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UK minister for culture, media, sport Jowell lays emphasis on India UK film co-production treaty

MUMBAI: A film co-production treaty between India and the UK was signed last year. 10 films are expected to be made in the first year..

This announcement was made Britain’s secretary of state, department of culture, media and sport Tessa Jowell at Frames. “Last year, I signed the main body of the Indo-UK co-production treaty. The treaty will enable both our film industries to take fuller advantage of the new opportunities of the digital age.

"We estimate that in the first year around 10 films would be made. This will benefit UK and India by around 155 million pounds. Cineworld cinemas in the UK are showng Indian films. There were 2.6 million visitors to Hindi films in the UK last year. Indian films accounted for 16 per cent of all releases in the UK last year, taking in 12 million pounds at the UK box office last year.

“The treaty will benefit both nations’ creative skill sets. There will be creative and technical collaborations from film festivals and marketing to production management services and the sale of cinematography equipment. It has been fantastic to the UK Film Council distribution and exhibition Fund to support The Rising. Veer Zaara took in 2.3 million pounds at the UK box office.

“We have just completed a White Paper on the BBC where a key theme is bringing the world to UK and UK to the world. Coupled with developments in the BBC Asian Network and the Window of Creative Competition which will open BBC production to a wider range of creative talent, we will surely see further collaboration between the two cultures and countries.”

She noted that this kind of progress is important not just in the film contest but as part of the UK government’s aim to nurture the creative sector. “The global market value of creative industries has increased from $831 billion in 2000 to $1.3 trillion in 2005. This represents more than seven per cent of the total GDP. In the UK creative business contributes 11.4 billion pounds to our trade balance. This is one pound in ever 12 pounds in our GDP. My job is to ensure that the creative sector is the first to benefit from the economic changes wrought by globalisation. For the film industry we know that digital technology is enabling better production, distribution and access.

“It is starting to fully examine the potential of this new technology in the ciontext of games, animation, individual and producer platforms as well as providing opportunities for areas like multiplex development.

Indian innovation is making waves across the world being the first to stream a film on mobile for instance,” said Jowell.

Jowell says that the UK government is encouraging the creative sectors to work together and share best practice and skills. “We have encouraged the BBC to work with organisations like Visit Britain and the Tate galleries. We have recently launched a flagship Creative Economy programme which is getting together luminaries from the creative sectors of film, music, fashion, advertising, publishing and computer games.”

The result, Jowell says, is that the UK is seeing regional clusters of creative business. In the film industry, the UK is seeing investment in regional production firms, visual effects firms, post production houses and film financiers.

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