Shooting of foreign films in India get a boost, Union Minister Anurag Thakur announces major sops

Thakur inaugurates India Pavilion, unveils poster for 53rd edition of IFFI Indian cinema is a story of human talent, triumph and the trajectory of New India: Shri Thakur Cinema has emerged as instrument of our soft power in last seven decades: Shri Thakur Indian cinema, an instrument of soft power, has made world know India better: Indian Ambassador to France, Shri Jawed Ashraf

New Delhi: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Anurag Thakur today inaugurated the India Pavilion at Cannes Film Market ‘Marche du Film’. With an aim to make India a favorite destination for foreign film makers, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Anurag Thakur today unveiled two schemes to incentivize shooting of foreign films and foreign co-productions with India. The two schemes viz Incentive Scheme for Audio-Visual Co-production and Incentive Scheme Shooting of foreign films in India are aimed at unleashing the potential of Indian media and entertainment industry.

Talking about the aspects of the incentives Shri Thakur informed that for official co-productions, international film production companies can claim a reimbursement of up to 30% on Qualifying Expenditure in India subject to a maximum of INR 2 crore. Foreign films shooting in India can claim an additional 5% bonus up to a maximum of INR 50 lakhs (USD 65,000) as additional reimbursement would be granted for employing 15% or more manpower in India.  The schemes will provide an impetus to, global collaborations with India and attract investment from foreign film makers and help promote India as a filming destination, the Minister said. (Details of the scheme are in Annex 1 below)

Expounding the deep social roots of Indian cinema Shri Anurag Thakur said that Creativity, excellence, and innovation in Indian cinema has 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 Indian 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 ,   , bass rukna nahi chahta”, paraphrasing a dialogue from the movie ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Diwaani’, Shri 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, the Minister added.

Indian cinema is undergoing a paradigm shift as “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 Government to make India a favorite filming destination, Shri 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 India’s film restoration work for its scale Shri Thakur said the Government has embarked on 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.

Congratulating the India Pavilion Shri Thakur said “India Pavilion is a feather in our cap and only with your Vishwas and Prayas today, it will become the pioneer of the Indian dream tomorrow.”

The Minister released the official poster of 53rd edition of International Film Festival of India at the India Pavilion. (Annex 2)

Speaking on the occasion actor Ms Tamanna Bhatia said that India has contributed to the global film industry for many years and now in 75th year of independence the partnering of Cannes Film Festival with India is truly iconic. Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui added to the sentiment saying that India is a land of many stories and these stories from grassroots are worthy of global prominence. Actor Deepika Padukone commented that this was a proud moment that India was the country in spotlight at Cannes on 75th anniversary of independence, adding that Indian cinema is at the cusp of greatness and this achievement at Cannes is only a beginning.

Shri Shekhar Kapur said India was a land of stories and now Indian culture will become a predominant culture in cinema as the west plateaus. Shri Prasoon Joshi extolled that film making needs to become so easy a process that budding filmmakers from the smallest of towns feel empowered to turn their vision to reality.

Ms Pooja Hegde emphatically commented that she was there as part of none other but brand India and it was an honour further adding that the fact that India was Country of Honour was proof that India was making the right noises. Ms Vani Tripathi commented on the role Indian women are playing in cinema and said that India women are being celebrated today across the world as Deepika has proven by being a jury member. Shri R. Madhavan, Shri A.R. Rahman, Shri Mame Khan and Secretary of I&B, Shri Apurva Chandra were also present on the occasion.

Shri Jawed Ashraf, the Ambassador of India to France, read out the message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Indian delegation to Cannes Film Festival. Addressing the audience he further said that Indian cinema has made the world know India better. The Indian cinema is a critical aspect of the expanding soft power of India in the world.

 

Annex – 1

 

Salient features of the Incentive Schemes for Audio-Visual Co-production and Shooting of foreign films in India

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, has decided to launch Incentive Schemes for International Productions that shoot in India and Official Co-productions with foreign countries.

 

The Incentive and eligibility

 

  1. Under the Incentive Scheme for Audio Visual Co-production, for all qualifying projects, the Indian Co-producer can claim a payable cash reimbursement of up to 30% on Qualifying Expenditure in India subject to a maximum of INR 2 crore (USD 260,000). However, reimbursement shall be divided among the Producers as per their respective share of the financial contribution for the project.

 

The project must have been granted a “Co-Production” status by the Ministry of I&B and the participating country(ies), under one of India’s official bi-lateral co-production treaties on Audio-Visual Co-production. Projects that have been granted official Co-production status after 01.04.2022 are eligible for the incentive.

 

  1.  Under the Incentive Scheme for Shooting of Foreign Films in India, the same incentive as mentioned above shall be provided. Apart from that an additional 5% bonus up to a maximum of INR 50 lakhs (USD 65,000) can be claimed, as additional reimbursement and would be granted for employing 15% or more manpower in India.

 

To avail this scheme International productions that have been granted shooting permission by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and Ministry of External Affairs (for documentaries only) after 01.04.2022 shall be eligible.

The Incentives will be disbursed in two stage i.e. Interim and Final. The final disbursement claim can be made once the project is complete in India. Incentives will be provided on the recommendation of a Special Incentive Evaluation Committee. (The detailed guidelines for which will be available on the FFO website). Moreover, incentives can be claimed under either of the Schemes and not for both.

The Incentive Scheme shall be executed through Film Facilitation Office (FFO) under the aegis of National Film Development Corporation (NFDC).

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