French culture minister Franck Riester meets Bollywood producers

Mumbai, Jan 27 (PTI) The French Minister for Culture Franck Riester on Monday met producers from the film industry to promote France as a film shooting destination and to explore the future of joint ventures between the two countries.

Riester attended a round table meeting with Gaurav Verma, of Red Chillies Entertainment, Dipti Jindal, representing Nadiadwala Grandsons productions and Narravula Gopi Krishna, location manager Telangana.

The discussion with producers was about the shooting process, tax incentives, distribution of films and future co-productions between the two countries.

'We have decided to increase our artistic exchanges with India. The two countries are two major filmmaking countries in the world. I met some people this morning from the fraternity, we are together as two nations and two professional sectors. I came here with major people from our organisation for the same,' Riester told reporters after his meeting.

The minister also met actor R Madhavan, producer Sajid Nadiadwala, Kassim Jagmagia from Excel productions, Sunil Kherterpal from Azure entertainment and Narayan Srinivasan from In2tainment.

Riester said the French government wants to create a commission dedicated to Indian films in France.

'We are working to open the market of cinema and series in France to India. It's a good news because it signals that the friendship between the two countries is getting better,' Riester said, adding that his aim is to facilitate easy shooting of films in France.

'I think it's human relationships which will help strengthen our relations in cinema and other creative industries. I hope we will be able to increase our cooperation, business and artistic exchanges,' he said at a special event that was also attended by French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain, Dominique Boutonnat, president of National Cinema Centre (CNC) and Stephan Bender, interim CEO of Film France.

Dominique said shooting in France is cheaper than other European countries thanks to Film France and the Embassy, which helps make the visa process smooth.

'France is cheaper than a lot of European countries to shoot, thanks to the tax rebate, which is now 30 per cent of minimum expenditure of 250,000 euros. It can go upto 40 percent if you spend two million for visual effects,' he added. PTI JUR BK BK