Britain embraces Bollywood

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British Culture Minister Barbara Follett announced the launch of the new Anglo-Indian Film Treaty in Trafalgar Square with the cast of London Dreams, including Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan. From now on, Bollywood movies filmed in United Kingdom will be classed as national movies in both the UK and India. Bollywood is big in Britain with 1 in 7 of all movies released in the UK coming from it and a regular audience of around 2.5 million. Both are now expected to rise. London Dreams will be the first movie to benefit directly from the new treaty.

“After the United States, the British and the Indian film industries are arguably the two greatest in the world,” said the Minister, “The range of benefits we are offering through the treaty aims to bring our industries closer together – and I am confident that Indian filmmakers will want to take up the offer.” The treaty provides a very attractive option for filmmakers including tax breaks, financial and logistical support.

In exchange, of course, the UK gets jobs — as part of the deal involves using British back-up crews for much of the technical and logistical support. This was not seen as a problem to Vipul Shah, the director of London Dreams: “Working with crews in their own cities is a great thing,” he said, “They know the systems, how the shoots function in that particular city, how to get permissions, how to move things. It’s always very important.”

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