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Creating a global footprint for Indian cinema

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MUMBAI: At the inauguration of the Mumbai Film Mart, it looked like that the Indian film community is all set to go global. So, while it had invited delegations from other countries like Spain to partner for co-productions, the Indian film community also made an extra effort to promote films that have been made in collaboration with other countries. Like, Qissa: The tale of a Lonely Ghost that premiered on the first day of the festival is an Indo-German-Dutch-French co-production.

NFDC GM, executive producer & head marketing Vikramjit Roy at the inauguration of the Mumbai Film Mart on 18 October, said that to take Indian cinema beyond the confines of the country, NFDC is making many efforts. “We are primarily looking at co-production with seven or eight odd countries that India has treaties with in the near future. These include the likes of Germany, France, UK, Brazil, Italy, New Zealand and I hope Spain, Canada and Australia as well very soon.”

We have a film called 'Arunoday' with France and we are hoping to do one with New Zealand soon, says Vikramjit Roy

Roy further went onto explain how global collaboration helps a local Indian story like Qissa to team up with local funding bodies of Europe. “For example, if you do an Indo-European co-production with any of the European countries mentioned earlier, you will get to access funds from the central European funding body and the co-producer also gets an access to various regional funds,” Roy explained.

Qissa got funding from NRW that is located in Germany; it had funding from NFF that is a Dutch film fund and also from France. “Besides, when the film goes on floor and gets a certain positioning, you get a sales agent on board. Like, we had the Match Factory join hands with Qissa. Something like this allows for a certain positioning and global footprint.”

In fact, to widen its horizon, the festival had invited the official Spanish delegation, Spanish Federation of Producers (FAPAE) for co-productions along with senior decision makers from the Spanish Ministry, Tourism and Film Commission, who are eager to partner with the Indian film community.

Talking about it, Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA) Spain director general Susana de la Sierra, said: “This is the first visit from the series of visits that we have planned in the time to come. This is to strengthen our relationship with India and also possibly look at making co-productions between the two countries.”

What makes the Spain delegation more interested in partnering with India is that both the countries are similar in terms of their cultural diversity. “Spain is far smaller than India in terms of landscape and population, but there are a lot of similarities. We both have cultural diversity. We have 17 regions within the country and apart from the national film fund, we too have regional film funds,” she added.

I feel this is not only a really good opportunity for us to work together but also help find Spanish and Indian films their audiences believes Susana De La Sierra

Susana looks at this as a great opportunity, not only for working together but also helping Spanish and Indian films find their audiences. “Going forward, I do see more work travelling from India to Spain and vis-?-vis, as it’s a fact that after the Indian representatives visited Spain there are several projects that have been lined up to be shot in and around Spain.”

There are also plans to import Indian films into Spain and Spanish movies into India and this practice will only intensify further as both the countries will work hand in hand to help each other. The Spanish ministry keeps aside a fixed budget to help nurture and push the film industry to take that creative freedom and showcase the Spanish culture in all its glory.

The Indian film community has already witnessed the popularity and profit that foreign collaborations bring. In Toronto, NFDC positioned Qissa as a global film, which helped it in achieving the Best Asian Film Award by Net pack. “We are hoping that Qissa turns out to be a trendsetter as now we have a film called Arunoday - directed by Partho Sengupta - with a French collaboration and we are hoping to do one with New Zealand soon too,” Roy added.

Looks like Indian film community is all set to make an international footprint.

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