Indian, Italian film makers to produce films together

Indian and Italian filmmakers will soon be working together, co-producing movies to help encourage links between the two countries' entertainment businesses, Italian officials said Monday.

Paolo Gentiloni, Italy's communications minister, announced the plan at a three-day international entertainment industry conference that began in Mumbai on Monday.

Gentiloni heads a 110-member Italian government and film delegation, the largest overseas group attending the conference.

"There are coproductions of movies being worked out and these will soon be announced," he said.

Bollywood, India's prolific movie industry makes about 900 movies a year. While some plots focus on Indians in diaspora, even those that don't often have lavish song and dance sequences shot in exotic foreign locales and cities around the world that attract Indian production houses.

A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, released at the conference, predicted that India's media and entertainment business will more than double over the next five years to reach 1 trillion rupees (US$22.5 billion, EUR16.96 billion) in sales by 2011.

Sales in India's media and entertainment industry totaled about 437 billion rupees (US$10.4 billion, EUR7.6 billion) in 2006, up 20 percent from a year ago, said the study, which was commissioned by the Federation of the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

India and Indian films would feature at the Rome Film Fest in October, Italian Senator Goffredo Bettini said.

"Our cultures are so similar that it is natural we should do more business together in entertainment," he added, reports AP.

Representatives from some 20 countries such as the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea are attending Frames, an annual conference organized by FICCI.

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