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India Germany co-production pact

Another country has signed a co-production pact with India. The salient features of the pact are:

  • minimum contribution includes at least one leading actor, one supporting actor and one qualified technical staff person.
  • language of soundtrack: Hindi or any other Indian language or dialect, or in English or German or in any combination of those permitted languages.
  • in the case of multilateral co-productions, the minority contribution might not be less than 10 per cent and the majority contribution might not exceed 70 per cent of the total cost of the film.
  • even those films, which are produced in one of the two countries and where the minority contribution is limited to financial investment, might be granted co-production status
  • the expenses incurred in the territories of both countries for the promotion of co-productions would be compensated within two years of the completion of the project

Interestingly, there seems to be no coverage in German newspapers, while most Indian dailies reported the pact — quoting mostly from the press release or using agency reports. An agency report (ANI in Yahoo here) argues that it is in the cost-sensitive post-production area that India will benefit the most. It also argued that the Germans were keen to expand the market for their films. Now, this is a bit of a problem as the film markets are vastly different in their audience tastes. It is difficult to see how this will translate into actual benefits, though Indian productions might benefit from the tax breaks (I have written about an instance of co-production here.)

Creatively, unless producers see an opportunity in making films targeted at English-language and urban audiences — who constitute “global cities” — the linguistic barriers makes co-productions meaningless. The services offered by German film industry would be far too expensive for Indian producers. On the other hand, the Indian film industry may benefit from post-production cost-differentials.

Read newsreport here.

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