digital Gateway

Indian cinema exhibition industry, it appears, is going through to a next level of transformation. Having began its evolution with E-Cinema some seven years ago - with all those trials and tribulations - the industry had progressed to DCI-compliant 2k, and 3D digital on one side and fibre optic and satellite-based delivery systems on the other. With an understandably adequate critical space shaping up, the solution providers are pooling their energies to establish what they call a 'digital gateway' that enables wider variety of high quality content in more secure and reliable fashion. That the initiative is being made by two potentially strong players with high stakes, the profile of India's exhibition scenario may be in for a big tech change.

Reliance MediaWorks Ltd., and UFO Moviez - the two Mumbai-based technology cinema companies have come together for a strategic business alliance to establish what they call the largest gateway for digital movie releases across the country. The jointinitiative envisages a combined application of Reliance MediaWorks' high-end digital cinema experience, coupled with its extensive theatrical programming expertise, and UFO Moviez' digitization technology for creating a strong infrastructural platform of digital cinema. The ensuing platform, the alliance hopes, would enable producers and distributors reach out to more

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number of digital screens in the country for a wider release and consistency in quality of content, besides the ability to curb piracy. The initiative is also claimed to simultaneously help exhibitors multiply their theatrical revenues since the new solution ensures that they have hassle-free, timely release and greater availability of movies. More, it broadens scope for playing alternative content, thereby benefiting everyone in the value chain from production to exhibition, it is claimed. Under this alliance, UFO Moviez would set up an additional encoding

and encryption facility at Reliance MediaWorks' premises. Business engagements with the producers and distributors for this facility would be undertaken by Reliance MediaWorks. The joint initiative is expected to undertake around 15 movie digitization projects on a weekly basis. The primary benefit of this particular exercise, according to sources, is to ensure a more controlled environment for conversion of movies to digital platform in a standardized manner and provide uniform quality and security so that the proposed offering to exhibitors is convincing.


TECHNOLOGY

That Reliance MediaWorks operates BIG Cinemas, India's largest cinema chain with over 250 screens in India spread across 78 cities in the country, apart from around 180 screens abroad, is considered a huge logistic value add for the initiative. This significant theatrical reach, operational learning and rich programming experience across territories is taken to enable the company provide movie programming services for as many as 1,800 cinemas in India equipped with UFO's digital exhibition technology. Under this arrangement, UFO would recommend Reliance MediaWorks' offer for programming services to these cinemas across India. As for security and reliability of content, Reliance MediaWorks' credentials in the area is exemplified by its being the first motion picture services facility in India and all of Asia

to be accredited by Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT)the prestigious industry body in the UK that monitors issues relating to content security across the globe.

transformations in their own market, significantly impacting the Indian Film Industry," said Anil Arjun, CEO of Reliance MediaWorks. "By combining our unique strengths, Reliance MediaWorks and UFO Moviez will accelerate the creation of a secure digital ecosystem that facilitates a wider reach for digital distribution of movies, delivering to movie consumers a superior experience, more content, with greater reliability and lower costs. That's where we can make a real difference."

According to sources, considering UFO Moviez' strengths in security and reliability of content, coupled with convenience of satellite delivery, Reliance MediaWorks also intends to increase the number of digital screens across its cinemas in India using UFO technology.

Kapil Agarwal, Joint MD of UFO Moviez India Ltd. said: "we are very excited about this strategic business alliance with Reliance MediaWorks." According to him, the alliance would help UFO to focus on its core business of technology development and greater proliferation of digital cinema systems across the country, while creating a significant platform for producers and distributors to optimize their print costs and spend more on marketing and publicity.

The increase in number of digital screens is also advocated in that it will help encourage content creators to churn out more variety of alternative content to feed the cinemas towards entertaining patrons for every possible occasion. The instance of screening IPL-III matches by UFO across the country recently is taken to have given a solid ground for building the concept of 'wider alternative content.' "Reliance MediaWorks and UFO Moviez have each led fundamental

Anil Arjun, CEO Reliance MediaWorks Ltd and Kapil Aggarwal, Joint MD, UFO Moviez India Ltd, pose a handshake during the signing of aggrement

"This will help them maintain, if not reduce, the overall release cost, and accelerate the recovery process," he added. Reliance MediaWorks has established a dominant and comprehensive presence across the entire film and media services value chain which includes services like Motion Picture Processing and DI; Visual Effects; Film Restoration and Image Enhancement; 2D to 3D Conversion; Digital Mastering; Studios and Equipment rentals, with presence across US, UK, Japan and India. UFO Moviez is claimed to be the largest chain of satellite-based digital cinemas in the world with over 1800 screens across India. UFO Moviez beams digitally mastered high quality movie content through satellite directly to cinema halls facilitating wide release of any movie without any additional cost in prints for content owners and unprecedented viewing pleasure to movie viewers. The company claims to have screened more than 3.8 million shows all over India till date.

July-September 2010

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TECHNOLOGY

Scrabble Digital Initiative

Touching the Next Frontier After that great, new 'Avatar' that it took since December last, Indian cinema, it appears, is seeking to touch new frontiers of sophistication. Beginning with DCI-complaint 2k and 3D digital, it is exploring the 'wider' cinema domain of 4k and alternative content. Various aspects of expertise for this high tech cinema are now coming within accessible reach for most Indian cinema operators, thanks to the initiatives of an aggressive solutions provider. A TM perspective:

The session of ‘changing dynamics’: Leaders of Indian multiplex industry sharing their views on the next gen. cinema

As Tony Adamson, Manager-Consumer Marketing, DLP Cinema and HDTV at Texas Instruments, began explaining the merits of his company's 4k digital cinema offering - from the dais of a digital cinema debate on the opening day of Scrabble Digital Initiative - the enthusiasm showed by some of the audience said it all. They are willing to explore newer frontiers should there be a compelling offering. The three-day programme, organised from 3-5 June in Mumbai by locallybased, and India's only DCI-compliant 2k and 3D digital cinema solutions provider Scrabble Entertainment, was

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first of its kind in the country in that it was an exclusive, dedicated digital cinema platform with international experts on various aspects of the domain, from across the world, sharing their knowledge and suggesting some ways into future. Besides its programming touching every area of the business in as many as five sessions, the event was also significant that it was organised in a specially created, 250 seat-capacity 3D digital theatre where forthcoming 3D releases from Hollywood were screened in the evening hours. Organised on the lines of currently

popular international cinema show, the event had all that a serious follower of the format could hope for. The very opening session of the event, titled 2k or 4k: A Great Debate sought to address the industry's dilemma about two popular formats of DCIapproved digital cinema. Moderated by Patrick von Sychowski, HeadStrategies, Film and Media Services, from Reliance MediaWorks, the session had as its speakers, besides Tony Adamson of DLP Cinema, Dr. Chong Man-Nang, CEO of GDC Technology Ltd.; George Scheckel, Director, International Business Development, Christie Digital Systems; and Senthil Kumar, co-founder Qube Cinema. The speakers, as also the moderator, sought to explain various criticalities that an exhibitor would interface while contemplating a shift between the two formats. Tony Adamson apparently used the platform to strengthen the cause of DLP's ensuing 4k against the existing CineAlta 4k from Sony. It was sought to be advocated not only purely on technology merits but also on environmental implications and suitability to differently sized auditoriums. While presenting Christie's initiatives in 4k solution, George Scheckel sought to advocate both the formats for exhibitors- recommending 4k for very large screens of upto 100 feet, with conventional size screens doing good with 2k. According to him, exhibitors can leverage the strengths of 4k in manifold formats of alternative content which are meant for larger audiences. The digital projection leader today can upgrade a 2k system to 4k in roughly 15 minutes. Senthil Kumar explained the advancements Qube Cinema brought


TECHNOLOGY

The lead campaigners: Alok Tandon of Inox Leisure Ltd. (left), and Amitabh Vardhan of PVR Cinemas (right) explaing their viewpoints

about towards its compatibility for 4k presentation, Dr. Chong elaborated on what sets apart GDC's technology solution while elevating a cinema to 4k. The post-lunch session, focussed on 'worldwide 3D technologies,' was a dedicated programme on 3D glasses that have become an important technical component of 3D moviefare. Moderated by Scott Meader, general manager at THX, the session had as its panellists Master Image president Hwang Jong Geun; GDC Technology sales director Phil Wu; Guy Hawley, Dolby's international sales director; and Xpand's chief strategy officer Ami Dror. The session, besides anything else, was very informative and brought out many aspects about the role a 3D glassware will have in making a 3D experience telling, and that most exhibitors are not really familiar with. While the exhibitors were happy with the 3D glassware evolving to be more sophisticated, they are concerned at the latter's getting increasingly pricy. The second day opened with a session on 'opportunities and challenges of creating Indian 3D content.' While the speakers presented various views on how the Indian cinematic content domain can be explored for 3D content, there were indeed concerns about the practical possibilities of creating such content and their receptivity

by cinemas at large, since the 3D foot print is still not convincing. The post-lunch session was dedicated to screens and certification of digital cinema. Two of the eminent industry leaders - Scott Meader of THX and Andrew Robinson of Harkness Hall occupied the centre stage. While Scott elaborated the genesis of THX, its instant success with the industry, and the quality certification process it had benchmarked, Andrew detailed the criticalities involved in choosing the right screen for each format of exhibition, 2k, 4k or 3D. The final day session - 'changing dynamics of Indian multiplexes with the revolution of digital cinema and 3D' - was a big beckoner. That it had the captains of India's multiplex industry and its digital initiatives was one, while they shared their driving factors and mindsets for future offered a lot more food for thought. The

panellists included PVR Cinemas CEOdigital Amitabh Vardhan, Inox Leisure CEO Alok Tandon, Fun Cinemas COO Vishal Kapur, and Big Cinemas CooWest Ashish Saxena. That the panellists while being unanimous in acknowledging DCIlevel 2k and 3D digital as a compelling technology, differed in their view on application on the same unanimously across their market stretch explained the discrepancies in the market nature and dynamics. According to them, digital exhibition brings clear advantages over film-based one yet it may be a question of what format of digital cinema chosen for what facility since it is totally a market-driven initiative. The session had also thrown up interesting interfacing between the audiences and speakers in the wake of several ambiguities and apprehensions about the workability and financial viability of the model. Overall, the Scrabble Digital Initiative - as the event was named - did prove its worth and importance for bringing global expertise on to a common platform and disseminating knowledge among Indian exhibitors. Though an expensive exercise, as it seemed to be with 3D digital cinema set up, it was hailed as a worthwhile exercise in the larger interest of the industry.

Ashish Saxena of Big Cinemas answering a question from a delegate

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Barco India: New Focus

Simplifying Technology Since the time the concept of digital cinema emerged on the global entertainment scene, there has been excitement and scepticism in equal measure. The exhibition industry, even more so in India, has seen a slew of solution providers entering and leaving in a short span of time. While the market has recently begun to settle, with the evolution of compelling technology and business models, one player that has persevered in perfecting its offerings has been Barco India. Being closer to the ground than most others, the Noida-based visual solutions developer is approaching the market with a new focus. Theatre Magic (TM) talks to Nalin C Advani (NCA), managing director of Barco Electronic Systems (P) Ltd., to know what

Nalin C Advani , Managing Director, Barco Electronic Systems (P) Ltd.

exactly is its new focus. Excerpts: succeeded. Also, we made a decision not to resort to any mass lay-offs. TM – Tell us about Barco India, its genesis and evolution till now… NCA – Barco India has been here for 15 years. We started off relatively small, but from day one we had manufacturing capability. Today, we have a workforce of around 450 people - a large part of it in manufacturing. Our India team is also increasingly contributing to R&D in Barco globally. Barco India is the single largest facility of Barco global, outside its headquarters in Belgium. Globally, Barco is a $1 billion company, represented in over 90 countries with offices and manufacturing centres, and Barco India accounts for roughly 10 per cent of global revenues. The early attention we paid to India is the key to how we evolved here. We operate with two specific functions: one, we develop, manufacture and supply a specific product line to Barco

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Global and, two, we do business development for the entire Barco product line for the Indian market. For our solution offerings, we work on two major groups - MCM (Monitoring, Controls, and Medical), and MES (Media, Entertainment and Simulation). TM – The last one year or more had been very challenging, in the wake of the Global Recession. How did Barco tide over the crisis? NCA – We consolidated. We are now very focussed on visualisation for the professional market. Two years ago, before the recession actually began to set in, we had many divisions spread across a number of activities. We refocused around the two groups of MCM and MES. We chose the space and product lines where we could become the number one or number two player, then we went after them, and

TM – What were the areas you considered not worthwhile pursuing and what areas did you choose to focus on? NCA – I wouldn’t say they were not worthwhile. Some businesses are better done in partnership and within alliances. For example, we had some software business in the medical imaging space which we were very strong in, were globally number one, in fact. We saw that software on its own was not a compelling story, but by partnering with our number one customer, we actually had a better case. So, we partnered with the software’s number one customer, which is Toshiba. We sold that software division in Ireland – to Toshiba –and now that division is doing very well. We initiated measures more or less similar to this to reorganise ourselves around our core areas, and we have come out very strong.


Barco originated in a small country, TM – Was the restructuring because of the downturn impact, or your realisation of going away from core competence? NCA – It wasn’t any one single factor. We saw the impending downturn and took some conscious decisions globally. We didn’t wait to take action - we actually began the process before many other companies did. This may also be because we are a B2B company. The advantage with a B2B entity is that it senses market aberrations early; the consumer feels them later. Most B2C companies were caught off-guard by the downturn, whereas we had time to make adjustments to our business.. TM – How did this realisation happen? Was it through some regular market watch or a timely survey etc.? NCA – Probably two things: one, like I mentioned earlier, we are a B2B company and sense market trends early; the second is that we are a diversified company - we are in medical, defence, security, monitoring, media and entertainment and cinema. This broad view across different markets gives us a fair idea of market moods. If a particular aberration, for instance, happens once we can write it off as an isolated case. If it happens repeatedly across our various business areas then there is a pattern and it is a market indication. Moreover, though

Belgium, our footprint is huge, across the globe in 90 locations with factories in India, China, USA and, of course, Europe, besides R&D facilities in as many places. Therefore, we have been able to behave much more globally than those who are focussed just on the US or Europe. TM – How would you describe your growth pattern, postrestructuring? To what extent have you been successful? NCA – Among our many successes, digital cinema has been a great growth graph. It has grown over 50 per cent year-on-year, and three times bigger by quarter-on-quarter. However, this did not happen by coincidence or overnight. We have been investing significantly in digital cinema from the beginning. From the days of Texas Instruments coming up with the DLP Cinema model, Barco had been one of the three licensees of the technology, and though there had been many sceptics of digital cinema, Barco believed in the technology and continued to pursue the product line based on it. Our focus and commitment is such that 10 per cent of our revenues go into R&D. That’s a big allocation for a hardware company, but that’s our commitment, and we have continuously done that. Generically, the sales cycle of B2B technology is up to 18 months which means if we make an effort now and pursue it without a break we would

see the result in a year-and-half. In the digital cinema space, the actual sales cycle is assured. But as a business, we have been investing in digital cinema for a long time, and only now we are seeing it come to fruition. TM – Do you attribute Barco’s growth in digital cinema to the UScentric factors like better business model and compelling technology or a major drive from Barco itself? NCA – While there can be as many reasons as geographies, one big stepping stone has been arrival of compelling technology and cinema owners’ conviction of its benefits. The arrival of 3D has been a big factor for many. In some markets, the virtual print fee (VPF) model offered by the facilitators gave a big push, while in some others the content delivery mechanism worked well. For instance, In Japan, the push came from the network enterprises. They have a very strong and huge bandwidth with OFC (optic fibre cable) network across the country, and cinemas in big numbers can download the content through OFC in a secure and reliable fashion in minimum time and at minimum cost. It was NTT which catalysed first NEC and then Sony to get into this business. In India too, several telecom players had been looking for ways to get into this business. We see this push coming from other factors too. As it is, modern cinema in India is in two formats July-September 2010

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D-Cinema and E-Cinema. The ECinema industry has players who deliver content via satellite and monetize it based on some conditions. There are others in the same space that do not use satellite but still deliver content through other modes. Then, there is the DCI-approved 2K and above digital cinema that includes 3D. Overall, it’s both compelling technology where we get involved actively, as well as the market forces upping the ante for digital cinema. TM – Barco is primarily equipment manufacturer. Does it contemplate working with integration companies to push its systems, like what is happening internationally? NCA – We have already been talking to all the integrated solutions providers in India. We may not be able to reveal the details as of now, but we will have something soon. TM – How soon can we expect this to happen and to what numbers? NCA – Again, we look at it in terms of D-Cinema and E-Cinema. For ECinema, we are expecting to have a well-defined picture shortly. For DCinema, on the other hand, we have been talking to the ‘big four’ – there were actually five until a recent acquisition, as you know. The Indian market, though not the biggest as of now for Barco, is certainly interesting. If we go by numbers, out of the 2K systems, Barco may become a bit under 50 per cent, from roughly 30 per cent at the moment. We are bullish about our prospects and larger numbers in the months to come. The Indian market is maturing and offering a flouring business opportunity. 3D digital is an important factor here. We may not, however, be able to talk about 4K since it is yet to arrive. TM – While the industry is clear about 2k, with a global standard established, it is the E-Cinema which is still ambiguous in many aspects, more so in India with complexities of usability,

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reliability and service. With Barco wanting to get aggressive, and being local, is there a compelling solution in the offing? NCA – For the E-Cinema space, we have the newly-developed RLM-W6 projector which is a revolutionary product for many reasons. It is very bright, HD, and very silent too. Moreover, it is priced at a very aggressive point. So for smaller Ecinemas with limited capacity, it can be the best bet. It’s not just the product actually, it is the service back up strengths that matter to the market. That Barco has a 400+ workforce locally to take care of customer requirement makes it an attractive proposition. So, the RLM-W6 will be our offering for the Indian E-Cinema space very soon. TM – Does Barco train cinema staff so that it wouldn’t end up facing the same problem as the early movers had and exited the business? NCA – That’s a very valid observation. Historically, Barco has been known to add a lot of features and values to its product chain. So, one of our challenges in digital cinema is not to have a too complicated product. We want to have features, but they all need to be user-friendly. So, we look at usability, manufacturability and serviceability. Something that is easy for us to manufacture and service, and easy for customers to use, with only a few buttons for the whole chain of operations - probably one button to

start and run the movie, and one for restarting the movie for the next show. I can recall a recent instance of a 3D product demo and training where users were asked about their experience with Barco. Most participants said Barco was the most user-friendly product, with good documentation and training. The point I would want to drive home is that when we sell a product, we ensure that the user is fully familiar and at ease with it. We know that technology cinema, whether D-Cinema or E-Cinema is a sophisticated offering, and we also know that all that sophistication in many cases can be a big hindrance too. So, we have been designing products that are not only economical but also easy to use. TM – Where do you see the industry heading for in the next five or ten years time? NCA – I see three different things shaping up the future. One is collaboration. It’s already visible the world over in the alliances that are driving growth. The second is networking. One can operate a fleet of display monitors or projectors from a remotely connected network, figure out each device’s performance and put the right one into action by a remote command through the network. The third factor is, of course, the 3D technology which, again, is already happening. It is a compelling technology that has the potential to drive the industry into the future.


TheatreMagic ::: July-September 2010  
TheatreMagic ::: July-September 2010  
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