While India does not have its usual physical pavilion at the Cannes market this year, due to pandemic travel restrictions, and Bollywood stars aren’t setting the red carpet on fire, the business of cinema continues to be discussed at the virtual India pavilion.
At a lively session on Thursday, moderated by Vikramjit Roy, head of India’s Film Facilitation Office (FFO), Dhanpreet Kaur, MD of the country’s National Film development Corporation (NFDC), said that the long-awaited incentives for international productions shooting in India, are “on the verge” of being finalized.
“Co-productions should not be bogged down with so many rules and checklists. We need to keep some leeway,” Kaur said. Once the incentives are revealed, the FFO will handle applications.
Flexibility was also the mantra for panelist Neil Peplow, head of the £7 million ($9.77 million) U.K. Global Screen Fund administered by the British Film Institute. Peplow talked up the the International Co-production strand of the fund, which can allocate a non-repayable grant of up to £300,000 ($413,000) per project. It is targeted at “minority” feature film co-productions in any language, including Indian languages, and any genre, including fiction, animation and documentary, which are co-produced with international partners, as well as minority or majority television co-productions in the animation and documentary genres only, in any language, which are co-produced with international partners.
The strand is open to experienced independent U.K. producers whose project must have raised at least 60% of the overall finance, and which needs to secure, or have already secured, at least one other source of U.K. funding.
Peplow said that the fund has flexibility built in in order to take opportunities where they exist. It’s currently matchmaking projects and welcomes Indian “minority” projects on a reciprocity basis with the understanding that projects with majority funding from India will also take place.
A co-production treaty between the U.K. and India has been in place since 2008.
Panelists Christopher Thoke, president of Germany’s Mogador Film; head of erstwhile British Screen Finance Simon Perry; and filmmaker Pan Nalin (“The Last Film Show”), recounted their experiences with co-productions.
In a session on Wednesday, Chaitanya Prasad, director of the International Film festival of India, Goa, revealed that the focus countries will be the BRICS nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.