London and Mumbai celebrate films

MUMBAI: London and Mumbai celebrated the special relationship their film production industries share, with the signing of an historic city-to-city agreement by Film London, London‘s film and media agency, and the Film and Television Producers Guild of India.

Amitabh Bachchan joined the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, to witness the signing attended by Film London chief executive 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 agree 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 ‘Indian Productions’ Guide to London’, 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 considerable support to the crew of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, one of the first Bollywood films to be set primarily in London.

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 spectacular 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 Bollywood megastar 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 & Investment, eight London-based and eight Indian-based film producers are being given first-hand experience of the Mumbai industry.

Seminar on filming in London: Opportunity to hear from leading producers about their experiences of filming in London.

Speaking about the unique agreement, Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London said: “London 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 London’s economic, cultural and tourism links with India.”

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London said:

“Our 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 London’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 UK’s film industry.”

Ronnie Screwvala, President of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India said:

“The 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.”

Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, said:

“Having recently returned from India I saw first hand how much our two countries have in common. Film making is one of those traditions which we share and we’re already seeing an increasing cross-over of talent between our two industries, both on screen and off. We have a great deal to offer each other, which is why I am delighted that we’re supporting this important mission.”

Amitabh Bachchan said:

“I laud the excellent concept that you are envisioning towards India and London.”

Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, of Whistling Winds International 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.”

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