The world is a global village and industries today are witnessing an increased number of co-production activities. The session on ‘Co-production of films and synergies between India and the world’ started on a very optimistic note. Along with Mukta Arts CEO Ravi Gupta, who played the moderator, the session had delegates from different countries including the UK, USA and Italy.
Filmitalia–Cinecitta Holding’s president Irene Bignardi began by commenting on the spanse of Italy growing beyond pizzas and mafias like India being much more than just Bollywood sob stories. Hence, showing the right film to the right audience was the recipe for penetration of films in the international market, deliberated Bignardi. Adding further she said, “Indian films are a mythical object for non-Indian populated countries like Italy. Italy has a very small Indian population and Indian films are not promoted in such countries, hence for deeper penetration it is very important for film producers to promote their films in such counties.”
Co-production works well when they are beneficial for two or more countries and is made on a common topic or common ground, it was noted. For instance, both India and Italy have a very strong sense of family bonding, so films made on these topics would attract larger interests and connect people from several countries. ANICA - Film producer and president, Riccardo Tozzi voiced that films made on common grounds would be beneficial for both the countries involved in co-production. He noted that the popularity of Italian films was growing every year. In the 90s, the market share was around 12% which went up to 25% last year. This year, it stands at 45%, which is a good number according to the Italian film industry, he noted. This has led to a rise in the quality of films in the market, said Tozzi.
While the Indo-Italian co-production gets some government support, there are still no legal methods of co-production in the US. However, many animation and main-stream films are not just shot but also co produced in the US. Hyperion Pictures CEO, Tom Wilhite pointed out that trust was an important factor while a lot of movies were being produced, but the right implementation of concept and trust in both the parties was an equally important factor in co-production, he noted.
While Italy and USA feel that promoting the right film to the right audience was important, for Grater London Authority’s John Ross, it was London where the action is as it is a cosmopolitan and the topmost international city in the world. Further, one out of six films made in UK are Hindi speaking, he observed. “There is a large Indian population in London and this is not just beneficial to the Indian film makers but also to the UK film market as well. So we see our cosmopolitan status as our biggest asset,” noted Ross.
Kahani World’s CEO and president, Biren Ghose, added a new angle to the discussion as he spoke about animated films and its co–production. Said he; “Willingness to share ideas is very important for successful co–production of any film. Bollywood is the friendliest industry when it comes to sharing resources. Canada is one of the richest countries when it comes to animated films as they have a very rich talent and technology for animated films, he observed.
With India readying itself to be the next big thing in the world, factors surrounding Indian films and co–production will have to be given priority too. Common topics that appeal to the countries would be the key factor for a successful co-production activity and market penetration. However, government and legal procedures that form an important part of co–production activities would have to be considered and delved into before a final consensus is agreed upon.