India rolls out red carpet for foreign filmmakers

Foreign filmmakers who shoot in India or coproduce films with Indian partners will get incentives, Union information & broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur announced during his visit to the 75th Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday.

Thakur, who led the Indian delegation to the annual film gala where India is the Country of Honour, said for official co-productions, international film production companies can claim a reimbursement of up to 30% (up to Rs 2 crore) on qualifying expenditure in India.

Foreign films that are shot in India will also be permitted to claim an additional 5% bonus of up to Rs 50 lakh if they employ 15% or more manpower locally. The schemes, Thakur said, will incentivise global collaborations and attract foreign filmmakers to invest in India. Film projects that have been granted ‘coproduction’ status by the I&B ministry and the country signatory to the bilateral co-production treaties will be eligible for the incentives.

Making a pitch for India as the go-to film destination, Thakur said the government aims to make India a favourite among filmmakers. He highlighted that India has begun the world’s largest film restoration project under National Film Heritage Mission, where 2,200 films across Indian languages and genres will be digitally remastered.

“We have a strong intellectual property regime, and the digital medium now complements the other more established modes of consumption and dissemination such as theatres and movies. This has brought about a democratisation of consumer choice like never before, and our government is intent on preserving this via support to the creative industries,” Thakur said.

He also said Indian cinema is undergoing a paradigm shift with the streaming revolution taking the country by storm. “The popularity of digital and OTT platforms has changed how films are created, distributed and consumed. Consumers of global and Indian cinema have more choices than ever before. ”

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