Anurag Singh Thakur, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Youth and Sports Affairs, announced incentives for audio-visual co-productions and shooting of foreign films in India as part of the ‘Film In India’ initiative, at the India Pavilion, during the ongoing Cannes International Film Festival.
The projects will have a cash incentive of up to 30% with a cap of USD 260,000, he added.
“In the case of foreign films that will be shot in India, an additional bonus with a cap of USD 65,000 for employing 15% or more manpower in India will be provided,” he said.
A separate presentation shown during the event, mentioned that permits will be applicable for all films, series, and documentaries over 30 minutes. For documentaries, however, the permission will have to be sought from the Ministry of External Affairs.
Thakur also announced Film Visa which would allow for simplified entry of cast and crew of international film projects, to both shoot as well as carry out recces for their films, in India. The document will further enable them to shoot in locations that are administered by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as well as those under the Indian Railways.
The incentives were discussed at the inaugural ceremony of the India Pavilion at Cannes, where India is the country of honor this year.
The event was attended by Thakur, actors R Madhavan, Tamannaah Bhatia, Urvashi Rautela, Pooja Hegde, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, along with Deepika Padukone, who is also serving as an international jury member.
Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman, folk singer Mame Khan, Grammy-winning musician Ricky Kej, and filmmakers Prasoon Joshi and Shekhar Kapur were in attendance too.
At the event, Thakur spoke about the emergence of cinema as an intrument of soft power and the growing digital industry.
“Over the last few years, the streaming revolution has taken the country by storm, and the popularity of digital and OTT platforms has changed how films are created, distributed, and consumed,” Thakur said as he noted the rise of content era.
He added that the country had strong intellectual property regime. “The digital medium now compliments the other more established models of consumption and dissemination, such as theatres and movies. This has brought about democratisation of consumer choice,” he said.
He also said that the country has established a task force of industry leaders to drive the growth of AVGC (Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comic) sector.
The India Pavilion opened doors for Indian presence at Cannes, a glimpse of which could be seen at the red carpet event, on Tuesday. However, India will primarily focus on the Marche du Film section, said Thakur.
“At Marche du Film, this year, India intends to give the global audience a flavour of the country’s cinematic excellence, technological prowess, rich culture and illustrious heritage of storytelling,” he said.
The Cannes’ market section will see 15 Indian films, both finished as well as those in-progress, seek distributors and sales agents for their films. Indian start-ups will also display their works and conduct pitching sessions at the festival.
Satyajit Ray’s 1970 film Pratidwandi (The Adversary), which has also been chosen for an exclusive screening at the festival, will be restored in the Cannes Classic Selection. It is presented by the National Film Development Corporation’s (NFDC) and the National Film Archive of India.
Thakur addressed the Indian Government’s National Film Heritage Mission that is aimed at restoring Indian films, and called it “the world’s largest film restoration project.”
As part of this drive, 2,200 films across languages will be restored to their former glory, Thakur noted.
At the event, the Indian brigade also unveiled the poster of the upcoming edition of the International Film Festival of India, which is held in Goa.
The Cannes film festival returned to an in-person event two years after it last held a physical gathering. The festival kick-started on Tuesday, and will go on till May 28.