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The BBC 100 Women Challenge 2017 arrives in India next week as a team of female experts comes together to find ways to help women overcome illiteracy in a unique celebration of female talent.

‘BBC 100 Women Challenge: Change is Coming’ draws on the experience of women across all spheres of modern life – from engineering to the creative industries, from sport to business – as teams based around the world tackle everyday problems currently blighting female lives.

Starting on Monday (9th October) the Delhi based team will have a working week to invent, develop and deliver a prototype that tackles the issue of female illiteracy, whether a tech solution, product or campaign. The group, which will be based at Innov8, in Delhi’s Connaught Place, includes educationalists, activists, writers, tech experts and entrepreneurs plus women who have experienced the challenges poor literacy can bring.
They will then share their solution with an invited audience at the Katha Lab School, in Govindpuri, New Delhi and with the BBC’s global audience via BBC World Service Radio’s Outside Source programme on Friday 13th October from 2030IST. Outside Source will also be checking in on the team’s progress on Tuesday 10th October and coverage will run on BBC World News TV. Plus the team will be followed by a BBC World News TV documentary team as they work on their solution (to be broadcast in November).

The team will include: Dr. Urvashi Sahni social entrepreneur, women's rights activist and educationist; Nitya Thummalachetty currently a business analyst at US firm CareCentra writer; yoga teacher and activist Ira Trivedi; Aditi Avasthi founder and CEO of edtech platform Embibe; and former journalist Tulika Kiran who now teaches young people in prison.

They will be joined by inspirational women and girls who will be sharing their experiences to help inspire the solution; including Mehroonisa Siddiqui mother of Indian actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who was not able to attend school and married at 14.

The team’s progress during the week will be shared on the BBC’s digital platforms including www.bbc.com/100women which will also play host to a wealth of video and written content exploring female literacy.

Audience participation will be a cornerstone of the BBC 100 Women Challenge. The team will want to hear directly from the BBC’s audiences around the world, particularly women affected by the issues they are tackling and anyone who is already seeking solutions. People will be able to get involved in the challenge via social media with @BBC100Women and #100Women, online at www.bbc.com/100women and through the live shows.

The Delhi 100 Women Challenge follows the announcement of part one of the 100 Women List 2017. Ten Indian women including the Delhi team and others such as cricketer Mithali Raj, were named in the first 60 - see here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-41380265. The remaining 40 places will then be decided as the challenge progresses, drawn from those who have supported, inspired and helped the teams on the ground over the course of the four weeks.

The first BBC 100 Women Challenge launched in Silicon Valley, California this week (Oct 2 -6th) with a team looking at ways to smash the glass ceiling. After Delhi the focus will be on London and Nairobi as a group try to improve safety for female travellers using public transport (October 16th-21st); and finally for the fourth week women based in Rio de Janeiro will take on sexism in sport (October 23rd – 28th).

Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

News 18 is Moving Ahead, Moving Fast

With over 7.2 Million total Unique Visitors (UVs), [ M ] News 18 surpasses top media platforms, according to the comScore India MMX August, 2017

For a brand that launched only over a year ago, News 18 has shown substantial growth and has come a long way since its inception. According to the comScore India MMX August, 2017, [ M ] News 18 has surpassed top media platforms like [ M ] NDTV.com[HG1] *, [ M ] Indianexpress.com, [ S ] Hindustantimes.com by attaining a whooping 7.2 Million total Unique Visitors (UVs). The digital platform also crossed 50 million unique visitors (UVs) a couple of months ago,[HG2] as per Google Analytics (GA). These numbers stand testimony to the strong preference of the audience towards the unique content on News18.com.[HG3]

The digital arm of Network18, News 18 has surged ahead as the rising leader in the digital space with its in-depth coverage and expert analysis ever, since its launch. The platform has consistently kept its audience engaged and when it came to page views, achieved an all-time high at 74.5 Million, ahead of [ M ] Indianexpress.com, [ S ] Hindustantimes.com, [ M ] TheHindu.com, while [ C ] The Times of India and [ M ] NDTV.com stay ahead. The newest comScore numbers reveal progression and bears witness to this milestone!

Apart from English and Hindi, News 18 currently offers content in 3 regional languages and moving forward the digital news platform will be available in 13 languages in order to reach out to a wider demographic.

Commenting on the network’s steady growth, Rajiv Singh, Business Head, NEWS18.com, said, “The unprecedented growth witnessed by News 18 in such a short span of time, stands testimony to the quality of the content and the pace at which it is delivered on the platform. The consistent month-on-month growth further motivates the team to continue delivering content in innovative and easy-to-consume formats for our growing audience base. We look forward to expanding our reach into newer markets in the coming future.”

Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

Film Industry to grow at 11.5% YOY Growth

The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has projected that the film industry is expected to grow at 11.5% year-on-year, reaching total gross realization of INR 238 billion ($3.7 billion) by 2020 as against its, CAGR of over 10% in the last couple of years.

The aforesaid prognosis has been made jointly by the PHD Chamber and its Knowledge partner BnB Nation which has been released today in Mumbai at PHD Chamber GLOBAL FILM TOURISM CONCLAVE: ‘Promoting Destinations through Films’ under aegis of PHD Chamber which also focuses that the growth of the industry could be far more higher if its regulations are minimized.

Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, was the chief guest who assured the film industry to bridge in the gap prevailing. The session also witnessed, Jaykumar Jitendrasinh Rawal, Tourism Minister Govt of Maharashtra who spoke in length about the initiatives by Maharashtra Government promoting state tourism. Besides, veterans of the Indian film industry Mukesh Bhatt, Boney Kapoor, N. Chandra and Kunal Kapoor were among others present at the occasion.

While narrating their experiences of Film Shootings in India, most of the producers demanded to curb the lengthy process of approvals and permissions to shoot. Boney Kapoor stressed upon to create an uniform single window system across India to get the permissions, while Mukesh Bhatt who had shot over 64 bollywood films on international locations told shooting in Indian location is a cumbersome job.

Radu Dobre, Ambasador, Romania & Zigmund Bertok, Ambassador Slovak Republic, in addition to State tourism boards like Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, and Punjab have given presentations on the incentive schemes for shooting a film in their destinations. International Production Houses like Family Film Entertainment also given presentation on their expertise on film making.

Mukesh Gupta, Chairman-Tourism Committee, PHDCCI, said, “The objective of organizing this conclave was to promote Film Tourism, highlighting the tourism destinations across India and abroad to encourage Indian as well as Foreign Film Makers to shoot films there. As per a survey, Indians top the tourism charts for the number of tourists visiting the famous locations abroad.

Anil Khaitan, Senior Vice President, PHDCCI told films are a great source of showcasing any country’s culture, heritage and vast economic potentials. We are certain that our initiative will surely turn out to be highly fruitful in promoting and creating awareness about the untapped potential of Film Tourism in India, hence we wanted Indian films to portray the same”.

According to the knowledge report, the film industry faces multiple challenges on regulatory fronts such as about 70 approvals and licenses from as many as 30 authorities for shooting films in India.

“Delays in approvals process often results in filmmaker going to other destinations despite cost advantage in the country. Due to hurdles in obtaining licenses, India has lost at least 18 big budget movies to other locations in the last 4 years. Though the Indian film industry is the largest in the world in terms of number of films produced with around 1,500 to 2,000 films produced every year in more than 20 languages. The industry also had the second highest footfalls in the world in 2015 (over 2.1 billion) following China (almost 2.2 billion)”, highlights the report.

“Currently, India is gaining traction as a film shooting destination. After the success of India based movies such as Slumdog Millionaire, several international studios are increasingly considering shooting a large portion of their films in India. India has been used as a film shooting site for various Hollywood movies such as The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Million Dollar Arm, The Hundred Foot Journey, Life of Pi, Mission Impossible IV and Jobs. Though India boasts of a large number of films and theatre admissions, the Indian film industry is small with respect to other global industries in terms of revenue. The gross realization of Indian film industry is $2.1 billion versus gross realization of film industry in US and Canada is $11 billion even though they produce only 700 films as opposed to 1500+ films produced in India. This is mainly due to low ticket realizations and occupancy levels, lack of quality content, and rampant piracy. Though Indian film fraternity and government have taken a stand against piracy but Piracy continues to haunt film fraternity with dire consequences. Historically, the film industry in India has grown at a CAGR of over 10% in the past”, further emphasis the report.

Elaborating on regulations, the report also indicates that Central clearances, Shooting of foreign feature films in India require the prior approval of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) whereas in case of a documentary, approval of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is required. The script of the film has to be approved by the MIB, which is a time-consuming process; the Ministry may also depute a liaison officer to facilitate the shooting. Location specific permissions: Film makers require approvals from authorities in specific locations prior to shooting.

The report recommends introduction of Soft Loans: The government should replicate the foreign countries’ film tourism incentives in India. It should provide film makers a short-term loan without charging interest to meet their short-term needs. This would encourage producers to shoot in that particular location, and would catalyse the growth of the industry. Safety & Security: Safety is also a major concern which needs to be address by the government, as increasing terrorist attacks and political disturbance hinder the growth of the industry.

It concludes stating that states should undertake various initiatives like setting up surveillance cameras, tourist police, 24x7 help lines, and compulsory registration of tourist guides operators, etc. to ensure safety of the tourists as well as the film crew. These initiatives may be highlighted by the states/ Central Government in various promotional campaigns to project India as a safe and secure tourist destination.

Investment in Infrastructure: Inadequate infrastructure acts as the biggest hindrance to the Indian film tourism industry, and has been affecting its growth since past several years. Bad road conditions; poor connectivity; inadequate air and sea port capacities; and lack of development of modes of transports, like railways, and alternates, like inland water transport and domestic aviation, have been causing delays in the film tourism industry operations. Due to this, costs per film in the Indian film industry increases; and ultimately leads to disturb the planned budget. Therefore, there is an urgent need for investment in infrastructure linking roads, railways and airports, to curtail the losses.

Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

ZEE acquires 9X Media

ZEEL to expand its television music portfolio by acquiring 100% shareholding of 9X Media Private Limited and its subsidiaries

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (“ZEEL”) (BSE: 505537, NSE: ZEEL.EQ) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 9X Media Pvt Ltd and its subsidiaries from New Silk Route and other shareholders for an all cash consideration of Rs. 1,600 million.

9X Media, along with its subsidiaries, operates a bouquet of six music channels - 9XM (Latest Bollywood), 9X Jalwa (Evergreen Hindi), 9X Jhakaas (Marathi), 9X Tashan (Punjabi), 9XO (English), 9X Bajao (Hindi Classics). On completion of the acquisition, these channels will be added to ZEEL’s current portfolio of 33 channels. The acquisition is in line with the Company’s strategy to cater to diverse audience by offering targeted products. Besides significantly expanding its Hindi music portfolio, it gives ZEEL access to the regional music genre. It also increases its regional footprint with foray into the Punjabi market. 9X Media’s bouquet of channels have established a strong viewership on the back of the unique brand identity created over the years. In addition to strengthening ZEEL’s television bouquet, these channels will complement the music label and movie production businesses. 9X Media’s popular Bollywood news portal, SpotboyE, will also be a part of the transaction. The Company is confident of utilizing network synergies to bring down the costs and significantly improve the profitability of these channels.

Mr. Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, ZEEL said, “Continuing with our strategy of expanding into regional markets and niche genres, we are pleased to announce this acquisition which strengthens our music portfolio. Music is an integral component of consumer’s entertainment pie and we will offer our consumers a wider array of choices through these channels. 9X channels enjoy leading market shares in their respective segments and will benefit immensely from our network’s strength to achieve higher growth potential and cost synergies. I am confident that these channels will make our entertainment bouquet even more compelling for the audience.”

"If you factor social media into the mix – I’d say the landscape grew a new continent." - Rose Anderson. Here is an in-depth interview with her.

Inside New York Festivals TV & Film Awards


New York Festivals: Why enter NYF’s TV & Film Awards?

Rose Anderson: Let’s say you and your team have created a great show or a terrific promo or a super film. It was a hit with your viewers. It might have been an escape into another reality or an investigation of an important journalistic story or a brilliant image campaign. Your team - in front of the camera and behind the scenes - all dedicated themselves to put their best on the air. The result? Something you are proud of. Now, how do you translate that into a passport into the wider creative community of your peers? I would suggest entering our awards competition. Let’s face it, no one creates content solely to win awards – awards are a “value-added” to good work.

New York Festivals: If someone attends the NYF TV & Film Awards at this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, what can they expect?

Rose Anderson: From the time you arrive, you are surrounded by creative teams from around the world – all there to celebrate creativity and innovation. The red carpet and the press area add to the pre-show festivities.
With award-winning guest presenters and walk-up clips, the show is fast-paced – and the night finishes with a champagne toast to the winners. So, plenty of opportunities to share ideas and bask in the glow of your accomplishments - our portrait photographers capture it all. And by partnering with NAB Show, you have access to the newest of the new.

New York Festivals: What is New York Festivals TV & Film Awards doing for content creators around the globe?

Rose Anderson: We are very serious about being of service to the creative community by honoring innovation and storytelling. Every year, we evaluate our categories to make sure they are relevant and encourage new developments in media and technology.

Since 1990, NYF has partnered with the UN on a very special honor. Finalists whose programs have themes of importance to the United Nations Department of Public Information are evaluated by a panel of experts convened at the UN. Only three each year are selected – a Gold, Silver, and Bronze award - and more importantly, the programs that are recognized go to the heart of what the work of the UN is all about – improving people’s lives. The UN’s Global Goals are designed to inspire governments and individuals to take action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Winners of the UNDPI awards have said that it is a highpoint of achievement.

New York Festivals: How has NYF’s TV & Film Awards changed since it was created in 1957? What are the major evolutions?

Rose Anderson: Now in our 60th year, although the media landscape has drastically changed, our commitment to excellence remains the same. In keeping with the fluid nature of our industry, we merged the TV Programming Awards with the Film & Video awards. More significantly, with the coming of age of streaming technology, we are able to offer a superior online entry process to our entrants and a seamless experience for our many jury members. No DVDs, no buffering, no anxiety.

New York Festivals: Jury selection…how do you consistently achieve such a well-balanced international jury and what is your criteria?

Rose Anderson: The Grand Jury plays a key role in the competition—selecting the World’s Best TV & Films in two rounds of judging. Content creators are by nature seekers of new ideas, always interested in the “how did they do that?” aspect– and our jury members are no exception.

All of NYF’s jurors are directors, editors, graphic designers, producers, journalists, writers, or filmmakers who are passionate about excellence and innovation. They volunteer their time to view submissions – and we invite the previous years’ award winners to quantify fairness in the selection process. By listing our grand jury on our website, we give visibility and transparency to the process – and recognize the individual merit of the jury panel members.

New York Festivals: How do you get such great submissions such as …? (The Roosevelts, Before the Flood etc.)

Rose Anderson: Our agenda is simple – to celebrate the achievements of the many talented men and women who make up the worldwide creative community. We believe that year after year, the caliber of the grand jury and integrity of our process of peer review is very reassuring for our entrants. It inspires trust. Every year, the results from our grand jury validates the faith the hundreds of production companies and networks place in us. That kind of track record speaks volumes.

New York Festivals: Why does NYF TV & Film Awards place importance on honoring all platforms?

Rose Anderson: To say we are platform agnostic is one way of looking at it – the key is that all of our categories are open to all methods of distribution. After all, filmmakers shoot without film for digital transmission that is called TV but seen on phones or laptops. Producers and directors use every advantage at their disposal to engage their viewers and effectively tell their story. We think that it is all about storytelling and so we welcome all formats.

Inside the Evolution of the TV & Film Industry


New York Festivals: How has the content landscape evolved in the past 5 years?

Rose Anderson: There’s no doubt that digital short form has been a sea-change. When you include the exponential growth of the number of scripted shows available to viewers, you see an overwhelming array of content. And, if you factor social media into the mix – I’d say the landscape grew a new continent.

New York Festivals: What emerging trends have you noticed since you’ve been at the helm?

Rose Anderson: Freedom to find what you want to see when you want to see it and how you want to see it when combined with the incredible tech advances in CDNs that make that paradigm possible – it’s a very empowering mixture for consumers and a challenging environment for programmers.

New York Festivals: Can you discuss the overall makeup of the Grand Jury?

Rose Anderson: Right now, the 2018 jury has more than 180+ members from over 30 countries. They are all award-winners recognized for creative excellence, and 37% of the Grand Jury are women. Whether these women are supervising on-air teams, reporting the news, developing a script, bringing a story to life for the screen, or creating magic in the edit suite, they are a dynamic force. As a member of the DGA, it goes without saying how gratifying it is to have so many women taking part in the jury process, adding their voices to the conversation.

New York Festivals: As an international competition, do cultural differences play an important part?

Rose Anderson: As a preface, some history. Last year, we received entry submissions from over 40 countries and thirty countries were represented on our grand jury. So, I would say that there is fluency in excellence. By the way, by international we mean content created in all countries on all continents are eligible. So many films today are multi-national co-production partnerships. The robust syndication market fosters a “think globally” frame of reference. To sum up, today’s creative teams are as far-ranging as their clients need them to be and they engage their audiences by being in tune with those viewers.


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