CCP and Indian Filmmaker Examine India’s Entertainment Industry

Uttara Bharath, India Communication Advisor, and Sanjanthi Velu, India Country Director, attend FICCI Frames 2012.

In every story you tell, there is a message.
Onir (5th International Entertainment Education Conference)

The 5th International Entertainment Education conference (EE5), held in New Delhi, India in November 2011, brought together over 300 EE practitioners, government officials, entertainers, researchers and celebrities from around the world to further the field of Entertainment Education as a means for social change. Among the many new ideas and partnerships generated by EE5 is an exciting collaboration between CCP’s India office and featured EE5 panelist and visionary India-based filmmaker, Onir.

The recent recipient of the prestigious National Award for Best Hindi Film for his film, I Am, Onir has long used film as a medium for expressing the untold stories of modern India life. His ground-breaking first feature, My Brother Nikhil, was the first mainstream Indian film that included a homosexual character and discussed HIV. For I Am, Onir crowd-sourced funding from social media outlets to craft a film which explored such topics as child abuse and same-sex relationships.

In his collaboration with CCP, Onir turned the lens back on the Indian film industry and engaged filmmakers, actors and producers in a dialogue on the intersection of entertainment and education in the current Indian media climate.

The short documentary film, entitled Entertainment Education: Can Cinema Educate while Entertaining?, brought together several luminaries in the Bollywood and independent Indian film industry, including actress Nandita Das, Director Shyam Benegal and actor Sanjay Suri, in a candid conversation on the mission, challenges and road forward for EE in India.

The film debuted on March 16, 2012 at the FICCI FRAMES conference in Mumbai, where it received a warm reception. An august global convention of the media industry, the speakers at this year’s FICCI FRAMES included Senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the Motion Pictures Association of America and Hernan Lopez, President and CEO of Fox International Networks.

Onir’s film was screened to an audience of over 500 people, including writers, producers, directors and others involved with the film, television and media world. The well-known people featured in the film caught everyone’s attention, and the film was praised for its reminder to the industry that along with influence, their art carries responsibility.

The event’s MC challenged the industry audience members with the question: “Are we doing enough?”

Watch the CCP-Onir film: Entertainment Education: Can Cinema Educate while Entertaining?

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