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February 20, 2007  

Frank Pietrucha: (202) 543-6750;
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Proliferation of Multi-Screen Theaters, Introduction of Digital Satellite Delivery, and Acceleration of Home Entertainment Market are Raising Bollywood's Status as Asia's "Creative Superpower"

WASHINGTON -- The Creative and Innovative Economy Center (CIEC) at The George Washington University Law School released a report today on how the confluence of new business models, application of cutting-edge digital technologies, and changes in social behavior are helping to accelerate the growth rate of "Bollywood," India's burgeoning film industry. The report was presented at a roundtable discussion hosted by CIEC in Geneva, Switzerland, for delegates attending the World Intellectual Property Organization's Development Agenda meetings.

"Last year, India's film industry grew by more than 15 percent," noted the report's author Bertrand Moullier, a CIEC research associate. "Barring a major recession, that number will only continue to increase. I wouldn't be surprised if the industry grows by as much as 20 percent this year. India is earning its reputation as Asia's creative superpower, producing over 1,000 films annually and gaining audiences worldwide."

The study, Whither Bollywood, looks at how several critical factors are reshaping the Indian film industry.  The three most notable changes include:
-- Large-scale development of multi-screen theaters throughout India;
-- Technology that delivers films directly to theaters via digital satellite systems; and
-- An expanding market for home entertainment via DVD players.

Movie theaters, the primary market for Indian films, are undergoing historical changes that are serving to energize not only the film industry itself, but the nation's wider consumer boom as well.  Modern multiplexes are quickly replacing single-screen cinemas, giving Indian consumers flexible programming, high-quality viewing conditions, and providing concession sales.  Multiplexes are included in the plans for most of the 300 shopping malls currently under construction in India.

"The modern multiplex will be at the heart of new high-efficiency consumer environments that are being built, drawing the middle classes back to the movies.  The cinemas will serve as magnets bringing people who come to the movies to adjacent retail outlets to shop.  Thus, the cinema is a key driver for India's wider consumer boom," reports Moullier.

In addition to the proliferation of theaters, technology is playing a pivotal role in Bollywood's boom.  New operators are bringing the delivery of films straight to the theater via digital satellite delivery.  This approach allows a far wider reach across the country's segmented markets at a fraction of the cost of physical print distribution. According to Moullier, digital satellite delivery also is important because it will provide consumers access to first-run movies and will allow films to reach previously underserved markets.

The study also looks at the growth of cinema as home entertainment for India's expanding urban middle-income population. "Whereas the cable industry continues to struggle in regulatory chaos at the margins of the informal economy, video hardware equipment has passed the 12 million-units mark and the DVD is booming," said Moullier. However, he cautions that "DVDs also are a worry because a pandemic level of illegal copying and distribution takes money out of the filmmakers' pockets making it harder for them to raise working capital for future projects."
A copy of Whither Bollywood? IP rights, Innovation and Economic Growth in India's Film Industries is available online at CIEC's website,

The CIEC, in partnership with the International Federation of Film Producers Association, presented a screening of Printed Rainbow, the award-winning short film directed by Gitanjali Rao, at the World Intellectual Property Organization's Development Agenda meetings to illustrate the creativity and depth of the next generation of Indian filmmakers.

The CIEC conducts research and educational activities that encourage developing nations to embrace creativity and innovation as tools to compete more effectively in the world economy. Stressing a multi-disciplinary approach, the center examines legal, commercial, institutional, and globalization issues pertaining to economic development. Programs will be conducted at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in Europe at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center, and in developing countries around the world.

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