India brews up co-prod’n treaty with Canada

Exec sez $197 mil of biz generated initiallly by pact

CALCUTTA — The Indo-Canadian co-production treaty for the entertainment sector is about to crystallize.

Sheila Copps, Canada’s heritage minister, and the Indian high commissioner in Canada, Shashi Tripathi, have put their signatures on a letter of intent for a co-production arrangement between the two countries in film and TV sectors.

“After the joint statement for such an agreement by the Indian and Canadian Prime Ministers in October 2003, this latest development is a hands-on endorsement of the treaty by very senior government officials from both the sides. We can now expect the deal to be finalized shortly,” says Reid Cooper, head of public affairs, at the Canadian high commission in India.

An extract from Copps’ statement reads: “India is the largest film and television capital of the world. Bollywood outstrips Hollywood three to one, and having a co-production agreement will permit any Canadian filmmaker to create projects together with India and access tax incentives on both sides.”

Gautam Hooja, president of the Montreal-based Indo-Canadian Films Intl., adds that he “conservatively” projected C$250 million ($197 million) of business yearly to be generated in the initial phases itself.

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