Hollywood cosies up to Bollywood


Indian filmmakers have signed a declaration with the city of Los Angeles to develop and strengthen joint film production and commercial cooperation. The Indian film industry, which was represented by the Film and Television Producers Guild of India and the Film Federation of India, agreed to cooperate on motion picture production, distribution, technology, content protection and commercial operations with filmmakers in Los Angeles. The two industries also hope to set up the Los Angeles-India Film Council to encourage and attract Indian filmmakers to Los Angeles.

The deal is not the first joint venture between Bollywood and Hollywood. In 2008, Anil Ambani’s Reliance conglomerate invested US$550 million in Steven Spielberg’s movie-making venture DreamWorks, enabling the American director to launch a new studio and break away from Viacom’s Paramount Pictures. Between 2007 and 2008, India also saw the entry of media and entertainment conglomerates such as Viacom, NBC Universal and Walt Disney through partnerships with Network 18 Group, NDTV and UTV Software Communications, respectively.

My_Name_Is_Khan_film_poster_3Los Angeles is already a popular destination for Bollywood directors. Several prominent Hindi films, including My Name is Khan, Kites and Pardes, have been shot in the city. “Our vibrant film communities share many of the same goals and concerns,” said Bob Pisano, president and interim CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). “The numerous co-productions with Indian studios over the past several years are evidence of a growing bond between our two industries.”

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