Aamir Khan

Source: Gerhard Kassner/Berlinale

Aamir Khan

Japan has extended its first official location production incentive scheme for a second year and revealed it has supported upcoming Indian feature One Day, produced by Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan.

The initiative was launched last year in a bid to attract international films, high-end TV and streaming projects to shoot in the country. The first project to benefit from the scheme is One Day, an Indian remake of a 2016 Thai film of the same name.

Directed by Sunil Pandey, the romantic drama stars Sai Pallavi and Junaid Khan and filmed on location in the cities of Sapporo and Otaru in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands. Khan plays a shy police officer who pretends to be the boyfriend of a woman with short term memory loss to spend just one day with her. It is produced by Aamir Khan Productions.

The feature was selected during the first year of the incentive scheme, which is the product of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade Industry and is operated by the Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO) and coordinated by the Japan Film Commission (JFC).

The qualifying amounts have been carried over into the second year, meaning eligible projects must spend at least JPY500m ($3.3m) on production costs in Japan or whose total production costs exceed JPY1bn ($6.6m) and direct production costs in Japan exceed JPY200m ($1.3m). Reimbursement covers up to 50% of qualifying expenditure in the country.

However, this year’s application period will take place over three rounds: March 4-15, May 20 to June 7 and August 26 to September 13. VIPO and JFC also stated that the programme will end when the grant budget has been expended, which may occur before all three rounds have been completed. The total budget has not been disclosed.

As before, applications should be submitted by a Japanese production group and production company, which have produced with an overseas production company or contracted. Applications from overseas will not be accepted.

Eligible projects include those that will benefit the Japanese content industry through local employment or use of local studios; shot in Japan; promotion of the location where filming took place; and promotion of Japanese works globally.

Last year’s launch of the highly anticipated scheme followed a four-year pilot programme, which offered a rebate up to 20%, with an initial budget of JPY180m ($1.3m) and benefited Sony Pictures’ Gran Turismo, two seasons of HBO Max crime drama Tokyo Vice and upcoming Apple TV+ series Sunny, a dark comedy starring Rashida Jones from A24, among others.