India’s FICCI Frames conference, which is celebrating its 15th edition (March 12-14), has confirmed that Australia will be the partner country this year.

The partner state will be Karnataka, located in south India, which is home to the Kannada-language film industry. The state’s capital city, Bangalore, is also the high-tech centre of India.

Organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the convention is expecting 2,000 Indian and 600 foreign delegates this year, including speakers such as author William Dalrymple, the Federal Communications Commission’s Ajit Pai and PR guru Roger Fisk who worked on President Obama’s election campaign.

Keynote speakers also include TV18 Group managing director Raghav Bahl, India Today Group chairman Aroon Purie and Justin Osofsky, vice president of media partnerships at Facebook.

The theme of the conference will be “Media and Entertainment: Transforming Lives” – highlighting role of the media and entertainment industry as a vehicle for social change. In a year when India is heading to the polls, discussions will also take place around policy reform and regulatory changes, as well as how to produce socially meaningful content.

Panel discussions and keynotes at Frames are divided into six different tracks covering film, broadcast, digital entertainment, animation, gaming and visual effects. Speakers under the film track include Rentrack CEO Bill Livek, Asian Animation Summit chairman Kim Dalton and Celestial Tiger Entertainment CEO Todd Miller.

Topics to be discussed include film funding, censorship, advances in visual effects and 3D technology, alternative business models in digital cinema and issue-based filmmaking.

UK producer Andy Paterson and Indian producer Guneet Monga will conduct master classes, as will VFX supervisor and Reliance MediaWorks chief creative officer George Murphy, and Jon Cowley and Ben Murray of Prime Focus.

FICCI Frames will also host a market and the BAF animation awards, which will be held at the main conference venue, Hotel Renaissance in Powai, Mumbai, on March 12.