The first keynote of the day was delivered by Ronnie Screwvala of UTV, where he shed light on the future of the film industry.
A highly engaging panel discussion underlining the need of the hour of the Indian film industry - good screenplays. The session The Screenplay: Indian Cinema's Missing Link was moderated by Ben Rekhi. The panel constituted prolific writers like - Javed Akhtar, Kamlesh Pandey, Steven de Souza and Vijay Krishna Acharya. The lone producer amongst these writers on the panel was UTV Motion Pictures CEO Siddharth Roy Kapoor. The writers expressed concern over the shoddy treatment Indian screenwriters are given by the producers, who do not realize the importance of a good screenplay. Everyone on the panel agreed that the prime reason for the high failure rate of Indian films was essentially, poor scripts. The sooner the producers and writers come together on the same platform to create well written screenplays the better for the film industry.
MJ Akbar gave a standalone keynote on the current state of Indian journalism and print media. His talk was in relation to the impact of advertising, politics and changing consumer needs on the news content. In his opinion the major decisions regarding the content in today's age are not necessarily influenced by advertising, but the 'board room'. The media and news industry today has grown immensely and with the high volume of money at stake - the business honchos in board rooms will have the upper hand in influencing content. He shared his views on how a newspaper can develop its credibility in spite of external pressures. His speech also drove home the point that the emergence on new media forms wouldn't cannibalize the existing news media available as each one has its distinct properties, and that newspapers are here to stay for a very long time.v
A session on VFX, discussed the global perspective, upcoming trends, and future of the VFX industry. The panel consisted of VFX experts like EyeQube's Charles Darby, Visual Effects Society's Tim McGovern, Kerner's Eric Edmeades and Autodesk's Bruno Sargeant.
A session on filmmaking opportunities abroad and co-productions was helpful in dispensing information on the supporting infrastructure available for filmmakers to film abroad. Also, the Q&A that followed was enlightening to all those from film production background as the experienced panel was able to answer their questions to T.
Like yesterday, another seminar focusing on the current trends in Indian television content was held, titled Through The Looking Glass: Has Indian Television Matured? The seminar was moderated by Anil Wanvari, founder of IndianTelevision.com and the panel consisted of heads from different broadcasting houses. The session emphasized on the changing viewing patterns that are influencing content creation.
The Great Film Debate: Do Film Reviews Matter? was the topic under discussion at yet another panel discussion, which proved to be the most entertaining and peppy discussions yet. Moderated by Julian Alcantra of Corona pictures and his panel consisted of renowned Hollywood film producer - Lawrence Bender, filmmakers - Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar, critics - Rajeev Masand and Komal Natha, and business journalist - Vanita KOhli Khandekar. While Lawrence Bender, maintained a calm stand that reviews are influential and helpful for a film but cannot necessarily affect its success, Karan Johar on the other hand took the opportunity to vehemently criticize the film critics in our country and imposing that their reviews can never affect a film's success. Anurag Kashyap believed that 'good-ratings' in reviews do help low budget films like his own, as they prompt the audiences to go visit cinema halls and check a new movie out. The discussion raised the necessity of having trained film reviewers who had an understanding of film aesthetics and could comment on a film in a constructive manner, even if they had negative opinions. Amongst the other questions that came forth during the discussion were whether film reviews are biased, as it's often the case that publications and television channels that are media partners of films and the reviewers have to maintain a warm relation with the filmmakers for other stories.
The evening concluded with the BAF Awards for animation, gaming and VFX.