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I&B minister Anurag Thakur announces sops for shooting of foreign films in India

The schemes will attract investment from foreign filmmakers and promote India.

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MUMBAI: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur on Wednesday inaugurated the India Pavilion at Cannes Film Market ‘Marche du Film’.

To make the country a favourite destination for foreign films, Thakur also unveiled two schemes to incentivize the shooting of foreign films and foreign co-productions with India. The two schemes viz Incentive Scheme for Audio-Visual Co-production and the Incentive Scheme for Shooting foreign films in India are aimed at unleashing the potential of India's media and entertainment industry.

Talking about the aspects of the incentives, the minister said that for official co-productions, international film production companies can claim a reimbursement of up to 30 per cent on qualifying expenditure in India subject to a maximum of Rs 2 crore. Foreign films shooting in India can claim an additional 5 per cent bonus up to a maximum of Rs 50 lakhs (USD 65,000) as additional reimbursement would be granted for employing 15 per cent or more manpower in India.  

The schemes will provide an impetus to global collaborations with India and attract investment from foreign filmmakers and help promote India as a filming destination, the Minister said.  

Expounding the deep social roots of Indian cinema Thakur said that creativity, excellence, and innovation in Indian cinema have developed hand in hand with sensitive treatment of subjects of social and national importance. “While reflecting the values, beliefs, and experiences of the Indian people, Indian cinema has also showcased their hopes, dreams and achievements. While being rooted in Indian culture, the Indian film industry has grown to acquire a universal character. And while preserving our age old stories, the India film makers are innovating in their art of storytelling through use of technology”, the Minister added. “Indian cinema is not only the story of a 6000 year old civilisation, not only the story of 1.3 billion tales but also the story of human talent, triumph and the trajectory of New India narrated through your lens," the Minister remarked.

 “Bharat ka cinema, daurna chahta hai, udna chahta hai Bus rukna nahi chahta”, paraphrasing a dialogue from the movie ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Diwaani’, Thakur said that through the beautiful journey Indian cinema has inspired global film makers and also been inspired by them and 2020s are the best time to make art and films in India.

Indian cinema is undergoing a paradigm shift, he said and added, “Over the last few years, the streaming revolution has taken the country by storm, and the popularity of digital/ OTT platforms has changed how films are created, distributed and consumed. Consumers of global and Indian cinema have more choice than ever before”.

Speaking on the strong intent of the government to make India a favourite filming destination, Thakur said, “We have a strong intellectual property regime, and the digital medium now complements the other more established modes of consumption and dissemination such as theatres and movies. This has brought about a democratisation of consumer choice like never before, and our government is intent on preserving this via support to the creative industries.”

Crediting the film restoration work for its scale, Thakur said that the government has embarked on the world’s largest film restoration project under the National Film Heritage Mission and as part of this drive, 2200 movies across languages and genres will be restored to their former glory.

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