6 Cometh Megaplexes!
Setting a New Benchmark in Cinema Sound
Leapfrogging to Business of Entertainment
MINDSCAPE TM EDITORIAL
Theatrical Magic – The Show Must Go On! After all those disbeliefs and doubts, digital cinema, in its true sense, has begun to happen in India- more or less keeping pace with the global trend. Concurrently, multiplexing and megaplexing too are happening, bettering the bar every time. Two-k, 4k and 3D digital are no longer a jargon for most cinema exhibitors who are growing rather inquisitive on the means and methods of adopting them. That every single existing cinema circuit and those emerging now are seeking to be fully 2k/4k digital with a capability to play 3D digital is one
testament. That the country today boasts as many as over 270 DCIcompliant digital cinemas from around 90 locations is another pointer. While cinematic Avatars’ hugely catalytic role has been a big factor, the proactive approach of the integrators and solution providers has also been a big motivator. I’m – like many – often confronted with the question: from film to digital to 3D digital to where? Having been able capture a tech bit or two, I’ve always been ready with an
answer: Laser, if not 8k. Even if the improbable issues like price and environment are addressed by ambitious circuits, would it end there? Let’s see! Whether it’s film, or digital or laser, what remains constant is ‘the show must go on!’ Even as I key in those last words (the show must go on), I’m reminded that they are indeed going to be my last words- in an unmistakably Theatrical Magic (read TM) columns. While I move on to another frontier, I humbly reassert the show must go on!
Bhavanashi Ramakrishna Editor, Theatre Magic TM-4
PVR Sells Phoenix Mills Multiplex In a major move, perhaps, with significant implications on cinema business dynamics in the country's movie capital, PVR Cinemas decided to sell of its seven-screen multiplex property at the Phoenix Mills Compound in Mumbai. While the national cinema circuit operator would earn a whopping amount of
100 crore through the sell-out move, freeing its arms for future
investments, the very exercise is seen a little differently by observers. PVR Limited, the promoter of PVR brand of cinemas - the initiator of multiplex phenomenon in the country - is always credited with radical moves and daring designs. Its exploratory exploits in cinema exhibition business and agenda-setting initiatives in cinematic offerings had always charted new grounds for others to emulate (if not imitate)! The PVR Premiere brand, the Blu-O, the Entertainment City are only the latest few expressions. However, the one latest move from the operator is a different stroke. It has put on the plans to sell of its sevenscreen multiplex created as part of the Phoenix Mills Mall in Mumbai. The company has entered into an arrangement with Infinite India
Investment Management for the sale and leaseback of the cinema for over 100 crore. Infinite India is the investment manager for real estate funds sponsored by the JM Financial Group. Under the arrangement, JM Financial Group, on behalf of its newly-launched JM Financial Real Estate Income Fund, managed by Infinite India, has agreed to purchase the share capital of CR Retail Malls (India), the wholly-owned subsidiary of PVR that owns the multiplex at Phoenix Mills. PVR shall receive a sum of 100 crore pursuant to the transaction, in the form of refund of existing loans made to CR Retail and consideration against sale of equity shares of CR Retail.
Post completion of the transaction, PVR would continue to operate the multiplex property on a long- term lease arrangement basis. "The sale and lease back transaction unlocks capital for investment into future projects providing a significant impetus to our expansion plans," PVR Limited Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Bijli explained about the move. "The transaction also improves the overall return on capital employed and further solidifies our positive outlook on our core business of operating and managing multiplex properties across the country on a long term lease basis." The seven-screen multiplex property at Phoenix Mills at Lower Parel, in
PVR's 'Large Format' Ideation PVR Cinemas and Imax Corporation have inked an agreement to install digital Imax theatre systems in four key locations across India. Under the terms of the deal, which is subject to Indian regulatory approvals, the first two systems are scheduled to be installed within the next 12 months at two multiplexes in Mumbai and Bangalore. "There is a growing appetite for premium entertainment in India, and with the massive popularity of the Imax brand worldwide, it has become very clear to us that now is the ideal time for us to enter into the Imax business," said PVR chairman Ajay Bijli. "Imax is one of
the world's most recognized premium entertainment brands and it fits perfectly with our mission to offer our guests the ultimate in movie-going experiences." Says Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond: "India has a vibrant movie-going culture, and it is one of our most important and largely untapped growth markets. PVR Cinemas is a topperforming exhibitor with a very strong brand, and we believe our association with them will raise the visibility of our own brand with consumers and of our business model with other exhibitors in the market. According to Imax Executive VicePresident, theatre development Larry
T. O'Reilly, PVR's endorsement of Imax business is an indication of its expanding impact in the region. "We're very much looking forward to working with them to bring awe-inspiring entertainment to more moviegoers in India," adds Larry. Imax's digital projection system delivers The Imax Experience and helps drive profitability for studios, exhibitors and Imax theatres by eliminating the need for film prints, increasing program flexibility and ultimately increasing the number of movies shown on Imax screens. The system can run both Imax and Imax 3D presentations.
Mumbai is one of the premier properties of PVR, and is amongst the highest grossing multiplexes in India. However, observers in the industry tend to look at the development a little differently. That the national circuit operator - ambitious as it is opted to sell out a prime property lease-basis is an indication on constrictions on its fund flow, they say. The group, having drawn up ambitious plans with cost-intensive ventures, obviously needed huge fund flow. Some of the big plans from the group include setting up of three Imax large format theatres in the country- an ideation the operator had long stayed away from. (See box insert: PVR's 'Large Format' Ideation) Additionally, PVR intends to set up as many as 80 new screens across India during 2011-12, an initiative which is again cost-intensive. At the same time that it wanted to operate the same property on leasebasis is also its conviction that the property is a profit-spinner. It's a clever strategy as to not to burden itself with too much of external debts - given the high rates of interest and other complexities - and generate own sources of funding. A happy JM Financial Group's Vishal Kampani added, "we are very pleased to acquire one of Mumbai's high quality real estate asset located in the prime retail destination, High Street Phoenix and have PVR as our high quality tenant given their successful track record and business profile. This transaction demonstrates our ability to help owners of strategically located, single or multiple tenanted properties, to optimize their capital efficiency and unlock shareholder value." According to him, Infinite India is excited about this transaction and is committed to purchasing other such properties as well. The group intends to distribute the rental yields of the leased properties to investors coupled with an opportunity for investors to share in the capital appreciation of some of India's class A assets.
Indian Film Industry to Touch by 2015 While 2010 turning in a watershed year for the film industry, with better content, increase in multiplexes, investment in research and continued cost corrections, the Indian film industry is estimated to grow from its current Rs 83 billion to 132 billion by 2015. According to the finding of a FICCIKPMG study, Indian Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry registered a growth of 11 per cent over 2009 and touched 652 billion. Backed by positive industry sentiment and growing media consumption, the industry is estimated to achieve a growth rate of 13 per cent in 2011. Overall, the industry is expected to register a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14 per cent to touch 1275 billion by 2015. Interestingly, the report states that all other segments experienced a much greater dynamism than the filmy entertainment. Various other surveys suggested strong growth charts for cinematic entertainment. The new report highlights a strong recovery in advertising spends as a key driver for growth. Advertising spends grew by 17 per cent to 266 billion and accounted for 41 per cent of overall industry size. While television and print continued to dominate the Indian M&E industry, sectors such as gaming, digital advertising, and animation VFX grew at a faster rate and show tremendous potential in the coming years. Contrary to most other markets in the world that continue to witness an erosion of the print media industry, in India, the sector witnessed a growth of 10 per cent in 2010 and is expected to continue to grow at a similar pace over the next five years. Rising literacy levels and low print media penetration offer significant headroom for growth. Television meanwhile saw a tremendous increase in the net DTH subscriber base totaling to 28 million
at the end of 2010. Backed by growth in advertising and subscription revenues, the television industry grew by 15.5 per cent in 2010 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16 per cent to touch Rs 630 billion by 2015. Television is expected to account for almost half of the Indian M&E industry revenues, and more than twice the size of print, the second largest media sector. According to FICCI secretary general Dr. Amit Mitra, the key industry highlights are the growing potential of the regional markets, increasing media penetration and per capita consumption and increasing importance of New Media driven by changing media consumption patterns. "The resurgence in advertising, growth in subscription revenues, thrust on digitization, and emerging avenues for content monetization were the key growth drivers for the Indian Media & Entertainment industry in 2010," KPMG head of media and entertainment Rajesh Jain noted in the report. "Going forward, it will become imperative for media companies to reset their business models and build greater focus on profitability and changing consumer preferences." Digitization: Digitization continues to be a key growth driver for the Indian M&E industry and this trend was even more pronounced in 2010. Film studios saw greater adoption of digital prints over physical and it was the first time in India that digital music sales surpassed that of physical unit sales. DTH achieved robust growth of 75 per cent in net subscriber base by adding 12 million subscribers in 2010. With the regulatory push on digitization, ongoing 3G rollouts, increasing mobile and broadband penetration, the market for digital distribution platforms is only expected to grow.
Regionalization: Backed by the increasing purchasing power across tier-II and tier-III cities, regional media consumption is expected to continue to rise. In the print sector, revenues from Hindi and Vernacular segments are expected to catch up with English which has to date enjoyed a majority share. Realizing the power of regional media, national and foreign players have ventured into regional markets and several others are likely to follow suit. Meanwhile regional players have achieved scale and are now looking to go national and build a pan India presence. Geographical expansion by existing players in television, print and radio is expected to intensify competition and leading to interesting times for these industries. Growing importance of New Media: The past decade marked the convergence of media and technology; of user generated content, social media and new publishing models that have changed the way of media consumption. These changes in the way media is consumed are being driven by factors such as content pull from telecom service providers due to the 3G launch, emerging gaming platforms and innovation in technological
devices such as tablets. Convergence of media, m-commerce and emergence of an app economy are the expected trends likely to emerge. Availability of infrastructure and appropriately pricing content across these new media platforms are expected to be critical success factors for the Indian market. Regulation to drive growth: The Government's thrust on digitization and addressability for cable television, is expected to increase the pace of digitization leading to tremendous growth in DTH and digital cable. The phase III auction of radio is expected to add around 700 licenses across tier-III and few tier -II towns. Moreover, TRAI has submitted recommendations to the government to increase the FDI limits across several broadcast and distribution platforms including Radio, TV, DTH and cable. As the government, regulatory bodies and members of the industry actively work together, reforms that aid the development of Indian media companies will act as a catalyst to the growth of the sector. Niche formats: Increasing audience segmentation is driving content and delivery. Television showed signs of this growing trend through the launch of several new niche channel
genres such as food, action movies etc. Similarly, movies targeted at specific segments of the society that seem to capture the vibe of the local audience and their social issues appear to have found an audience. It has now become a business prerequisite to assess trends for continually changing customer preferences, lifestyles and media buying habits and to incorporate the understanding in focused content, marketing and delivery strategies for each target audience segment. Innovation: It is becoming increasingly important for industry players to continuously innovate new formats and strategies in order to enable brand loyalty help expand the market. Consolidation: Mature players are increasingly looking to build scale across the media value chain and explore cross media synergies. In addition, existing foreign players are looking to expand their Indian portfolio and several other are expected to make and entry into India. Inorganic growth is likely to be a preferred route for many of these players. With increased digitization and accountability, Indian media companies are also expected to generate greater interest from private equity players.
CCI Fines 27 Producers for 2009 Stand-off The infamous stand-off that the producers had with cinema exhibitors during April-May of 2009 has finally blown in their face! The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 1 lakh each on 27 film producers on charges of colluding through a cartel to exploit cinema owners. The CCI found the producers guilty of entering into anti-competitive agreement. It may be recalled that In 2009, Indian film producers and distributors decided against screening their movies in multiplexes over revenue-sharing
issue. The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) had then filed a complaint against the United Producers & Distributors Forum (UPDF). The CCI had found film producers entering into anti-competitive agreements to collectively stop exhibition of movies in the multiplexes. The CCI passed the 113page order on 25 May this year directing the film producers to cease future anti-competitive practices and to pay an aggregate penalty of Rs 27 lakh for having violated sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act 2002. "The Commission after considering cumulative effect of all the mitigating
factors in the context of peculiar facts and circumstances of the instant case, is of the opinion that ends of justice would be met if a penalty of Rs.1 lakh is imposed upon each of the opposite parties under section 27(b) of the Act in addition to cease and desist order under section 27(a) of the Act," said the commission in the order. The producers facing the penalty include Yash Chopra, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar, Ramesh Sippy, Ronnie Screwvala, Ramesh Taurani, Ramesh G Sippy, Ashutosh Gowariker, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rakesh Roshan.
Disney Brunch @ BIG Cinemas for Kids in Mumbai Every Sunday brings new excitement for kids in Mumbai as BIG Cinemas and Disney come together to host Disney Brunch @ BIG Cinemas, a special initiative designed to provide ultimate movie going experience to kids and their families. For Disney Brunch @ BIG Cinemas, the movie line-up includes Disney favorites like Tangled, Finding Nemo, Wall.E, Bolt, Beauty & the Beast, the Princess and the Frog, and Hannah Montana among others. The special screenings for Disney Brunch @ BIG Cinemas will be held every Sunday at 12 noon at BIG Cinemas IMAX, Wadala and BIG Cinemas - R-City Mall in Mumbai. The tickets for Disney Brunch @ BIG Cinemas are priced at flat 50. To make the experience more exhilarating for kids, BIG Cinemas would organize unique contests for the families to win Disney movie merchandise every week. BIG Cinemas
has also introduced a special Kids Meal of Fresh burgers and drinks. Commenting on this initiative, Archana Jhangiani, Head - Brand and Marketing, BIG Cinemas said "kids are a very important segment of our movie going audience and they only respond to customized initiatives that appeal to them personally. Disney is a leader in kids-led family entertainment and by partnering with them we have created a complete entertainment solution which families can repeatedly come back to and enjoy." "Storytelling is at the heart of everything that we do at Disney. Through this initiative with Big Cinemas we aim to bring together kids and families to experience our stories and characters in a fun and entertaining way," said Sanjay Narayanan, Head of Marketing, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (India).
MARG's 18-Year lease with PVR Infrastructure and real estate major MARG has entered into a 18-year lease agreement with multiplex leader PVR Cinemas towards setting up the latter's multiplex cinemas in its shopping mall, Marg Junction in Chennai. The company has also tied up with Shopper's Stop to set up their new stores in the shopping mall. The location of Marg Junction is very strategic since it is connected with GST Road and East Coast Road. MARG has invested about 700 crore for the MARG Junction. The multiplex at MARG will be PVR Cinemas' second multiplex in the city. The shopping mall would spread over 1.83 million square feet and would seek to be a green building in essence, contributing to energy saving initiatives. Expected to be operational by April,2012, the Marg Junction would have a four star hotel by Shangri-La and a nine floor service apartment, besides all other entertainment elements.
Prime Focus to Digitize Eros Movie Library In a significant move of journeying into the digital future, Eros International Media decided to digitize its entire library of movies comprising over 1000 titles across Indian languages. The move also includes cataloguing of the entire movie database so as to tracking them becomes easy and faster. The company is also planning to set up an in-house Digital Asset Management platform and has deployed Prime Focus Technologies (PFT)' CLEAR content operations management platform to administer its extensive content library. According to sources, the initiative will help Eros International monetize its intellectual property by enabling the production, repurposing and delivery of its content globally, across web, mobile and other new media platforms. It will also allow the company to archive, preserve and rights manage its library. CLEAR offers Eros International wideranging functionality for managing and monetizing its content including asset management for managing and digitally archiving content; workflow management for multi-platform production, distribution and fulfillment, to exploit existing library content and global content delivery across multiple platforms. "As a market leader in Indian film content worldwide, our Digital Asset Management platform will help us to continuously monetize our assets and enable cost effective optimization of media asset management, thus facilitating faster introduction of new products and services in the market," said Eros International Media chief digital officer Rajesh Bahl explaining about the initiative. "It would further help us meet the increasing demand for our content across all digital platforms," he said and added, "Prime Focus Technologies has an indepth knowledge of both the media
industry and IT, which helped them better understand our requirements. CLEAR is a complete system and it could quickly be custom-made to support our vision to exploit multiplatform opportunities for our content." Understandably elated about the project, Prime Focus Technologies president and CEO Ramki Sankaranarayanan added, "we are delighted that such a well known and respected media and entertainment company has chosen CLEAR to manage its content operations. Eros International is a visionary company which is considering innovative ways to bring content to consumers. Engaging consumers through personalized media and delivering new content is a challenge. However, CLEAR provides an International will be well positioned to exploit its enviable content library across all platforms. We are very excited to be associated with Eros International and are eager to be a part of this journey."
ET-Free Cinema Regime in Rajasthan In major move boosting the morale and fortunes of cinemas, the Rajasthan Government has declared 100 per cent exemption on entertainment tax to all theaters in the State. The exemption came into effect from March this year, making the State second in India to have tax-free regime for cinemas, after Punjab. Till March 2009, the Rajasthan government levied entertainment tax of 23.08 per cent on gross and 30 per cent on net box office collections. The government had actually reduced the entertainment tax from 40 per cent on net to 30 per cent on net in 2008 itself. However, a proactive approach in the administration towards encouraging the exhibition business led to the subsequent reduction and elimination of the ET component. Entertainment tax structure in India varies across the States and currently is highest in the State of Uttar Pradesh at 60 per cent. In 2005, the Maharashtra
Government reduced entertainment Tax by five per cent, and it continues at 45 per cent. ET had been the most vexing grouse of the exhibition industry in the country as a whole. Cinema operators had been making valiant efforts time and again to get it abolished across the country but with little success. However, cinema being a State subject with every state having their own Cinematography Act, it's been tough game for the operators, even with their national, regional bodies putting all their might into the cause.
Star TV Partners Dolby for Surround Sound In a measure to bring home premium cinematic listening impact to its audiences, Star TV recently made a big cinematic stride. The satellite channel made a pact with Dolby to incorporate the latter's Dolby Digital Plus to deliver surround sound experiences through four of its high-definition (HD) channels in India- Star Plus, Star Gold, Star Movies and Star World. "Star India's creative leadership, matched with Dolby's superior audio technology, is a reaffirmation of our promise to bring our viewers a worldclass HD experience," said Star India CEO Uday Shankar. "We're extremely happy that Dolby has joined hands with us to help take the viewer experience of TV to the next level through HD." "We are pleased to be working with Star TV to transform the sound of television entertainment in India. Dolby Digital Plus brings cinematic surround sound for movies and stunningly realistic sound for television programs so Star TV viewers can enjoy their favorite content as the artists intended," said Dolby Laboratories vice-president-Asia Pacific Mahesh Sundaram. Dolby Digital Plus delivers superior audio quality for a richer surround sound experience and supports up to 7.1 channels of cinema-quality sound.
across 200,000 square feet within Film City in Mumbai. Phase 2 and 3 of the RMW Studios would be commissioned during the next financial year.
Multiplex Money Matters Fame to Raise 900 Million in Rights Mumbai-based multiplex chain Fame India plans to raise up to 900 million ( 90 crore) via rights issue. According to the company, the board had already approved the plan. "The board of directors of the company at its meeting held on 19 April has accorded to issue equity shares on rights basis to the existing equity shareholders of the company up to 90 crore," said a company
"we are thrilled to see Rio holding steady ground even through its third week of release and despite competition from Indian movies! The movie has found a connect with audiences across all age groups and is doing exceedingly well, especially in the 3D version." Internationally too, Rio has maintained its top position for two consecutive weeks, propelling its total worldwide collection to $283.8 million, making it the No.1 movie of 2011.
RMW to Raise 500 Crore through Rights
release. The board constituted a Right Issue Committee of directors and delegated all the powers to the committee to decide about the ratio of the issue, the issue price, appointment of merchant banker and all other matters required or necessary in connection with the issue.
Rio Grosses 100 Million in 3 Weeks Fox Star Studios' latest 3D extravaganza Rio has grossed 100 million ( 10 crore) across India in its three weeks run. According to Fox Star Studios, the Box Office riches that Rio generated made it the biggest Hollywood animated movie out of India, outperforming the previous highest Ice Age 3 ( 92 million), which incidentally was also directed by Carlos Saldana, and presented by Fox Star. Featuring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Will I Am, Jamie Foxx in the English version and Sunidhi Chauhan, Shaan, Ranvir Shorey and Vinay Pathak in the Hindi version, the movie has also become the second biggest animated movie in India of all time after Hanuman ( 110 million). Fox Star Studios CEO Vijay Singh said,
Reliance MediaWorks Ltd, India's fastest growing film and entertainment services company and a member of the Reliance group, announced its move to raise an amount up to 500 crore (US $ 111 million) by way of rights offer to its shareholders. Reliance MediaWorks has made strategic investments and scaled business operations to become a unique end to end integrated service provider across the entire film and media services value chain. The recently created infrastructure includes: •
Worldwide BIG Cinemas screen count of over 550 screens by April 2011 and the company will further add 60 screens in the next financial year.
Reliance MediaWorks established a 1200-member Media BPO which offers content processing, image enhancement and restoration services, VFX and 2D to 3D conversion services. The facility would be further expanded by 500 seats in the next financial year.
Reliance MediaWorks launched 1st phase of India's largest Hollywood Benchmarked Studios which comprise of 8 sound stages spread
Reliance MediaWorks set up state of art post production facilities for broadcast shows and television commercials
These have further enhanced the company's dominant presence in the film and media space. The funds raised through Rights Issue would be utilized, inter alia, for substantially reducing the debt of the company, incurred for creating the asset base. The Board of Directors have empowered its Committee to decide upon the terms and conditions including the price, share entitlement ratio, timing and other details of the rights issue. For the quarter ended March 31, 2011, the Company declared a net loss of 164 crore (US $ 36 million), which is not reflective of the future prospects of the company. The quarter has been exceptionally weak in movie releases on account of ICC World Cup and also bears significant costs of interest and depreciation for the large capital expenditure projects commissioned across businesses during the year. These investments are expected to generate substantial returns in the coming year. Reliance MediaWorks currently has a dominant and comprehensive presence in Film Services: Motion Picture Processing and DI; Film Restoration and Image Enhancement; 3D; Digital Mastering: Studios and Equipment rentals; Visual Effects; Animation; TVC Post Production with presence across India, USA, UK, Russia and Japan. The group's BIG Cinemas, India's largest cinema chain with over 550 screens is spread across India, the United States, Malaysia, Nepal and Netherlands. Reliance MediaWorks' television venture, BIG Synergy, is among the top players in the television programming industry. July-September 2011
Aamir: Maharashtrian of the Year
Speaking on the occasion, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, "democratic systems and free media are true strengths of the state." Lokmat director and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, voiced concerns about malnutrition, slow industrial progress rate, and farmers' suicide among other aspects plaguing society.
Amitabh at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
Aishwarya Rai "Frame"d by Ficci
There is a new jewel in actor Aamir Khan's crown. He is Maharashtrian of the Year. The award was presented to him at a gala programme recently. The prestigious award, instituted by popular Marathi daily Lokmat, is given annually to outstanding individuals from the State, who have displayed excellence and positive activism in promoting national spirit and social awareness. Aamir was conferred upon the honour in entertainment category. Others who were conferred upon similar honour included Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil, Kalpana Joshi, Sanjay Gaikwad, Bhagwan Rampure, Kavita Raut, Dr Ravindra Kolhe and Smita Kolhe. Aamir, who doesn't need any introduction, has upped the ante further recently with characteristic movies like Taare Zameen Par, and Dhobhi Ghaat. He is one of the few actors from Bollywood who is known more for his nationalistic activities than merely for his movies, and his way of charting out unique identity through his movies. The jury members included former High Court judge B N Deshmukh, Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, Anna Hazare, Lila Poonawala, Gulzar, Rajdeep Sardesai and Dilip Vengsarkar. The event was also graced by Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken, State Education Minister Rajendra Darda, actors Jackie Shroff and Jeetendra and industrialist Gautam Singhania.
Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan's wax statue was recently unveiled at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, making it the first ever permanent Bollywood wax figure.
Bollywood Diva Aishwarya Rai Bachchan earned yet another honour, this time in her very home Mumbai. The FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry)-organised Frames event this year honoured her with an Award for a Decade in Acting Excellence. In honor of Aishwarya's contribution to Indian cinema, FICCI created a special audio visual presentation of her journey through the decade including all her movies. Her global recognition, appeal and her social commitments were also showcased to the audiences via this AV. "It is a huge honour and I am grateful to FICCI for giving me this award. I am humbled," Aishwarya said. On the sidelines of Aishwarya's honour was another special. Hollywood actor Jackman received the FICCI Frames Excellence International Honour. A memento of appreciation to Jackman was presented by Aishwarya. Additionally, the Shah Rukh Khan starrer My Name Is Khan and Salman Khan's Dabangg also won accolades at FICCI Frames. While Dabangg bagged two awards - Best Film and Best Debutant (Female) for Sonakshi Sinha; Shah Rukh Khan was given the Best Actor award for My Name is Khan. Director Karan Johar won the Best Director award for MNIK.
Shining in the attraction's Hall of Fame to unveil the new celebrity figure is officiating guest - Moses Chan. Madame Tussauds Hong Kong general manager Kelly Mak said, "there are more and more Indian visitors taking the star-studded journey through Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. We are sure that the new Amitabh Bachchan wax figure experience will appeal to our Indian visitors, who will get to meet their legendary star here, as well as other local and international visitors." "As a key attraction in Hong Kong, we are dedicated to promoting the city's tourism so are excited to be able to offer our visitors even more when they visit Madame Tussauds Hong ," added Mak. Bachchan's wax figure is dressed in an Indian-style black suit and white trousers, as seen in the opening of Salon du Cinema at Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris in 2009. The wax figure is displayed against an exquisite Indian facade adorned with light bulbs. Guests will enjoy a theatrestyle lighting show inspired by Bachchan's movie Aladin when they get closer to the iconic movie star and meet him in person. The wax figure will be permanently displayed in the World Premiere zone at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.
Ajay Bijli Felicitated at IFFLA Ajjay Bijli, the charismatic chairmanmanaging director of iconic multiplex chain PVR Cinemas, has earned yet another accolade of global significance. He was felicitated with Industry Leadership Award by Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) for 2011. IFFLA is a non-profit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing movies, supporting emerging movie makers, recognizing the leadership and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora. Each year the Festival is held at the Arclight Hollywood and features a rich mix of movie programmes designed to build and support the growing interest in the Indian entertainment industry. An important element of the IFFLA activities is the Industry Leadership Award, created to recognize the achievements of industry executives who have contributed considerably towards the entertainment and media industry in India. For 2011, the agency chose three different personalities from as many domains of the business. Besides the PVR chief, the other two awardees included Sony Pictures
a strong brand associated with movies, quality exhibition and youth-targeted promotions. From a single multiplex in 1997, the company now stands at 33 properties and 142 screens across 18 cities and 10 States of India.
Television Networks President Andy Kaplan, and Multi Screen Media Private Limited CEO Man Jit Singh. The Awards were presented as part of the gala Luncheon at the House of Blues in West Hollywood in April. Ajay Bijli, Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, PVR Limited, doesn't need any introduction to anyone familiar with cinema exhibition business. A Harvard Business School alumnus (1999), he was the first entrepreneur to pioneer the concept of multiplex cinemas in India. As the Chairman cum Managing Director of PVR, he has been instrumental in identifying important business initiatives and strategic opportunities for the group. Over the past decade, he has spearheaded PVR and established it as
"This is indeed a very proud moment for me and PVR for being honored with such a great award. I am thankful to IFFLA for recognizing our work," Ajjay said. "This award will encourage my team and me to continue working towards fulfilling our bigger dream," he said and added, "we, at PVR, strive to achieve the ultimate goal of revolutionizing Indian entertainment for all the people of our country and in providing them with nothing but the best of world-class entertainment. PVR is driven all the time to put India on the world map in the entertainment sector. " As Chief Executive Officer for Multi Screen Media Private Limited in India Man Jit Singh oversees Sony Pictures Television's (SPT) networks business in India, which includes Sony Entertainment Television (SET), SET MAX, SAB and SET PIX. He previously served as Multi Screen's interim CEO since February 2009 and prior to that was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Multi Screen.
Yash Chopra Train, Ambassador of Interlaken The rain of awards and accolades on Bollywood legend Yash Chopra just doesn't stop, or so it appears. Continuing the bevy of honours, particularly from the Swiss, he was conferred upon with yet another, intriguing from the same paradise land on earth. This time it is the title of Ambassador of Interlaken, making him the first recipient of the award.
Hotel & Spa, the programme was attended by Swiss politicians and industrialists, besides select Indian and Swiss media.
A silver plaque was also dedicated to him, which will be placed in Interlaken along the Hoheweg. Hosted by Interlaken Mayor Urs Graf at the Victoria Jungfrau Grand
A Yash Chopra Suite was also inaugurated at the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa. The Spa CEO Hans - Rudolf RĂźtti, handed the keys over to Chopra.
Further, an exclusive Yash Chopra Train was also launched as part of the Jungfrau Railways, Switzerland, possibly the first of its kind tribute. The ceremony was held at Kleine Scheidegg, Chopra did the honours along with the CEO of Jungfrau Railways, Urs Kessler. Chopra stated that the gesture by the people of Switzerland was a matter of national pride. The warmth and affection shown to him by the Swiss will be one of the most unforgettable and cherished experiences of his life.
Dabangg, Robot's Band Baaja Baaraat at IIFA
Three popular movies Dabangg, Robot, and Band Baaja Baaraat have accounted for maximum number of honours for this year's International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards. The trophies will be presented to the winners during the Videocon IIFA Weekend in Toronto, Canada. The three movies led the technical winners tally with three awards each. Maneesh Sharma's Band Baaja Baaraat won the awards for Editing by Namrata Rao, Song Recording for Vijay Dayal's Ainvayi Ainvayi and Costume Designing by Niharika Khan. The Rajnikanthstarrer Robot walked away with Best Art Director for Sabu Cyril. Robot also won the awards for Special Effects by Indian Artists and Make-up by Banu. The Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg won an award for Choreography for the item song Munni Badnaam Hui choreographed by Farah Khan, and Leslie Fernandes who won for Best song recording. The film also won the award for Best Action by S. Vijayan. The award for Best Cinematographer went to Sudeep Chatterjee for Guzaarish and Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy won the award for the best background score for My Name Is Khan while Pritam Das won for Best Sound Recording for Love, Sex aur Dhoka. The nominations for the popular categories of the IIFA Awards 2011 opened for public voting on 10 May. Indian cinema fans worldwide can cast their votes for those they consider deserving. The votes from the online polling will be tallied by PwC and will be announced on the night of the IIFA Awards 2011 at the Rogers Centre, Toronto. In its twelfth year, IIFA will make its North American debut in Ontario, Canada.
Toonz Bags Two BAF Awards at Frames Gaturro (3D stereoscopic feature movie) a co-production of Toonz and Illusion Studios, Argentina won the Best Animated Feature (BAF) Film Category and Little Kalari Warriors (2D TV Series) conceived and created by a team in Toonz won the category of the Best Animated Promo. The awards were announced during the function held as part of Frames 2011 in Mumbai recently. Gaturro which had also won the inaugural ASSOCHAM EME Awards last month and topped the box office in Argentina is due to be released in India shortly. "We are on cloud nine; it is indeed a proud occasion for all of us at Toonz," said Toonz Animation CEO P. Jayakumar. "Winning two awards in a highly competitive platform like Frames is a dream come true for us," he said, "all the credit goes to my
team at Toonz who worked day in and out to take us to these heights." The Best Animated Frames Awards were instituted in 2004 by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Industry and Commerce to recognize and honor professionals in the field of Animation. The contest now receives top-notch entries from across the globe. Indian Entries Bag 10 of 16 BAF Awards: Indian animation, gaming and VFX companies bagged 10 of the 16 BAF awards announced at the FICCI Frames 2011. French and American companies won two awards each in different categories, while a British and a Pakistani filmmaker have won one award each. These animation awards in India grew over the years to encompass awards not only in animation, but also in the VFX and gaming fields.
Balachander Conferred Dada Saheb Phalke Award Veteran filmmaker K Balachander has been conferred the prestigeous Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2010. The award, considered an Indian equivalent of Oscar, is the highest honour for cinema entertainment excellence conferred by the Government of India for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema. The award consists of a Swarn Kamal, a cash prize of 10 lakh and a shawl. The award is given on the recommendations of a committee of eminent personalities. Balachander has been movie director, screenplay writer and producer for over 45 years. He has written, directed and produced over 100 moviein Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Kannada. He is known for his
distinct filmmaking style that remains his forte and unrivalled till date. The films he scripts and directs analyze unusual or complicated inter-personal relationships and social themes. Many of his movies won both critical acclaim as well as box office riches. Also known for his uncanny knack of spotting talent, Balachander has been responsible for bringing into limelight many stars of the present day, including Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Prakashraaj and Vivek.
nnedy Centre Mirch Masala Screened at Ke
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Ketan Mehta's much acclaimed movie Mirch Masala got the rare the honour of special screening at in re John F. Kennedy Cent ntly Washington DC. The Centre rece d cuse a-fo Indi played venue to an g Maximum India festival featurin e, atur liter dance, music, cinema, theatre and cuisine of India. The that three-week festival depicted all . best symbolises India in its t Mirch Masala is a movie abou feudal a of y stor the It's on. ressi opp a village in pre-Independence Indi and how the powerless of the village-the old men and the t women-risk all they have to figh y of that oppression. It tells the stor y in a woman whose husband is awa of the city. She spurns the advances for n the tax collector, who is know and s, taxe than e mor ing and dem stars film The ory. fact spice a to s flee l, Raj Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Pati
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h Apart from the screening of Mirc Masala, Mehta was also part of discussion on Indian women in movies. Moderated by actress its Nandita Das, the session had as mila Shar i, Azm ana Shab kers spea Tagore, director Adoor . Gopalakrishnan and Dilip Basu Other movies screened at the s festival ranged from Satyajit Ray' nt rece the to hali classic Pather Panc Dhobi Ghat.
Raj Flavour at Toronto Fete & IIFA honouring the legacy of our father who lived for his work and who lives on through his work," Randhir Kapoor said, "he is a true legend and I believe that this retrospective is a great way to honour his memory."
The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) and Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this time will have a distinctly Indian flavour. The two film fetes have collaborated to host a tribute to the legend of Indian cinema - Raj Kapoor, on 26 June in Toronto, post the 12th IIFA celebrations in Canada. The tribute will be followed by a retrospective film series called Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema, which will run for six weeks at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, TIFF's permanent home. The Gala opening on 26 June will be hosted by acclaimed director Karan Johar. This year the IIFA Weekend and Awards will be held in Toronto, Ontario from 23 -25 June, 2011. Several members of the first family of Indian cinema, the Kapoor family attended the media interaction to lend their support to the tribute and retrospective. The legacy of
Prithviraj Kapoor has been succeeded by three generations starting with Shammi, Shashi and Raj Kapoor. Raj's sons Randhir, Rishi and Rajiv Kapoor enjoyed success in the industry and his grandchildren Karishma Kapoor, Kareena and Ranbir have subsequently carried on the Kapoor tradition of brilliant artistry and super stardom. The family shared sentiments regarding the retrospective and pledged to be a part of the tribute event in Canada. "I am very touched by this gesture and would like to thank IIFA and TIFF for
Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema will feature 15 iconic Raj Kapoor classics including Aag, Barsaat, Awara, Aah, Boot Polish, Shree 420, Jagte Raho, Jis Des Mein Ganga Behti Hai, Sangam, Mera Naam Joker, Kal Aaj Aur Kal, Bobby, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, besides others. Several pieces of memorabilia from Raj Kapoor movies like costumes, cut-outs and props used during the films will be displayed in the TIFF Bell Lightbox atrium. A series of paintings inspired by Raj Kapoor movies by acclaimed Goa-based artist Seema Sardesai will also be showcased in the building.
Setting a New Benchmark in Cinema Sound PVR Juhu - arguably one of the most vibrant cinema destinations in the country's movie capital - has been a statement in itself for features more than one. Location, architectural splendour, cinematic offerings and more! Having been in such an incredible position, the cinema sought to refurbish its sound system to be able to live up to the changing dynamics of today's cinematic demands. Harman India took the honours and put up a sterling performance. A TM account.
PVR Juhu, by virtue of its location, plays a very critical role in the entertainment life of the region. Being one of the most upwardly dynamic localities in the movie capital, and home to a vast majority of film fraternity and celebrities, expectations from the cinema have always been very high. One- that it is required to play host to previews and premieres of major movie releases every week the challenge of meeting the discerning experts' critical acclaim is always big, and two- meeting the expectations of dynamic movie patrons who would not settle for anything less than the best. Besides the generic demands of exquisite ambience and services, superior audio-visual experience has become imperative for the cinemawhich was why it decided to upgrade its old audio system to the state-ofthe-art digital generation level.
The operator sought the expertise of Harman Professional. The Harman team comprising Sriram Thandra, Sales Manager-Cinema and Samir Mistry, Application Engineer carried out an extensive exercise of understanding the cinema's current as well as future requirement of providing the best in class sound for its patrons. PVR Juhu consists of five screens with varied seating capacity. Audi one and three have 282 seats while Audi two has 300 seats. Audi four is the largest with 303 seats while Audi five is the smallest with 112 seats. Their varied seating system itself brings in the demand for customised audio design to weave an equitable audio experience in accordance with the size of the audi and seating capacity. More, that the advent of 3D cinema changed the whole dynamic of cinema audio it was evident that the sound systems have to match the requirements of the
latest in worldwide cinema standards and also leave sufficient scope for upgrading. They made a strong recommendation to opt for the latest JBL 5742 4-way speaker system along with the latest JBL 8350 surround speakers backed with amplification from Crown DSi amplifiers. If the cinema had to make a statement loud and clear about providing an enhanced experience to their patrons, then it will have to choose the best configuration of the
speaker systems as well as the amplification. In order to counter earlier instances of equipment failure where sound levels were pushed frequently beyond the handling capacity of the system, Harman engineers designed the perfect system to meet all these challenges. The new system suggested by Harman India team has capability of handling high sound levels with ample headroom; it reproduces soft whispers to the loudest bang, more efficiently. This was readily accepted by PVR management. The installation was carried out by Harman application engineer, Samir Mistry, including the sound alignment with assistance from technicians from Hi -Tech Audio Systems, Authorised Channel partner for Harman Professional products in India. The Install: The JBL speakers installed at PVR Juhu included Stage Speaker Systems- JBL 5742 4-way speaker system; 4642A dual sub woofer system; JBL 8340A surround speakers (for three auditoriums); JBL 8350 surround speakers (for two auditoriums). The amplifier configuration included Crown DSi 6000; DSi 4000 and Dsi 2000 to complete the package. The system was designed to deliver to its fullest output in all these scenarios and most importantly, with ease to the user. Most importantly the headroom for the variations and control in sound output are best managed with this
combination of high performance Harman systems. There were some challenges as well. The install wasn't free from challenges though. While the varying size and seating capacity itself was big enough, the other potential challenge was the functional status of the multiplex. Since, it is a fully functional multiplex the installation had to be done during the non-show hours (late night to early morning). This was a challenge since the auditoriums had to be made ready for the next day's show to begin on time. Post-refurbishment, the feedback from both the film fraternity and the general audiences is overwhelmingly positive.
Says David McKinney, Senior Sales Director-Asia, Harman Professional: "the successful installation of flagship brand like JBL cinema systems, powered by and high-performance Crown amplifiers for prestigious project, that PVR Juhu is, is an incredible achievement. Harman India's technical team has executed the projected commendably, despite the challenges. According to him, the Harman team was able to understand and evaluate the requirements of PVR and design a perfect system with a combination of JBL and Crown products which can handle the current requirements of PVR, also with sufficient scope for future expansion and upgrades. "With the relentless expansion of the cinema industry in India and the technological leaps in audio/visual equipment globally, Harman has recognised the need for high quality, efficient products that are innovative and deliver the performance expected by today's dynamic cinema environment," says Lakshminarayan, M, Managing Director, Harman International India Pvt Ltd. "PVR Juhu is a very esteemed project for Harman India as we continue our expansion into the cinema segment," he says, adding "with Harman's product range, combined with after sales support, we are confident of designing and delivering a superlative cinematic experience that meet all global standards, here in India."
Leapfrogging to Business of Entertainment It's nothing new that the advent of multiplexing has changed the very dynamic of cinema exhibition business in the country. It's rather a commonplace phenomenon. However, what has truly elevated the profile of the domain is high degree of professionalism by virtue of tenets of corporate culture- so much so that the element of passion that characterized all those great decades is now seen as a business opportunity and enthusiasm. Joining the big, fancy league of multiplex business, and for the first time from Bengaluru is Gopalan Cinemas, taking cinema entrepreneurism truly to places. Theatre Magic (TM) talks to its First Person C Prabhakar (CP), Director- Gopalan Enterprises (India) Pvt. Ltd., to know what exactly is the agenda of its foray. Excerpts: TM - Tell us about Gopalan Enterprises and Gopalan Cinemas... CP - Gopalan Enterprises was founded in 1984 by Shri C Gopalan a qualified architect with the primary objective to building/developing residential houses in Bengaluru. From a small beginning, the firm evolved to be one of the major real estate developers in the city. Today,
the company boasts of a profile of residential apartments/row houses/villas/ commercial properties/malls/SEZ projects etc. The Group has diversified into organic forming for export of culinary and medicinal herbs. The Group is also pursuing its interest in academic institutions, hospitality business such as star hotels, and entertainment business such as theme parks etc.
Now, in a deliberate move of diversification, the Group is making inroads into cinema exhibition with the brand Gopalan Cinemas. TM - What inspired the group to foray into Cinema Exhibition? CP - It's a well thought out and studied foray in terms of business strategy. It's been seen that with raising income levels urban population is seeking out-of-thehome quality time to spend with family. That we have already been developing quality malls and malls are a natural blend with multiplexes, we decided to develop and run multiplexes. TM - What business prospects and fortunes did the Group see in it? CP - As visiting and shopping at malls has become synonymous with families' out-of-the-home leisure, entertainment and all other purchase pursuits, visiting multiplex has also become an integral part of the whole experience. The probability quotient is
largely in favour of spending in a multiplex provided the offering caters to their taste and demand. So, a business opportunity is certainly there. All we need to do is to cater to the needs of the discerning customers. TM - You leased out your first cinema venture to a national operator, but chose to operate the second on your own. Why? CP - Our idea was to study the business of running a cinema from close quarters before starting on our own, and what better learning experience than watching a national level operator do it and give us a tip or two. With six months learning experience, we believe we gained confidence as also critical strengths to operate on our own. TM - What exactly is your vision and mission in this business? How may locations and screens in how may cities/states and within what time-frame? CP - Our vision is to become a national level player, and to have multiplexes in all our malls under construction and operate them. Our mission is to start at least eight more multiplex centres within the next six months. We are exploring the business opportunities for multiplexes in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala before venturing into other states. TM - The market is apparently replete with too many groups and operators jostling for space. What made you take the foray at this time? Is there a thought that you are already late? CP - Entertainment sector, particularly cinema, is growing exponentially in India; it will continue to grow with increased level of affluence. With this comes the need for individuals to enjoy life in the best way possible and hence there is scope for every player who caters to the needs of customers. It is a growing market, one is never too late. TM - The market is dominated by many, big potential and longestablished players. Being new entrant, how would you compete with them?
CP - Our aim is to convert the foot falls in the malls to foot falls into the multiplexes. With strategically located malls with high quality ambience, we are confident of our success. Our aim is to give value for money to the customers in each and every venture of ours , and cinema is no exception. TM - What particular strengths and strategies have you brought to place? CP - Our strength is our malls and as we will be running our multiplexes on the premises owned by us, we have already won half the battle. Our remaining strategy is to give what customer wants and not to thrust what we want on customers. TM - You also chose to make your cinemas all-2K-digital which is
uncommon for a new entrant in India. What thought process went into it? CP - It is our experience that to succeed in any business, we need to keep pace with the advancements, if not be one step ahead of the others. The all-2K digital is a result of that strategy, to be ahead of other players. TM - These are also days of 3D digital and large format like Imax, and sophisticated ticketing processes. How out Gopalan Cinemas doing them? CP - We take pride to state that we have the biggest 3D capability in our multiplexes in Bengaluru and we strive to maintain this status by increasing the 3D capability in all our new cinema ventures. With the all July-September 2011
customers. While comfort to customers goes without saying since that is the universal deciding factor, what would change would be the locational preferences. We do not believe the theory of 'one glove fits all.' As far as interior ambience and comfort level goes, we will ensure that the customers feel in sync with the ambience, and feel not out of place. We try to incorporate and try out all that makes customers at home -not exactly an unrealistic dreamland being in our cinema. Our mission is service to the satisfaction of the customer, and our cinema venture is no exception to this. In terms of cinematic experience, we are already one step ahead of market with state-of-the-art technology giving superlative audio-visual pleasure. To make it more luxurious and pleasurable, we have incorporated rocker seating. More, we are open to suggestions from our discerning customers to improve our facilities. As our pricing, again, that different demographic setting calls for different packages. We go by that rule. However, we do believe in pricing being affordable and comparable. We do have flexible pricing depending on the occupancy ratio etc.
pervading IT becoming a part of household routine, we need to provide all the possible delivery channels to the customer. Buying cinema ticket is no exception to this phenomenon. We have e-booking facilities, Web-based booking, and we are now entering into mobile phone based booking of tickets. The success in any venture is decided by the adaptability of the entrepreneur to changing technology. We are one. TM - The industry is also coming to star megaplexes with 15+ screens. Has Gopalan Cinemas? CP - We do have plans to start megaplexes, but it is too early to come out on those lines. They are still in conception stage.
TM - Multiplex operators today sport too many foreign elements and speciality offerings boasting their exquisiteness and edge over others. How about Gopalan Cinemas? CP - Our vision is to have all forms of entertainment under one roofphysical sports, recreation activities, audio/video entertainment, adventure sports etc. We are framing plans to see this venture off the block in next two to three years. TM - How different is the Group' proposition in terms of ambience, services, pricing and cinematic luxuriesâ€Ś CP - Different locations will have different parameters, as does the
TM - Having taken the plunge, how do you look at the Cinema exhibition industry in the country? CP - India is the largest producer of movies but the number of screens vis-Ă -vis its population, let alone movies, is not in sync with one another. Like I said in the beginning, the market is now opening up exponentially and that calls for more such ventures as ours and others. It's going to be robust and dynamic for at least a few years to go. TM - How much investment has the Group earmarked for cinema business? When do you think you would breakeven? CP - We are looking at investment in excess of 100 crore in the next three-five years depending on the opportunities/availability of space etc.