Indo-British Film Collaboration Intensifies
Activity over the Indo-British film co-production treaty is building steadily towards signing of the final agreement that will put the treaty into full effect and it looks as though India's film minister is to be invited to London for the official signing.
Culture Minister Tessa Jowell says the treaty will be of benefit to the film industries of both countries. For example a treaty will mean Indian producers shooting in Britain will be able to claim tax relief on the UK portion of their film budget, effectively reducing production cost.
Speaking in Cannes, where she is attending the international film festival, Ms Jowell said that the two years of negotiations between governments were now drawing to a close and she hoped the treaty would soon be concluded.
In an interview in Cannes with Amit Roy of the Calcutta Telegraph, she revealed that Leicester, the East Midlands city with the highest concentration of people with Indian ancestry, is to adopt the title of "Filmpur" - film city - in a bid to attract Indian producers and directors to make use of film facilities in the city.
Commenting on the close relationship between the two countries, she said: "You cannot now look at almost any aspect of British life but that it has been influenced by India - whether it is food, clothes, music, healing and alternative treatment, yoga meditation. All drive from Indian culture and find their way into our way of life."
The minister also showed she had a full grasp of the growing importance of Indian films to the UK exhibition industry, where Bollywood films achieve top performance of any of the film genres, not only because Indian families in the UK go to watch them on the big screen regularly, but because they are also becoming increasingly popular with a much broader mainstream UK audience.
The interview also gave Tessa Jowell the opportunity to express through the Indian press, how well she had been received on her several visits to India, a welcome the Minster will no doubt be trying to emulate, if a decision is made to sign the treaty in London. This is quite an opportune time for final signing to take place, close on the 60th anniversary of Britain leaving India, with a large number of significant cultural events about to take place in both countries in celebration of their many cultural and historic ties.
The Calcutta Telegraph interview with Tessa Jowell can read in full here: