India moots tax breaks, refunds for foreign film units

India is working towards making it easier for foreign film units to shoot in the country not only by overhauling clearance-granting mechanisms, but also by providing incentives like tax refunds and subsidies to international movie projects.

This was revealed by Amit Khare, the Information and broadcasting secretary, during the opening function of the India Pavilion at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival.

"We are in the process of talking to film industry players here, especially those based in France, to take this new initiative forward," Khare said.

"The Indian government is keen to do whatever it takes to make it more attractive for foreign producers to film in India."

He added: "What is most encouraging is that many state governments are coming forward to offer their locations for foreign film shoots. They have realised that there is a close connection between cinema, tourism and the economy."

The Marche du Film (Cannes Film Market) head Jerome Paillard, who also addressed the opening session in the India Pavilion, said: "We hope to have enhanced collaborations with India. If we can contribute to expanding the partnership between the two countries in any manner, it will be important for us."

Discussions are on for various India-France co-productions, he added.