Page last updated at 14:33 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 15:33 UK

Bollywood deal 'will aid UK film'

By Darryl Chamberlain
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Barbara Follett, Ajay Devgan and Vipul Shah
Barbara Follett joined Ajay Devgan (left) and Vipul Shah in central London

A deal to help Bollywood producers to work in the UK will help the British movie industry withstand the economic downturn, the film minister has said.

Barbara Follett said the UK industry offered "an excellent product" and the deal would help "maintain excellence".

"The wider your base, in an economically difficult time, the more resilient you'll be," she added.

She spoke alongside director Vipul Shah, who has taken over Trafalgar Square to make new film London Dreams.

Its stars, Ajay Devhan and Asin, were also at the launch of the agreement, which has now come into force.

The treaty means Indian film-makers will find it easier to obtain tax relief if they collaborate with British producers.

Lottery money

It will also help them to obtain funding from sources such as the National Lottery, Ms Follett said, and help to cut down on the bureaucracy involved in making films.

Civil servants from India and the UK have been working on the treaty for the past three years.

Ajay Devgan
Ajay Devgan said global demand was changing Bollywood films
Vipul Shah, whose previous film Singh is Kinng was a huge worldwide hit, backed the deal.

"I think that more films will be made in London, primarily for Indian markets," he said.

"Working with crews in their own cities is a great thing. 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."

Shah has previously made Namastey London in the British capital, and said he hoped to make a third film there.

"It's an added bonus to us when we work with a local crew. I've loved every minute here. Hopefully when I come for the third film, I'll be using some crew from London."

Up to 10 films could go into production in the next two years as part of the deal.

The deal comes as Bollywood films become more popular around the world, and Mumbai-based film-makers broaden their sights beyond India.

Helicopter filming

Actor Ajay Devgan said the demands of a global market were having an effect on Indian films.

"I guess they are changing to adapt to the audience. We're just trying to cater for them," he said.

"All kinds of films are being made - there are films that have been adapted for the global market and are doing very well."

Shah added he had "loved every minute" of working in London.

"Yesterday I had a special permission to shoot something in Trafalgar Square from a helicopter," he said.

"I've seen London from a chopper before, but not so low down and not flying from Big Ben and St Paul's Cathedral and Trafalgar Square. That was pretty special - very, very exciting."


SEE ALSO
Mayor gives film-making support
22 Oct 08 |  London
Bollywood's first family hits UK
22 Aug 08 |  Entertainment
Snoop Dogg makes Bollywood debut
08 Aug 08 |  South Asia
Piracy 'rife' at Bollywood stalls
17 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Indian film-makers going global
21 May 08 |  South Asia
Bollywood glamour hits Yorkshire
08 Jun 07 |  Entertainment

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific