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 2008 SABA Conference
 Friday, May 16, 2008
 UCLA Anderson School of Management

Hollywood-Bollywood: The Business of Entertainment


The Fifth Annual SABA Conference

This year's 5th annual South Asian Business Association conference will explore increasing business synergies across film and television between the world's two most influential entertainment industries - that of India and the USA! The conference will comprise of South Asian filmmakers, directors, and industry experts. It will include a keynote address, panel discussion, and a screening of Shonali Bose's award winning film, "Amu".

Film Financing Panel

Prior to 2001, Bollywood films had a notorious association with underworld dons and dirty money. When the Reserve Bank of India announced its decision to allow bank financing for films, the industry felt it was headed in the right direction. Despite this move, only a few Indian banks have partaken in film financing, citing it as overly risky. Filmmakers have come to rely on a mix of financing solutions including personal funding, debt financing at high interest rates, and minimum guarantee payments advanced by distributors.

As the world goes global, Bollywood and Hollywood are beginning to see synergies in the entertainment industry. 2007 showed record levels of foreign investment into the industry, with conglomerates such as Disney, Viacom, and NBC Universal making their mark in India. As such, filmmakers too are looking externally for creative film financing solutions.

Our panel discussion will compose of South Asian filmmakers, directors, and industry experts to share their insights regarding the many synergies and opportunities between the US and Indian entertainment industries, including both film and television. Specifically, the filmmakers will also be asked to elaborate on the challenges of film financing, how they have responded to these challenges by exploring global channels, and what ramifications this new wave of global film financing will have on Bollywood overall.

Amu Film Synopsis

Amu is the journey of Kajori Roy, a 21-year-old Indian American woman who has lived in the US since the age of 3. After graduating from UCLA Kaju goes to India to visit her relatives. There she meets Kabir, a college student from an upper class family who is disdainful of Kaju's wide-eyed wonder at discovering the "real India". Undeterred Kaju visits the slums, crowded markets and roadside cafes of Delhi. In one slum she is struck by an odd feeling of déjà vu. Soon after she starts having nightmares. Kabir gets drawn into the mystery of why this is happening particularly when he discovers that she is adopted.

Meanwhile Kaju's adoptive mother – Keya Roy, a single parent and civil rights activist in LA, arrives unannounced in Delhi. She is shocked to discover that Kaju has been visiting the slums. Although Kaju mistakes her mother's response to a typical Indian over protectiveness – Keya's fears are deeper rooted.

Slowly Kaju starts piecing together what happened to her birth parents and mother and daughter clash as Kaju discovers she has been lied to her whole life. What was the truth? Why was it suppressed? As Kaju and Kabir undertake this quest they both discover their families involvement with a man made tragedy of immense proportions which took place twenty years ago in the capital city of India: the massacre of thousands of people of the Sikh faith. In a searing climax the young people are forced to confront the reality of the past and how it affects the present.


About SABA

The South Asian Business Association provides a forum for professional, cultural and social activities for UCLA Anderson School of Management students interested in South Asian business and culture.

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