Rolling out the red carpet for foreign filmmakers, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur Monday said the incentives for foreign film projects in India will be increased to 40 per cent of expenses incurred (in India), with an increased cap limit of Rs 30 crore, up from existing Rs 2.5 crore.
At the opening ceremony of the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, Thakur said that given India’s size and vast potential, a need was felt to offer a higher incentive to attract the medium and big-budget international film projects to the country.
The film festival, which will continue till November 28, opened with the British film, Catching Dust.
Thakur said IFFI this year has received a record 2,926 film submissions from 105 countries, three times more international submissions than the last edition. More than 270 films will be showcased at the festival.
Hollywood actor Michael Douglas will be conferred with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in World Cinema. Douglas will accept the award on November 28. The festival will also have over 20 ‘masterclasses’ and sessions with prominent filmmakers, cinematographers, and actors.
“The maximum incentive will now be up to 40 per cent of the expenditure incurred, with a raised limit of Rs 30 crore, exceeding $3.5 million. You can also get an additional 5 per cent bonus for significant Indian content (SIC). So, we are pushing both — making films and also Indian content,” he said.
He also listed out the benefits of the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023, recently approved by Parliament. “If anyone steals the work of our film makers, they will face imprisonment of 3 years and a fine ranging from Rs 3 lakh to 5 per cent of the film cost,” he said.
Drawing parallels between India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission to the scientific possibilities inspired by visionary works of art, Thakur said: “In 1902, long before space organisations were even conceptualised, a remarkable French film A Trip to the Moon boldly suggested the idea of space travel… And today, we see it happening. India has done it successfully…,” he said.
Thakur also announced a new category of awards — Best Web Series (OTT) Category — to be introduced in the current edition of IFFI. Thakur said the Indian media and entertainment industry, with an annual growth rate of 20 per cent, is the fifth-largest and most globalised industry in the world. “We are undertaking the project to restore and digitise over 5,000 old films and documentaries,” he added.