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France looks at strengthening collaboration with Indian filmmakers

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Rituparna ChatterjeeMumbai

Jean Raphael Peytregnet

The Consulate General of France in Mumbai is looking at strengthening their collaboration with Indian filmmakers to open up France as a preferred destination for shooting films. Speaking on this, Jean Raphael Peytregnet, consul general, Consulate General of France in Mumbai stated, “There is a lot of collaboration happening between French and Indian filmmakers. For instance, the Hindi film ‘The Lunchbox’ was co-produced by ASAP Films, a French production company. We recently found that a lot of Indian filmmakers are going to other European destinations like Switzerland and Spain. So a lot of efforts are being taken to make France more attractive by simplifying the visa application process. The Indian filmmakers don’t need a working visa but can avail a special visa allowing them to shoot in France. ”

France is also offering Tax Rebate for International Productions (TRIP) to help reduce the production cost of films. TRIP entitles the filmmakers to a 20 per cent rebate when their spending crosses one million euros for 40 days of shooting in France. Furthermore, student exchange programmes between film schools in India and France are also being encouraged. “We have a very famous cinema school called ‘La Femis’, which has a student’s exchange programme. From 2011 to 2013, there had been approximately 10 Indian movies shot in France and we are looking forward to increasing that number,” opined Alexandre Gelbras, head of French film, TV office and digital content, French Embassy in India.

Apart from film students, France is also targetting Indian students to study engineering and business in France. “India is a technology driven country so we want to attract the best engineers and technological students in India to study in France. The Indian students come to France to study in two specific fields – engineering and business because these courses are mostly taught in English. In 2013, we had over 1200 Indian students and we would like to increase the numbers further,” revealed Gelbras.

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