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Soon, Dragon may make a foray in tinsel town

07-February-2004
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Soon, Dragon may make a foray in tinsel town

New Delhi and Beijing have called it a “historic moment” after agreeing in-principle to go in for a co-production deal in the film and entertainment sector. Addressing a joint press meet here on Friday, I&B minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Chinese minister for films, TV and radio Xu Guangchuan expressed confidence that their dialogue would reach a logical conclusion soon.

China is exploring cooperation in films, besides cartoon/ animation, entertainment programmes and documentaries on TV. The two sides also agreed to have film festivals in each other’s countries. Not only that, China will be the international flavour at the next Film Festival of India.

Both CII and Ficci would be involved in the Indo-China entertainment sector cooperation. Exchange of journalists between the two countries is also being explored. The minister himself has been a journalist.

While Mr Xu’s favourite Indian film is ‘Awara’, it was the more contemporary ‘Lagaan’ that got him more interested in the country’s entertainment sector. Moreover, the Chinese minister spoke about going beyond the political consensus to cooperate in the area of media. “TV is a sign of modern culture,” he said.

For a better understanding of the Indian film industry and movie theatre business, the Chinese minister is scheduled to meet Bollywood biggies in Mumbai on Saturday. According to sources, Zee network has signed an MoU with the Chinese delegation for programme exchange/acquisition. Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma said the national broadcaster had a meaningful dialogue for barter of programmes.

Although the two sides did not indicate any time frame for a treaty, ministry sources said the government had learnt from its experience with Canada. So far, India hasn’t signed any co-production pact with another country. But, the deal is ready to be signed with Canada, after 18 months of work and negotiations.

China has already entered a co-production pact with Canada.

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