Indian cabinet approves UK India Film Co production Treaty
The government of India has given its final clearance to sign the Indo-UK Film Co production Treaty. The treaty took three years of tough negotiations and more than 15 overseas visits by the film and govt officials from the two countries. Now, the Indian producers filming in the UK will be able to save large sums of money on their production budgets, writes Pervaiz Alam.
"The Union Cabinet today (April 24, 2008) gave its approval to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for signing the Annex (Rules of Procedure) to the Film Co-production Agreement signed with Government of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland," said a govt statement issued by the state-controlled Press Information Bureau in New Delhi.
The bureau statement goes on to add: "This will enable the Indian film industry to co-produce films with the film industry of United Kingdom. The Agreement would encourage the making of films reflecting the diversity of culture and heritage of both the countries. The benefits would flow to both the Co-producers."
Savings on production budgets
In the picture, 'Shoot on Sight' (2008), featuring Brian Cox & Naseeruddin Shah, benefits from UK Tax Incentives.
India EU Film Initiative has welcomed the Indian approval. The treaty will encourage a large number of Indian film producers to avail several tax incentives and film schemes in the UK. Every year, about 60 Indian films are released in the UK and some of them are shot in Britain, generating revenues between £16- £18 million for the Indian film industry. Most of them are Bollywood productions. Now, the producers filming in the UK could save more money on their production budgets through various tax incentives that will apply after the treaty, according to India EU Film Initiative.
Films can qualify as British in one of three ways. They must meet the requirements of one of the following: One of the UK's official bilateral co-production treaties; or The European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production; or the Cultural Test, according to the UK Film Council.
The UK Government currently has five active bi-lateral film co-production agreements with Australia, and Canada, France, New Zealand and South Africa. The aim of these agreements is to encourage cross cultural collaboration between film makers from both countries. They are also known as treaties.