Special Correspondent

Indian filmmakers urged to look for themes that could sell internationally

Film industry stakeholders from U.K., France, Germany and Canada participate in Conclave

“The reality is that till date there have been no genuine partnerships”

CHENNAI: International markets are opening up for Indian co-productions, though genuine intent and an internationally appealing theme are fundamental for a fruitful partnership, according to film industry stakeholders from the U.K., France, Germany and Canada.

Participating in a session on ‘Exploring international partnerships,’ at FICCI’s Media and Entertainment Business Conclave on Thursday, Julianne Schulze, senior partner, peacefulfish from Germany, said that if the co-production was based on the right story and other creative elements, rather than purely to access funds, the world was ready to talk and co-produce world class films in partnership with India.

She pointed out that the German Federal Film Fund offered a 16 per cent cash rebate for co-productions with some strings attached. The maximum amount of funding was capped at 4 million Euros and if the production involved expenses of the order of 1 million Euros, 25 per cent had to be spent on location in Germany. The venture should also have on board a German co-producer, she said.

Lee Stone, partner, Lee and Thompson, U.K., wanted Indian filmmakers to look for themes that could sell internationally. Although the U.K. Film Council provided funds for co-productions, the reality was that till date there have been no genuine partnerships.

Judy Gladstone, executive director, Bravo!FACT, a foundation to assist Canadian talent, pointed out that there was, as yet, no co-production agreement between Canada and India. Canadian films had been shot in India, financed entirely out of Canada and there were no special conditions for Indian film makers desirous of partnership with Canada.

Barbara Breheret, marketing manager, AIMS, France, sought to dispel the myth that France was an expensive location. For the French people, cinema was an art, and as art lovers they rolled out the red carpet for foreign film makers.

“There are no location charges for shooting, all you need is a visa and you can put your camera wherever you want.”

Julian Alcantara, Partner, Corona Pictures, the U.K., stressed the importance of three ingredients for successful international partnerships – where one plans to shoot, who one is tying up with and why one wants to co-produce.