Day 3 of FICCI Frames

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Friday, 25th March 2011 saw the closure of the prestigious convention on all things media and entertainment FICCI FRAMES 2011 held in Mumbai. We told you about days one and two in the first part of our report now check out what happened on day 3. Day 3 had the biggest buzz and we were there and tried to make the most of the line-up of the sessions. Not only did it have an outstanding panel discussion the day also brought the treat of Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Hugh Jackman. Read on!

Day 3 had the biggest buzz among the lot as the convention was coming to a close and delegates were scurrying around trying to make the most of the line-up of the sessions.

With an extremely interesting discussion on ‘Resurgence of Regional Media’ to kickstart the day, ‘Regional is the new national’ was the mantra of the hour. The panel comprising of Rajesh Jain (KPMG), Jayant Mathew (Malayala Manorama), Sanjay Reddy (Sun TV Network), K. Madhavan (Asianet) and A P Parigi (Accel Animation), the experts were strongly advocating the growing trend of contents from regional circuits of Marathi, Bengali, South (Telugu, Tamil) and other regional languages and were highly optimistic about the rise of non-English mediums. Sanjay Reddy went on to cite examples of popular Hindi tele-serials ‘Balika Vadhu’, ‘Naagin’ etc that were dubbed in Telugu and were doing extremely well with the Andhra viewers.

The next session ‘Rise of Debutants’ saw a packed house consisting of paparazzi and attentive audiences alike. Cleverly moderated by Karan Johar, the panel included Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha, film-makers Kiran Rao (Dhobi Ghat), Habib Faisal (Do Dooni Char), Maneesh Sharma (Band Baaja Baaraat), Vikramaditya Motwane (Udaan) and Abhishek Sharma (Tere Bin Laden). Without having any one person make a speech, Karan rather turned it into an open discussion with conversation ranging from the importance of big studio backing, to the struggle to get started in the industry, choosing stars over fresh faces, as well as the ‘infamous’ casting couch phenomenon that’s been hogging the news in the past year. When Ranveer innocently reminisced his ‘casting couch’ experiences, Karan was quick to humorously silence him, lest he made some ‘scandalous’ revelations. Kiran pointed out that film-making aside, a streamlined exhibition; distribution model was the need of the hour. She expressed her concern of how she was unable to watch regional films that released across India, as they were rarely released theatrically. Vikramaditya spoke about how the times had changed, audiences are open to newer subjects and had he released Udaan years back, it probably would not have been accepted as widely. Sonakshi discussed the pressure of being a star-daughter. On being asked if he’ll compromise concept for star-driven films, Ranveer’s candid response of, “Mujhe Dhanda nahi aata, mein Kalakaar hoon (I don’t understand business, I’m just an artist). I will do any story that excites me!” met with thunderous cheering from the audience.

Veteran journalist Shekhar Gupta (of Indian Express) gave one of the best sessions on the ‘Changing face of Indian Journalism’ – coupled with witty anecdotes, real-life experiences, examples and constant digs at the behavior of today’s news channels, he presented an engaging evaluation of the current state of Indian journalism.

The high-point of the closing day was the valedictory session which commenced with Ronnie Screwwala summing up the highs, lows of the 3-day conference and the key take-away’s from it. Then came the moment that the audience was excitedly waiting for. The hall went into a huge applause when Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and the special guest for the day Australian star Hugh Jackman (of X-Men fame) made an entrance. With Karan Johar at the mic again, he made a quick round of introductions, Aishwarya presented Hugh with a momento of Lord Ganesha and quickly exited leaving the men to take to the stage for an hour-long interaction, which was a treat for the attendees. What started as a formal discussion with the actors talking about each other’s work, different working cultures in Bollywood vis-a-vis Hollywood, soon turned into a laugh-a-thon with Hugh matching King Khan in charm and having a witty reply to every question put forth. When the organizers played a video of Hugh’s movie shots ending it with a still of X-men, but with a voice-over of Salman’s infamous ‘Dabangg- itne ched karoonga‘ dialogue, Hugh immediately chuckled saying that the video would probably kill his career. He further teased Karan that he wanted to star in a sequel to MNIK, which would be ‘My name is JACKMAN, and I’m not a TOURIST’.

And if you thought the convention was all serious work & no play, you are mistaken. Delegates, who spent most part of the day cramming up serious business talks, were invited to a musical fest in the evening. Put together by Gitanjali Lifestyle, hosted by the current Miss Earth 2010 Nicole Faria, there were performances by Pankaj Udhas, well-known fusion group Rakesh and Friends (Rakesh Chaurasia, drummer Gino Banks, Satyajit on tabla and Shildon on bass) ending on a high note by Indian Idol winner Sreeram, who had the audience lightening up, on their feet, swaying to hit Bollywood tracks. At the end of day 3, a FICCI excellence award ceremony was organised to felicitate achievers from films as well as television.

Even though the 3-days were balanced well among the sections of television, radio, print, advertising etc, it was clear that Cinema was high on pedestal and with regular presence of Bollywood celebrities, the major focus constantly shifted to references, talks around the Indian Film Industry.

Be sure and also check out our report on day 1 and 2, plus all the photos and videos!

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