Incentive schemes for international co-productions shooting in India will soon be operational, Variety has exclusively learned.The schemes that were teased during the 2018 edition of Film Bazaar are now ready and an official announcement from the Government of India is expected in early 2020.
India’s ministry of commerce and industry has chosen the audiovisual industry as one of its champion service sectors and has zeroed in on the establishment of several initiatives. First up, the language used in the co-production treaties India has with various countries will be re-examined and simplified. Next, as India currently does not have a public fund that partner countries can access, a fund that can be accessed under the terms of the existing treaties will be announced.India currently has treaties with Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Korea, New Zealand, Poland, Spain and the U.K.
Incentivising international productions to come to India, projects will be supported to up to 30% of their in country spend, with a cap on the maximum amount disbursed.
India is severely under-supplied with cinema screens, with operational cinema screens now having shrunk to less than 9,000. The ministry will set up a cinema building fund to redress this issue.
The budget for these initiatives is likely to be INR 5 billion ($70 million) initially, spread over 24 to 30 months from introduction.
India is also setting up a media and entertainment economic summit. “The Prime Minister spoke about this, work has already begun,” Kulmeet Makkar, CEO of the Producers Guild of India, told Variety. “We are very keen to create an economic summit, like Davos, only specifically focusing on media and entertainment, to take place every year in Mumbai. We’ll get a lot of people from around the world to come to India for the summit.” The initiative will extend beyond film and cover technology, innovation and content across platforms. The government will facilitate collaborations and partnerships.
The Film Bazaar is an annual industry conclave and content market in Goa organised by India’s National Film Development Corporation.