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#1 David Allen Grove

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 06:20 PM

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India's 'Bollywood' Film Industry Attracts Foreign Businesses
Anjana Pasricha
New Delhi
21 Mar 2004, 13:31 UTC

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India's film and television industry is getting global attention as it grows into a multi-billion dollar industry. A recent conference in Bombay brought together hundreds of foreign delegates to explore business opportunities offered by India's entertainment sector. India's film industry, popularly known as Bollywood, produces nearly 1,000 movies a year, the largest number in the world. And more than 40 million Indian households have access to cable television, including foreign channels.
Television and film producers and directors from nearly 20 countries, as well as representatives from companies such as Walt Disney, came to Bombay recently to tap the potential of this huge entertainment industry.

Some participants came to encourage Indian film producers to shoot movies in Britain. Bollywood movies are often shot overseas, making this a lucrative revenue-earner for some countries.

Other delegates wanted to explore the possibility of doing more business in India. Andy Bird, president of Walt Disney International, sees great opportunity for animation production in India, because of the country's large English-speaking work force with technology skills.

Mr. Bird says Disney also wants to expand in India, where nearly a third of the billion-plus population is under 15 years of age, and where Disney's animated films are already popular.

"We are looking at all the different avenues," he said. "We are very keen to learn not only about the animation business, but all the other types of business that the Walt Disney company is involved in."

Some foreign film producers think Bollywood has the potential to make movies with a wider international appeal.

Mark Byers, president of a Los Angeles film company, is collaborating with a Bombay filmmaker to make a movie about a single Indian woman. The project was inspired by the success of recent Indian films, such as Monsoon Wedding, that have found some success with Western audiences.

Pakistani producers and directors also attended the conference, despite a ban on Indian films in Pakistan.

They say Pakistan offers a huge market for Bollywood films, and the time is ripe to tap this potential because of recent peace moves between the two countries. Pirated versions of Indian films are sold in Pakistan, resulting in huge revenue losses for producers and distributors in both countries.

Media analysts say global interest in Indian film and television could boost the country's growing entertainment industry.
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#2 David Allen Grove

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 01:42 PM

Article Link http://www.ottawabus...00685988134.php

'Foriegn film, TV production in Canada plummets
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Mon, Mar 22, 2004 11:00 AM EST

Hollywood North lost some of its lustre in 2003 as the strong gains in the loonie and the backlash from the U.S. cut film and television spending in Canada by 11 per cent.

The Ontario Media Development Corp. said Monday that overall production spending on film and television totalled $874.1 million in 2003, down by 11 per cent from $984.5 million in 2002.

The OMD said the drop off could have been worse if spending on domestic productions had not increased to offset declines in the number of foreign productions on Canadian soil.

Foreign film and television spending in Canada last year fell by 58 per cent, while feature film expenditures fell 34 per cent.

"It was a difficult year for foreign film and television production in Ontario, with a major drop in production from April to September," OMDC chair Marcelle Lean said in the report.

The obvious factors were to blame?the rapid appreciation of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar, the fear of terrorism sparked by the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the outbreak of the SARS virus in southern Ontario.

The U.S. film and television industry has also begun to campaign against the loss of industry jobs to so-called "runaway" productions in Canada. The lobby has gained a high-profile ally in new California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The actor turned politician has long been an opponent of U.S. films and television series shot outside the country.

Ontario felt the greatest loss in 2003, the OMD said. Nine foreign feature films were shot in Ontario last year, down from 16 a year earlier. The number of TV movies and mini-series fell to 19 from 41 in 2002.

On the other hand, spending on domestic productions jumped by 23 per cent thanks to bigger budgets. The actual number of domestic projects fell 22 per cent.

Seventeen features, 61 TV series, and 42 TV movies and miniseries were made in Ontario last year by Canadian production companies.
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