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I&B ministry, Amazon sign pact to promote India’s creative economy

Amazon India and the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry on Wednesday announced they signed a pact to boost India’s creative economy.

As part of the letter of engagement (LoE), Amazon and the ministry will help build pathways to promote creative talent in India, create capacity across eminent film and TV institutes, and globally showcase Made in India creative content.

The LoE was signed at The National Media Centre here in presence of I&B Minister Anurag Thakur; Chetan Krishnaswamy, Vice President, Public Policy at Amazon India; and Gaurav Gandhi, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Prime Video.

According to a press release issued by the company, Prime Video and miniTV will both work towards providing internships, and scholarships to students at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTII).

To further the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ initiative, content from National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC), national broadcaster Doordarshan, and International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will be showcased on Prime Video and miniTV.

The I&B minister said the partnership with Amazon India is unique on a number of counts and the Letter of Engagement spans across various aspects of the creative industry.

“The partnership would help to strengthen industry-academia linkages through provisions for scholarships, internships, masterclasses, and other opportunities for students at Film and Television Institute of India and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute of India, and help to reduce the period of struggle for the talented artists coming out of prestigious film institutes of India,” Thakur said in the statement.

“As we celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, this milestone Letter of Engagement with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, strengthens our commitment to globally promote and showcase India’s creative talent and stories through our multiple services such as Prime Video, miniTV, Amazon Music, Alexa, IMDb, and our marketplace business,” added Krishnaswamy.

Gandhi said he is optimistic the “holistic” collaboration with the ministry will stimulate the growth of the industry.

“At Prime Video, we have always looked at ourselves as the enablers of the creative ecosystem. As an entertainment hub, there is room for every story to be told, which is only enriched if more passionate storytellers find the training, platform and resources required to bring their best work forward,” he said.

Actor Varun Dhawan, who is set to star in the Indian chapter of Prime Video’s “Citadel”, said he is thrilled to witness the “landmark collaboration” between I&B ministry and Amazon.

“For any artist, the ultimate dream is to be recognized for our work. Thanks to streaming services like Prime Video, today, even people in the remotest corners of the world are dancing to our music and repeating our dialogues. A collaboration of this nature helps us all work towards redefining what it means to be an Indian on the global entertainment stage,” he added.

According to the agreement, skill-based masterclasses will be organised for the students of various film and TV institutes and 75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow an annual talent enrichment programme under the umbrella of IFFI where 75 young, talented artists, to be selected by the ministry.

Furthermore, NFDC and IMDb, Amazon’s online database of information related to entertainment, will work together to help enable discoverability of India’s creative talent by listing their profiles and skill sets on the ranking’s platform.

“Amazon.in will also curate a special storefront feature to promote books and journals across genres reflecting India’s proud heritage from MIB’s Publication Division.

“The Alexa All India Radio skill published by Prasar Bharti will help disseminate news bulletins, and educational content. The collaboration will also help in broadening the reach of Prasar Bharati’s rich and diverse music via Amazon Music and Alexa,” the company said.

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