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British film industry to link up with Bollywood

By Prasun Sonwalkar, IANS

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Bollywood could soon have a Yorkshire accent.

British film industry officials are to visit India later this year in a bid to forge links with producers in Mumbai.

The trip, organised by the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce (MYCCI), aims to build on ties established by Leeds-based Eyeline Productions.

Eyeline is in talks to film a Bollywood-style romantic comedy in Yorkshire and India, after taking part in an earlier MYCCI mission. It is also planning to use the editing and animation skills of Indian directors.

The MYCCI will hold a trade mission to India from Nov 29 to Dec 3, which includes meetings with senior Bollywood figures at the Goa Film Festival.

Raza Mallal, the writer and director for Eyeline Productions, said: "We are developing our post-production work out there (in Mumbai). We have been mostly working on educational films, but this year we are doing a romantic comedy with maybe 10 percent shot in India.

"It's a Yorkshire-based film with a hint of Bollywood about a Yorkshire guy who falls in love with an Indian girl.

"The advantage of going under the banner of the chamber is that people tend to take you seriously."

Mallal is also in talks with a Mumbai-based company to set up a post-production base and possibly a film school in Kampala, Uganda.

He believes other Yorkshire film companies could benefit from taking part in a trade mission, but they must go prepared.

He added: "We had to look at who was going to benefit us rather than just being in it for the glory.

"You have got to do your homework beforehand to see if the people you are meeting meet your needs. I wrote out my aims and objectives beforehand."

It will be the 20th mission to India organised by MYCCI, and apart from film companies, representatives from firms in the education, health, media and tourism sectors are also set to attend.

The party will be based in Mumbai, with an optional visit to Goa for the film festival.

Mohammed Ahmed, a member of the MYCCI International Trade team, who will lead the mission, said: "India is one of the world's fastest growing economies and we recognise the importance of encouraging and supporting businesses, especially those in our region, to fully exploit the huge potential of this lucrative and expanding market."

Keith Welton, chief executive of MYCCI, added: "The size of the market, coupled with reduced trade barriers, makes India an export destination that cannot be ignored by UK firms.

"Our latest trade mission will enable businesses to investigate the opportunities to build relationships and trade with one of the world's leading economies."


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