India to Sign Media Production Treaty with Canada in 2011

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Aug. 17 – Canada and India are expected to sign a film and new media co-production treaty that will give India access to the North American market.

The agreement will be formalized at the 12th International Indian Film Academy Awards in Toronto next year. “At some point this fiscal, we are expecting our office to be opened in Mumbai — the home for Bollywood. What we are trying to do initially is to take Bollywood filmmakers for location-scouting trips to BC,” Pratap Raju, managing director (technology, research and innovation), British Columbia International Trade and Investment Representative Office told Business Standard.

The Canadian Province, British Columbia (BC),  is an ideal location for Indian companies to work from since it is the third-largest film television center after Los Angeles and New York. Currently, British Columbia has around 300 production projects being filmed in the province from feature films to television projects.

British Columbia wants to encourage US$20 million worth of Indian investments in new media and gaming. There are already  more than 600 digital media companies and 144 game developing companies in the area.

“While Mumbai-based Nazara Technologies has already been signed up by world’s leading interactive entertainment software company Electronic Arts to distribute its catalog in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Bangalore-based media and entertainment player Protein Entertainment is in advanced stages of making a big buy in the area of IP generation in BC. We are also helping an Indian investor, who earlier was a partner with Electronic Arts, to infuse funds in a BC company,” Raju said.

Corporate income tax is lower in British Columbia at 16.5 percent, compared to 35 percent in North America.