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30/03/2005

UK film industry looks to share expertise with Bollywood

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has kicked off negotiations that promise to make it easier for the UK film industry to share expertise with Bollywood - the largest film industry in the world.
Ms Jowell met Indian Film Minister Shri Jaipal Reddy in Delhi to discuss developing a co-production treaty with India. The treaty would enable film makers in the UK and India to pool their resources to create films which will benefit both countries financially and culturally.
Since 1931, when talkies were first introduced in India, the film industry has produced more than 67,000 films in more than 30 different languages and dialects. In 2001, the industry produced 1,013 films making it the world's largest feature film producer.
A co-production treaty would encourage Indian film makers to invest in British talent and UK locations. In return they would benefit from UK film making expertise and the films could be eligible for UK film tax incentives, which are designed to encourage investment in our domestic industry.
Speaking at the meeting, Tessa Jowell said: "In today's film industry it is increasingly hard to go it alone. Co-production is how much of business is done today.
"Bollywood is the most impressive and spectacular film industry in the world. Like the UK film industry, it has a rich heritage of producing entertaining, challenging and culturally relevant cinema.
"It makes sense for our industries to join forces so that we can raise our game even further. A co-production treaty would create the means to do this.
"I hope that together we would produce films that would be beneficial, culturally and economically, to UK and Indian audiences. And, importantly, a treaty would enable us to continue to compete on the world stage, drawing on the wealth of talent that both countries possess, both in front of and behind the camera.
"A treaty would fit into our wider aim of producing successful co-productions that deliver economic and cultural benefits for both parties."
The UK is also seeking to negotiate new co-production agreements with China, India, Morocco, Jamaica and South Africa. The negotiations for setting up the treaty structures will roll out over the next 18 months.
(SP)
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