John Key and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed an official film co-production treaty in India during his visit this week.

The pact allows approved film and television projects to gain the status of official co-productions, which gives them the benefits of domestic films in each of the co-producers’ countries.

“We already know of a couple of projects in the early stages of development which could take advantage of the new arrangement” says New Zealand Film Commission Chief Executive Graeme Mason.

The agreement requires a producer from each country to be attached to a qualifying film.  Benefits may include access to funding and incentives and may help with temporary immigration and equipment importing.

“A project bringing together the economic and cultural strengths of both the New Zealand film industry and Bollywood is something to look forward to”, Mr Mason says.

The New Zealand Film Commission says the signing of a Film Co-Production Agreement is great news for the local industry.

A number of recent  Bollywood films such as I Hate Luv Stories and The Players, have been filmed partly around Queenstown in New Zealand.

“The influence of these films, with an audience of millions, has been instrumental in stimulating Indian interest in New Zealand as a tourism destination. This Agreement will also offer greater certainty to investors looking to fund New Zealand-India film co-productions,” John Key said.

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