India and Canada have signed a co-production agreement, wrapping up talks that have been on-going since 2010.
The agreement was signed in New Delhi by India’s Information & Broadcasting Secretary Bimal Julka, and Canada’s High Commissioner to India, Stuart Beck, during the visit of Canada’s Governor General David Johnston to India.
Co-productions made under the agreement will have access to Canadian subsidies and tax breaks and also be eligible for India’s National Film Awards and the Indian Panorama section of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI). India also has some government assistance available to filmmakers.
India’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting also said that the treaty could lead to more Canadian films shooting in India. “The agreement will also lead to the transparent funding of film production and will boost export of Indian films into the Canadian market,” the I&B Ministry said in a statement.
India already has co-production treaties with the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Brazil and New Zealand.
Canada was strongly represented at the recent Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for docs, shorts and animation through a homage to Montreal-based filmmaker Peter Wintonick and an award to Dylan Mohan Gray for Fire In The Blood, about big pharmaceutical companies and HIV-AIDS medication. Canadian filmmaker Mark Achbar served as jury president.
Recent Canadian documentaries such as Nisha Pahuja’s The World Before Her, Rama Rau’s The Market and Lalita Krishna’s Mallamall have all told stories set in India.
“This treaty will solidify the long standing friendship and partnership between Canadian and Indian documentary, and enable Indian filmmakers to benefit from the depth of skills and expertise in the Canadian industry,” said Sophy Sivaraman, executive director of the Indian Documentary Foundation.