India report makes case for filming incentives to boost international production
A new report has advocated a formal filming incentive programme for India and has emphasised the benefits of film tourism. The country enjoyed a recent profile boost with light comedy hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
The report, by the LA India Film Council in Mumbai, was launched at the Confederation of Indian Industry Big Picture Summit 2014. Entitled Made in India: Attracting and incentivising film productions, the paper advocates “a strong production tax regime”, while also highlighting the different ways in which regional film commissions can help boost film tourism.
“Shooting in India has always been erratic in the absence of a transparent policy and structure across the country,” said Kulmeet Makkar, CEO of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India: “The experience therefore differs from location to location. There are few states which provide a very good support, which is mostly to do with relationships and individual choices and preferences rather than a structured policy.”
Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star Studios in Mumbai, echoed Makkar’s calls for financial incentives and a higher standard of production support across the country.
“Production incentives, timely permits, availability of local talent, production resources and infrastructure are key ingredients to attract foreign and local productions to shoot in a country,” Singh commented: “This will ensure retention of local productions within the country and help position India as an international filming destination.”
India does attract high-profile Hollywood productions, with recent examples including The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and baseball drama Million Dollar Arm (right). The Dark Knight Rises has been one of several big-budget movies to have visited for smaller unit shoots.
The country has a reputation internationally for lengthy and complex bureaucratic issues that can be off-putting for Hollywood studios. However, proactive efforts to address this would be welcomed around the world, as would a formal filming incentive in the world’s largest democracy.
(The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel photo: Ishika Mohan/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Million Dollar Arm photo: Disney)
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