Oscar Academy head sees ‘logic' in an India office

After the Maharashtra government proposed to set up an Oscars office here, Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences President John Bailey hailed it as an "excellent idea".

"India's entertainment capital has opened its doors and the government of Maharashtra has proposed to establish Oscars office in Mumbai, representing Asian film industry," tweeted Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde, who welcomed Bailey to the city on Saturday.

Asked about it, the President of the Academy Awards (Oscars) said, "We have an office in London, and there is one in New York. Those are the only two standing office. India is the largest filmmaking country in the world. The country makes up to 1,800 movies a year, which is four times the number we make in the US. There is logic to it, it's an excellent idea."

But he said the Academy was not a corporation or company as such. "It is a service organisation for its members or the artistes that are its members, to preserve history, to expand our history and to honour history...through the Oscars every year, to honour the best of the filmmaking in that year. It has a specific human focus.

"The reason to have an office anywhere is based upon the services the Academy can provide to the members. Thus, key to having an office in Mumbai or in India would be to being able to service the members and the community and to expand the outreach."

Stating that last year, the Academy accepted 928 new members from 56 countries, Bailey said, "The Academy is expanding because we understand more and more of the preservation of our history is tied into the rest of the world. The Academy is not just a Hollywood bubble."

On Sunday, Bailey led a masterclass and was in conversation with his wife Carol Littleton, also Governor at the Oscar Academy. He spoke about his cinematic journey and shared four clips from films he had shot.

Bailey will also visit Delhi, and will engage in an interactive session at the Siri Fort Auditorium on May 28. The initiative to explore possibilities of collaboration is organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The interaction will give an insight into the thought leadership at Oscars, the nuances behind the craft of cutting edge filming techniques, and develop an understanding amongst the stakeholders about creating world class content.     - IANS