Global players eye flourishing Indian entertainment industry

Mumbai, March 26 (IANS) From neighbouring Pakistan to European Union to Canada - the world is eyeing the booming Indian entertainment industry and is more than willing to invest in it.

Pakistanis will get to see more and more Indian movies as a more democratic and moderate Pakistan emerges with president Pervez Musharraf's diktats no longer reigning supreme, Raana Shaikh, a Pakistani filmmaker said.

Pakistan recently lifted ban on Indian movies but the movies to be shown "were randomly chosen by President Musharraf", said Shaikh while addressing the Ficci-Frames 2008 session on 'Scope of International Co-production'.

"Now that President Musharraf's diktats no longer reign supreme in Pakistan, you can expect to see a more moderate and democratic Pakistan emerging sooner. It will be new Pakistan with more liberal views in all respect. And India as a neighbouring country will be our role model," she added.

Carlo Donzella, Consultant, European Union (EU) and Finanziamenti Lazio, Innovazione nel Lazio (FILAS SPA) (Italy), a media-funding organisation, said EU would like to have co-production deals in entertainment with Indian film and television programme makers.

Donzella said the firm facilitates such deals and provides a part of the co-production cost.

"At present EU has 11 co-production deals with different non-Asian countries. Lately, we are focussing on Asia and India is our priority at present along with Singapore and Hong Kong," Donzella said.

Oliver Paulus, a filmmaker from Switzerland, said in a unique deal his country, Germany and Austria had produced a movie called "Tandoori Love" based on an Indian theme. Only Swiss and a few Indian theatre artistes acted in the movie.

"We do not have a film industry. So, we give importance to co-production so that it would create talent and professionals among the young generation of the Swiss," he said.

The session was also addressed by Sangeeta Singh, director, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Namrata Singh Gujral, president of American Pride Film Group.

Sangeeta Singh said India encourages co-productions and entertainment deals but does not commit any financial assistance to see them through.

"As we welcome film export, we also throw the country open to movies made in conjunction with foreign filmmakers and shot abroad," she said.

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