India and Australia on Friday signed an audio-visual co-production agreement that seeks to offer filmmakers financial incentives amounting to up to 30 per cent of the expenditure incurred in the respective countries.
The agreement was signed by Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra and Australian High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell during the ongoing visit of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to India.
Australia is the 16th country with which India has a co-production agreement that would benefit mainly small filmmakers keen on shooting movies, web series, advertisements or carrying out post-production work or visual effects in that country.
“For all qualifying projects, the international film production company can claim a payable cash incentive of up to 30 per cent on qualifying expenditure in India, subject to a maximum of Rs 2 crore,” Chandra told reporters here.
Australia will also offer reciprocal benefits to Indian filmmakers shooting or engaged in post-production activities in that country.
Chandra said in case of shooting of foreign films, a 5 per cent bonus, up to a maximum of Rs 50 lakh, as additional reimbursement would be granted for employing 15 per cent or more manpower in India.
In addition to the incentives from the Centre, a number of state governments also offer concessions to foreign filmmakers.
India announced incentive schemes for shooting foreign films and audio-visual co-production projects at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
The incentive schemes came into effect from April 1 last year and at least 25 applications were received in the last six months, Chandra said.
The government established a Film Facilitation Office (FFO) to ease the process of film shooting in India.
The FFO acts as a single-window platform for coordination with various states as well as bodies such as the Indian Railways and the Archaeological Survey of India among others.
Chandra said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has also engaged Invest India to run the FFO.
“Invest India is expected to leverage its vast network across the country and abroad and help the FFO bring more projects to India,” Chandra said.
Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet”, British biographical drama film “Victoria and Abdul”, Spanish film “The Valley of Shadows” and Chinese action film “Vanguard” are some of the films shot in India.
India has audio-visual co-production agreements with Italy, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Germany, Brazil, France, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Canada, China, South Korea, Bangladesh, Israel, Russia and Portugal.
It is also negotiating co-production agreements with Mexico, Hungary, South Africa, Argentina, Singapore, Tajikistan, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkiye, Ecuador, Peru, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco and Mauritius.