UK Industry Keen On A Cross-over To Bollywood

Mumbai: | Updated: Nov 27 2002, 05:30am hrs
Bollywood would be able to attract investors from UK, if it enforces a proper insurance and completion bond system, said Commonwealth Film Festivals director Michael Fox.

India and UK do not have a co-production treaty, which would have ensured tax incentives and encourage investments in Bollywood movies.

It is an grave bottleneck. Investment in non-Hollywood ventures to develop a common distribution and marketing network in the Commonwealth nations is needed and this can come with non traditional collaborators, said Mr Fox.

He is in Mumbai to meet potential investors in a Commonwealth Film Investment Fund, which will act as an equity investment vehicle across 54 nations.

The plan is also to hold a festival of Indian movies in the UK as part of an exercise to popularise Bollywood films. Mr Foxs company holds an annual film festival in Manchester which aims to build audiences for Commonwealth films, develop markets for producers, provide film and media-related training and strategic development consultancy services to Commonwealth organisations and individual from the Commonwealth countries.

Their is an upsurge in the appeal for Bollywood films in UK, evident from the fact that Channel 4 aired Indian movies like Lagaan for three months. The Indian Summer on the television channel ended in September.

Several companies and independent movie producers from UK have descended in Mumbai to explore business opportunities and partnerships in India on the film and media ventures.

The delegation has been formed by the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is one of the largest chambers in the UK and has a membership of 2000 companies and a turnover of 9 million pounds.

With Channel 4 losing heavily in its digitisation venture, its corpus for financing movies in UK under FilmFour has shrunk from 50 million pounds in a year to 10 million pounds.

We are feeling the pinch. This is one of the reasons why we are looking at partnerships in India and other markets. Small budget movies from UK have managed to do a cross over from the local market, said an independent film producer.