Mumbai: A Round Table, ‘Reaching Out- India and the SCO,’ was organised along the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Film Festival in Mumbai. The session aimed to facilitate engagement between the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Indian Industry stakeholders, filmmakers and the Jury members of the Film Festival to explore possible avenues of collaboration between India and the SCO countries. Organized under the aegis of The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, the National Film Development Corporation, and the Film Facilitation Office, Invest India, the session was chaired by Neerja Sekhar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and moderated by Prithul Kumar, Joint Secretary (Films) and Managing Director (NFDC).
During the session, SCO member nations were urged to promote talent exchange and explore Co-production Agreements with India and avail benefits of the existing Indian film incentives through joint projects. Given that there are relatively strong film industries in India and the participating countries, there is immense potential for promoting India as a destination for film industries of other nations.
India currently has bilateral audio-visual co-production agreements with China and Russia. There is active consideration for co-production agreements with member countries such as Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Dialogue States such as Turkey. There is close co-operation between the film industries of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka although there are no bilateral agreements. Over the past 6 years there has been one Indo-Chinese Co-Production and One Indo-Russian Co- Production.
A number of films for the SCO countries such as China (5), Iran (2), Kazakhstan (1), Nepal (1), Russia (2), Sri Lanka (1) and Turkey (1) have been granted permission to shoot in India and many Indian films have been shot in almost all the member countries. The main objective of the roundtable was to share experiences and provide insights and suggestions for improving the overall ecosystem and outreach in terms of incentives for foreign production and official co-productions announced by Government of India.