UK and Indian film-makers gathered at a summit in London yesterday, October 23, to explore how they can work more closely together to benefit the industries in both countries.

The ' UK and India the shape of things to come' summit followed on from the public launch of the UK-India co-production treaty on October 22.

The treaty means that UK-India co-produced films can bypass the UK cultural test. As a result, Indian filmmakers will have access to a range of benefits including tax breaks, sources of funding and practical support. As a direct result of the treaty, it is expected that as many as ten film projects will go into production in the next two years

Summit delegates included UK and Indian producers, writers, distributors who covered topics including: the market potential for India-UK co-productions; screenwriting for international audiences - what can UK and Indian writers learn from each other; how the new India UK co-production treaty will work in practice; creative funding partners and brokering collaboration; and what it's like to make films in India.

The summit was held at the UK Department for Culture Media and Sport and organised by the UK Film Council and the BFI London Film Festival.

Isabel Davis, the UK Film Council's Senior Executive International Strategy & Co-production, said: 'The filmmaking relationship between UK and India has gained momentum over the last 10 to 15 years, and there is now an opportunity to capitalise on the passion that was much in evidence today to take this relationship a stage further. The discussions gave everyone a greater understanding about the different audiences for film in both countries, the different approaches for turning stories into films, the evolution of our two industries, and international opportunities for both.'

India 's presence in the global film industry is growing in terms of investment and creativity and the international film business is courting the country's filmmakers and studios.

The Indian film industry makes more than 1,000 films a year and the international market for Indian film billed $25.8 billion in 2006. Only recently, Spielberg's DreamWorks signed a $550 million deal with India-based Reliance Entertainment. The new UK India co-production treaty which has recently come into force will help British filmmakers to break into this expanding market.

Speakers at the event included Barbara Follett MP Minister for Culture, Gurinder Chadha, Director of Bride and Prejudice, Bend it Like Beckham; Chris Collins, Producer of Brick Lane; Clare Crean, Sales Manager, The Works International and Himesh Kar, UK Film Council.

Chiming in with the UK-India theme, Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire which shot in India with a largely Indian crew will close the BFI London Film Festival next week October 30.