In a significant development for the Indian film industry, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Shri Anurag Thakur, announced today that 35 foreign film projects have received approval for production in India in 2023 until November. Responding to a starred question in parliament, Minister Thakur highlighted the substantial increase from 28 projects in 2022 and 11 in 2021.
During his address, Minister Thakur detailed the incentive schemes established to encourage co-production of films under the Audio-Visual Co-production Treaty and the production of foreign films in India. The initiatives, effective from April 1, 2022, aim to position India as a preferred international filming destination, fostering employment opportunities and boosting foreign exchange inflow.
The Minister emphasized that the incentive scheme has been not only enhanced but also simplified by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to attract more international projects. As of the revised scheme announced on November 20, 2023, qualifying foreign film production projects and films produced under the Audio Visual Co-production Treaty can now claim a substantial 30% cash incentive on qualified expenditures incurred in India.
For foreign films conducting live shoots in India and employing 15% or more Indian crew, an additional 5% bonus is available. Moreover, foreign film projects with significant Indian content promoting culture, talent, and tourist destinations can claim an extra 5% for shooting and post-production work.
In a bid to attract large-scale international film projects, Minister Thakur revealed that the maximum incentive limit has been increased from ₹2.5 crore to ₹30 crore, while the maximum percentage of incentive has been raised from 35% to 40%.
The Film Facilitation Office (FFO) launched its web portal www.ffo.gov.in in November 2018, establishing an online single window facilitation and clearance mechanism for foreign filmmakers. Integrated with the Archaeological Survey of India portal and Ministry of Railway, the FFO web portal facilitates shooting in historical and iconic Indian sites. The streamlined process includes a network of Nodal officers in Central Government Ministries/Departments, State Governments, and Union Territories for efficient filming permission.
To further facilitate international filmmakers, a Film Visa with a one-year validity and multiple entry facility has been introduced. This move aims to encourage foreign filmmakers, cast, and crew to choose India as their preferred filming location.
This strategic push towards international collaborations and filmmaking endeavors is poised to elevate India's standing in the global film industry, attracting diverse projects and talents to the vibrant landscape of Indian cinema.