LOS ANGELES - After several years of co-productions and joint investment, the two most prominent global film industries came together today for the signing of an historic declaration between the city of Los Angeles and the Indian film industry at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood.
As part of the declaration, the city of Los Angeles and the Indian film industry, represented by the Film and Television Producers Guild of India and the Film Federation of India, agree to develop and strengthen motion picture production, distribution, technology, content protection and commercial cooperation between the two filmmaking communities. The two parties also support the creation of the Los Angeles-India Film Council to increase Indian film production in Los Angeles.
Speaking at the event, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said: "This declaration reinforces our city's commitment to attracting international production. In the past year, we have already seen Hindi movies such as My Name is Khan and Kites filmed in Los Angeles, and we enthusiastically welcome further Indian production in Los Angeles."
Mayor Villaraigosa was joined by California Film Commissioner Amy Lemisch, Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO Brad Grey, and MPAA Special Policy Advisor Fritz Attaway, along with Indian Producers Bobby Bedi and L. Suresh.
"Our vibrant film communities share many of the same goals and concerns," said Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. "The numerous co-productions with Indian studios over the past several years are evidence of a growing bond between our two industries. Today's action is an important step toward furthering that growth."
Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO Brad Grey said, "Paramount is honored to host these important discussions, which usher in a new era of strategic partnership. We hope this groundbreaking collaboration will yield more co-productions and alliances, greater films and a stronger global film industry."
The Indian delegation was led by eminent Hindi producer Bobby Bedi and Tamil producer and Film Federation of India President L. Suresh, along with other representatives from the major Indian production houses of Reliance BIG Entertainment and UTV Motion Pictures. The delegation came to Los Angeles for a two day summit with the Hollywood studios, California officials, and other film related companies to discuss economic development and collaboration.
Representing the Indian delegation, Producer Bobby Bedi noted, "Hollywood and Bollywood are two industries that are economically robust and represent significant economic and cultural interests of their respective countries. India has always held a fascination for Hollywood, and this agreement pulls us closer together with the aim of sharing ideas and best practices on domestic and international film production. We look forward to working with the City of Los Angeles to increase Indian production here." Producer L. Suresh asserted, "In addition to the Hindi film industry, the southern and regional Indian film industries also welcome the opportunity to work hand and hand with Hollywood. Already we have seen significant collaboration in technology between Hollywood and South India, and we will soon see collaborations in production."
Past big budget Indian productions filmed in Los Angeles include: Kites (2010), My Name is Khan (2010), Kambakkht Ishq (2009), Kaante (2002), and Pardes (1997).
This is the second major step towards economic development and cooperation between Hollywood and the Indian film industry this year. In March, the two industries came together in Mumbai to launch the Alliance Against Copyright Theft, a Bollywood-Hollywood content protection coalition in India.
Other joint ventures and co-productions between individual Hollywood studios and Indian production houses over the past several years include My Name is Khan (2010), Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge (2010), Lahore (2010), Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hain (2010), Khichdi (2010), We Are Family (2010), Do Dooni Chaar (2010), Chandni Chowk to China (2009), Quick Gun Murugan (2009), Raaz the Mystery Continues (2009), Roadside Romeo (2008), Saas Bahu Aur Sensex (2008), Saawariya (2007). Several, such as Zokkomon and Dum Maro Dum, are also slated for 2011. Indian investment in Hollywood has been steadily increasing, most notably with Indian entertainment conglomerate Reliance's production and distribution deal with Dreamworks SKG.