India’s film industry is in dire straits as the government struggles to contain the swelling tide of digital piracy.
The country’s budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year has shrunk by nearly $1 billion due to digital piracy, a trend that has forced the government to divert more money to the movie industry.
The film industry needs to invest $400 million to $600 million annually to stay afloat, said R. S. Thakur, president of the Indian Film and Television Producers Association, in a statement.
But the industry has struggled to maintain the necessary resources to keep up with the increasing demand for movies, which has driven up prices and led to delays in delivery.
The government has said it will continue to subsidize the movie production by selling tickets to people who are unable to buy tickets online, but this approach has not worked.
“The film industry has to keep on working to keep itself afloat,” Thakursaid.
“There is no way that we can rely on this subsidy for the next two years.”
India has more than 30,000 studios and production companies, including a slew of homegrown brands like Aamir Khan’s Baahubali and Bollywood movies such as Mahabharata and Karan Johar’s Karan Kalam.
The industry has also benefited from a growing number of international productions, such as Warner Bros. and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
However, the industry is now suffering from an increasing number of online piracy.
According to the Federation of Indian Film Producers (FIFP), the number of pirated movies in India fell by about 60 percent from last year, to 1.7 million.
This is an improvement compared to the 2016-17 year, when piracy was at a whopping 8.6 million.
However there is still a long way to go.
“I hope the government will provide a comprehensive solution that will help the industry to deal with this issue,” said Thakura.
“But we have to make it happen.
The current government is trying to solve a problem that has existed for decades, not solve the problem.”