Cinemas to Smartphones: Streaming Wars and the Future of Bollywood and India ContentVIEW EVENT DETAILS
U.S.-Asia Entertainment Summit
In this file photo from December 12, 2014, an employee prepares a hoarding of the 1995 Bollywood movie "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" outside Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai. (Reuters Archive)
Join Asia Society Southern California and director Shekhar Kapur, studio executive Sameer Nair and entertainment lawyer Gowree Gokhale for a lively discussion on the current state of India’s entertainment industry with a particular focus on television and film. The panelists will discuss their views on the streaming wars taking place by dozens of companies, both international and domestic, vying for dominance in this strategic country. The discussion will consider the growth trajectories of the Indian market and the role of original content. The panel will also evaluate the prospects for increased exports of Indian content worldwide beyond the traditional diaspora audiences. Additionally, the panelists will share their perspectives on the implications of the global pandemic on Bollywood and regional language film industries as production resumes and theatres cautiously reopen. This program will be moderated by industry expert Rick Ambros.
Shekhar Kapur is one of the few directors who has worked extensively in India’s Hindi film industry (Bollywood) as well as in Hollywood and Europe. He is best known for his internationally acclaimed films Bandit Queen (1994) and Elizabeth (1998), the latter which launched Cate Blanchett’s career and earned numerous Oscar nominations. Other notable films include Masoom (1983), Mr. India (1987), The Four Feathers (2002) starring Heath Ledger, the sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), and a segment of the anthology film New York, I Love You (2008). Kapur produced the documentary Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, which was invited to be an official selection of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Kapur has made sporadic forays into television, as an actor in Khandaan (1985) and Udaan (1989) and as a director in Tahqiqat (1994). He also directed several episodes of the American TV series Will (2017). He is the creator, executive producer and director for the 12-hour TV series Rasputin for the FX Channel in the US. Kapur’s Indian political TV series Pradhanmantri (2013-present), that he presents, narrates and anchors, is critically acclaimed and immensely popular, breaking all Indian news television records in terms of viewership, both on TV and digital platforms. In 2006, he co-founded Liquid Comics (founded as Virgin Comics LLC and renamed in 2008) with Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, author Deepak Chopra, and entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan, Suresh Seetharaman and Gotham Chopra. In 2012, together with Indian composer A R Rahman, he co-founded QYUKI, a Creator-Focused New Media Company and one of India's first digital media start-ups. He is an Honorary Scholar at MIT and a frequent keynote speaker at technology conferences and has served on the Juries of multiple international film festivals.
Sameer Nair is the CEO of Applause Entertainment. With an experience of three decades spanning across media and entertainment, industry veteran Sameer Nair has held prominent positions at leading media organizations, including as Programming Head, COO and CEO of Star Network India, CEO of NDTV Imagine and Group CEO of Balaji Telefilms. His experience, stellar achievements and his creative flair showcase his innate ability to balance Art with Commerce, to lead and motivate Creative & Revenue teams with equal dexterity.
In 2017, Nair took over Applause Entertainment - a Content & IP Creation Studio – a venture of Aditya Birla Group, India’s leading multinational conglomerate as its Chief Executive Officer. With his innate ability to present the perfect amalgamation of quality and creativity with commerce, over the past 3 years, Applause has developed a vast range of premium drama series, currently streaming on India’s leading platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+Hotstar, MX Player and SonyLiv. Nair has led the studio to create prolific content, associate with leading talent from the industry to essay strong characters, partner with prominent global content studios, with plans to explore newer content formats including films, animation, audio and short form.
Gowree Gokhale is a Partner at Nishith Desai Associates. A practicing lawyer for 24 years, Gokhale leads the IP, Technology, Media and Entertainment, data protection law practice of the research and strategy driven international law firm, Nishith Desai Associates. She has assisted several international businesses in India on entry strategy, corporate and strategic deals, litigation and arbitration in the TMT and Pharma sectors. She has spearheaded several policy initiatives for the TMT and Pharma industries including for online content companies, the gaming industry, the IT industry as well as for privacy and data protection laws. Gokhale has been named in several legal directories, including in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame (TMT).
Rick Ambros is an executive producer, consultant and past studio executive with an emphasis on international and local language film, television and digital production, co-production, business development and financing across Asia, Europe and North America. He has been focusing his attention on the rapidly growing media and entertainment industries in Asia, particularly India and China.
Ambros served as COO of Justin Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment, a JV with China’s Seven Stars Entertainment. As a Consultant and Producer in India, he has worked with Fox, Sony, Star TV, Applause Entertainment and Ivanhoe Pictures. Ambros served as an advisor to German media funds and private investors providing production financing for Universal, Warner Bros. and Paramount (The Hangover, Sherlock Holmes, Sex and the City, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Mission Impossible III). He started his career as an executive and producer at ProSiebenSat.1 in Germany and as an international marketing & distribution executive at Disney. Ambros is a frequent Industry speaker, moderator and guest lecturer on emerging international markets, film financing and co-production. He is on the Executive Board of the Asian World Film Festival.
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