Boost to cross-cultural ties between Australian & Indian film industries

By Our Reporter
Representational image. Photo by Kunal Parmar on Unsplash

The recently established Australia India Film Council (AIFC) finalised a Memorandum of Understanding with India’s peak entertainment body FICCI, at the Cannes Film Festival, where India was the country of honour this year.

2022 has seen an increase in activity between Australia and India, with statements by senior Indian bureaucrats confirming that an Audio Visual Co Production Treaty is soon to be signed between Australia and India.

The primary objective of the MoU signed at the Indian Pavilion at Cannes is to provide a framework of aspirational goals and tangible initiatives which broadly facilitate greater project collaboration, co-production and cross-cultural partnerships between the Australian and Indian film industries. The MoU was signed by Ms. Leena Jaisani, Assistant Secretary General and Head of FICCI’s Entertainment Division and Chair of Australia India Film Council Anupam Sharma. The MOU includes:

  • provisions to encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of Indian cinematic history to a wider Australian audience,
  • greater educational and cultural guidance,
  • improving accessibility for Australian and Indian filmmakers to produce screen content in each respective nation,
  • facilitating exchange programs of film crew and talent and
  • a commitment  to annual roundtable conference featuring high-end delegations from Australia and India with hosting duties to rotate between each respective nation.

Australia and India have grown closer since the QUAD and their relations continue to grow stronger with various incentives including a boost from the Maitri Grants Program, an initiative established to foster Australia-India cooperation, creativity, understanding and exchange.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) was launched by Mahatma Gandhi and is the peak business body in India with its entertainment division hosting the successful and biggest conclave on Media and Films – FRAMES for the last 22 years.

“This MoU is an exceptional step towards greater collaboration across the Indian and Australian film industries. As a proud member of the Indian film community, I am delighted to see both countries progress towards creative excellence through this partnership. This strengthening of Indian-Australian connection through film brings forth a myriad of creatively and economically beneficial opportunities. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it and can’t wait to see the proliferation of our respective industries,” said Leena Jaisani.

Vice Chair of AIFC Julie Marlow said, “The MoU boosts our mission to facilitate greater collaboration, and create economic and cultural opportunities between our two great screen industries.”

The Australia India Film Council (AIFC) is a recently established council, boasting a high-powered board of well-known Australian film professionals including Julie Marlow, Jomon Thomas and Sheila Jayadev. The council has recently appointed young Australian Indian powerhouse and Australia Day Ambassador Khushaal Vyas as the Chief Operating Officer, who worked on the MoU.

The creation of the MoU also aims to further combine bilateral collaborations and work with the Australian and Indian governments to continue the support of screen and digital projects in the spirit of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA).

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