Annex between India, UK will help co-productions in cinema

NEW DELHI: Producers from the United Kingdom and India would be able to make films reflecting the diversity of culture and heritage of both the countries and enjoy national status in the two places, according to the Annex to the Indo-UK Film Co-Production signed today.
The Annex was signed by Joint Secretary (Films) in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry VB Pyarelal and Deputy British High Commissioner Creon Butler.

The Annex elaborates the various requirements for Film Co-production under the Agreement signed in December 2005 between the two countries. It also provides rules of procedure for operationalisation of the Agreement.

The Annex has been finalized after negotiation with the British Government and consultation with the Indian film industry. The aim is to ensure that benefits accrue to the co-producers of both the countries. The Annex shall come into force as soon as the parties have notified each other on the completion of their respective legal and constitutional procedures.

The co-produced films would gain better market access in some other countries also. The Indian community in the UK represents the single largest ethnic segment of the country’s population. As a sizeable percentage of the population in UK is Asian, films produced under this segment would have a ready audience.

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.

India also has similar co-production agreements with Germany, Italy, and Brazil, and agreements are also be signed shortly with some other countries including France, Canada, South Africa, Hungary, and China among others.

India already has an existing protocol on cinema with the French Government signed in 1985. The Ministry now wants to re-write the protocol/agreement according to the requirements of today.

Italy was the first country to have signed a co-production agreement with India for producing films. The purpose of this agreement was to increasingly use Italian locations for Indian movies, to increase collaboration in animation and post-production and to foster transfer of know-how in the field of old film restoration.

India and Brazil signed an Audio-Visual Co-production Agreement in June last year under which many film and television companies from Brazil would be able to work with Indian companies to outsource work in different spheres of film production under an Audio-Visual Co-production signed between the two countries.

This will include work relating to special effects, graphics and animation and producers from both countries get an opportunity to pool their creative/artistic/technical, financial and marketing resources to co-produce film and television programmes.

Under the Agreement, more Indian locales can be utilized for shooting films, thus raising the visibility of India as a shooting destination. With the liberalization of shooting guidelines for foreigners shooting films in India, there has been a marked increase in films being shot in India.

Risks also get shared and there is wider natural audience base. The post- production sector of the Indian film industry will also gain from such an agreement.

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