MUMBAI: London and Mumbai will celebrate the relationship their film production industries share, with the signing of a city-to-city agreement by London’s film and media agency Film London and the Film and Television Producers Guild of India.
Actor Amitabh Bachchan, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone witnessed the signing this morning that was attended by Film London CEO Adrian Wootton, Film London chair Sandy Lieberson and Film and Television Guild of India president Ronnie Screwvala.
As part of the agreement, Film London and the Film and Television Producers Guild of India have agreed to work together to share ideas and best practice on domestic and international film production and promotion.
Additionally, production crews from India will be able to take advantage of a new â€˜Indian Productionsâ€™ Guide to London,â€™ which offers practical advice and guidance on working in London and the UK. Film London is the first point of contact for all crews working in London. These new guidelines are the culmination of ongoing work by Film London to promote a greater understanding and more effective working between the film industries in London and India.
Over 40 Indian productions filmed in London last year. Film London provided support to the crew of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, one of the first Bollywood films to be set primarily in London. The production used over 1100 extras and 400 dancers, including many Londoners, and key locations such as Tower Bridge and Kensington Palace Gardens to create a number of major set pieces. Filming at Waterloo saw Bachchan take centre stage in the middle of the stationâ€™s concourse accompanied by a troupe of dancers.
London‘s relationship with India and the Indian film industry has flourished in other ways over the past 12 months. During the summer the Mayor of London staged India Now, a three-month season celebrating Indian culture. As part of the India Now celebrations, Film 4 and Somerset House hosted the world premiere of Yash Raj Films production Chak De! India, where Londoners and visitors to the capital were treated to a special appearance by Shah Rukh Khan.
Film London is in Mumbai as part of a larger Mayor of London-led trade and cultural mission. The signing is part of a week-long series of events organised by Film London to share knowledge and understanding between the film sectors of India and the UK.
Other activities include:
The London-Mumbai Production Tournament: Funded by Film London and UK Trade and Investment, eight London-based and eight Indian-based film producers are being given first-hand experience of the Mumbai industry. Among other things, they will have the opportunity to visit Film City, the centre of India‘s film industry, to gain practical advice on doing business in the country and to attend the closing night event with many of the big names in Bollywood. This is an opportunity for producers to gain understanding of the Indian film sector, move projects forward and build relationships.
Seminar on filming in London: Opportunity to hear from leading producers about their experiences of filming in London.
Livingstone said, â€œLondon and Mumbai are two of the great international film-making cities. This agreement celebrates and reinforces the excellent relationship London has developed with the Indian film industry. Our work with the Indian film industry is a vital part of our wider mission to develop Londonâ€™s economic, cultural and tourism links with India.â€
Wootton added, â€œOur relationship with the Indian film industry is making a real contribution to London as a centre for international film production and is offering new and fresh interpretations of the city for all of Londonâ€™s audiences. This agreement will make a vital contribution to sharing knowledge and promoting a greater understanding between the film sectors of India and the UK. It also provides us with an opportunity to discuss real co-operation on a range of commercial initiatives and forge long-term educational and cultural links that will have great benefit to London and the UKâ€™s film industry.â€
â€œThe relationship between the UK and Indian film industry has been a long and fruitful one and we are happy that both sides are making efforts to ensure that both commercially and creatively this is nurtured and built on,â€ Screwvala said.
Whistling Winds International founder and chairman Subhash Ghai said, “Globalization is the future. And it is up to us, the established members of the Global Media industry, to encourage and promote a healthy mixing of talent from our respective countries. Only then will the next generation of filmmakers be truly collaborative at a global level – whichever country they may reside in. This is precisely the reason why Whistling Woods International has joined hands with Film London to proudly host the Mumbai-London Film Agreement signing and the Filming in London Seminar. I thank Mr. Livingstone for giving us the opportunity to host him and assist Film London in their endeavour to extend co-operation and collaboration between the cities of Mumbai and London.
“This event gives a good extension to the international film education work that Whistling Woods has been engaged in for over a year now. When we opened on July 18, 2006, Whistling Woods International promised to be a landmark educational and creative hub for the global media industry. Now housing over 200 students with over 15 per cent of them being from countries other than India, this world-class Institute, equipped with state of the art technological facilities and infrastructure has been going from strength to strength in its endeavour to train and groom young media professionals the world over. On behalf of all the students, faculty and staff of WWI, I wish this agreement all the best and hope it succeeds in its endeavour of promoting collaboration between the two great cities of Mumbai and London,” Ghai added.