India and Britain will together make 10 films worth 155 million pounds initially under a co-production treaty partly signed last year according to the UK Culture Secretary.
Tessa Jowell, speaking in Mumbai, pointed out that Indian films accounted for over 16 percent of all British releases last year.
Jowell, who was the guest of honour at Frames 2006, an Indian Chambers of Commerce event, said the 10 films would be made in the first year. "That kind of progress is important not just in the film context but as part of our government's aim to nurture the whole creative sector," she said.
She said it was important that the creative sector take advantage of the economic changes wrought by globalisation. "Indian innovation is making waves across the world - being the first to stream a film on a mobile phone is just one example."
Jowell said since her last visit to Frames in 2004, links between the two countries had grown.
HINDI FILM 16% UK BOX OFFICE
"Cineworld cinemas are showing Indian films across the UK and there were 2.6 million visits to Hindi films in the UK last year. Indian films accounted for over 16 percent of all UK releases last year, taking 12.4 million pounds at the box office."
Jowell said she hoped that the full treaty would be signed soon, describing the signing of the main body of the agreement in December last year as "a landmark in a new era of partnership".
BENEFIT BOTH NATIONS
"The treaty will benefit the film industries in both countries by hosting creative and technical collaborations from film festivals and marketing to production management services and the sale of cinematography equipment. It will also benefit both nations' creative skills sets and enhance the diversity and heritage in both countries."
Commenting on the intertwined cultures of the two countries, Jowell said: "With the English language influence on contemporary India, and contemporary India's influence on modern Britain, that sharing of skills and experience is simple common sense."