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Pledging allegiance

Blighty rethinks int'l pic co-prod alliances

LONDON — The U.K. plans to negotiate film co-production treaties with South Africa, China, India, Jamaica and Morocco and drop pacts with Germany, Italy and Norway.

This is part of a government review of film treaties to create a consistent strategy.

“Pooling talent and expertise is increasingly important to enable all those involved in the film industry to compete on a global stage,” U.K. culture secretary Tessa Jowell said Monday on a visit to Cape Town, where she met South African minister for arts and culture Pallo Jordan.

“The real negotiations start now, but if we get these treaties right, it will be the perfect deal — both sides win and the consumer gets to enjoy a better, more diverse product,” she added.

Under co-production treaties, filmmakers can access subsidies and tax breaks from each other’s countries.

The U.K. has treaties with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy and Norway.

But a government spokesman said the Norwegian pact had fallen into disuse, while projects with German or Italian partners would be better carried out under the European Convention on Co-production than through bilateral treaties.

Meanwhile, a co-production treaty between South Africa and India was mulled in Cape Town.

A delegation of industry professionals from India, including the Film & Television Producers Guild of India president Amit Khanna, Praveen Nischol of Entertainment One and Shabir Boxwala of Sahara One, are visiting South Africa at the invitation of the Cape Film Commission.

The CFC said the aim of the visit was to explore ways of working together.

South Africa already has co-production treaties with Canada, Italy and Germany.

The Indian delegation will meet industry reps and producers in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg during their weeklong visit, which began Sunday.

(Christelle de Jager in Johannesburg contributed to this report).

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