India and UK film co-production agreement concluded

MUMBAI: The Indian and UK governments have successfully completed negotiations, which will enable a UK-India film co-production agreement to come into force.

As part of this work, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) will also run a series of workshops for Indian filmmakers who are interested in co-producing with the UK and making use of the treaty.

It is expected that the cost-competitive Indian film industry including the post production sector will stand to gain from the agreement. Some of the benefits that will accrue from this agreement include shared financial risks as well as larger audience base. The pact could lead to greater use of Indian locales and their promotion abroad. For this sector, UK could also act as a gateway to many countries in the European region.

The treaty will enable UK and Indian filmmakers to work together to co-produce films that will be eligible for national status in both countries.

The agreement provides an economic incentive for filmmakers to work together because it provides access to benefits of national status for the film. As a direct result of the treaty it is expected that up to 10 UK-Indian co-productions will be made within the first two years.

The four UKTI workshops will aim to provide all stakeholders – the national bodies, trade associations, individual production companies and professional advisers – with a better understanding of how the treaty will work and how potential co-producers can benefit from the same.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Andy Burnham said, "India and Britain both have vibrant film industries and bringing them together in this way opens the door to some exciting new collaborations. Our countries have close cultural and historical connections and it is great that our film industries will be able to work more closely together to develop this further."

UK Film Council CEO John Woodward added, "The UK and Indian film industries are among the most influential in the world and the aim of the treaty is to build on the existing cultural ties and encourage greater collaboration. Aside from the clear economic benefits to filmmakers the treaty also aims to increase the diversity of filmmaking giving filmmakers the opportunity to tell new stories that reflect our shared history and culture."

Lord Digby Jones, UK Minister for Trade & Investment said, "The UK and India have truly remarkable heritages in filmmaking and the UKTI workshops will bring together expertise from both. They will help forge relationships that will maximise the creative talent of UK and Indian filmmakers and give them the tools to enter into production partnerships. I am pleased that UKTI is taking practical steps to help kick start the UK-India film co-production agreement. The workshops will be the catalysts for the new financial and artistic opportunities that the agreement brings. Both countries can look forward to reaping the rewards – and l can’t wait to see the results on the big screen."

In addition the treaty will also contribute significantly to the strengthening of the skills base in both India and the UK.

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