India, China in talks to screen more Hindi films, co-production

New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) After the popularity of Bollywood hit film “3 Idiots” in China, official level talks were held here Tuesday on working out ways to screen more Indian films in that country as well as enter into film co-production.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari held delegation level talks with his visiting Chinese counterpart Cai Fuchao here over lunch.

According to the details worked out, China is to be the guest country at next year’s India International Film Festival at Goa. It will also have a presence at this year’s Goa film fest with a selection of classical Chinese films.

The film academies of both countries – the Film and Television Institute of India and the Beijing Film Academy – are to have regular exchange programmes.

Tewari, addressing the media after the more than one and a half-hour talks, said both sides had felt the need to further strengthen people to people contact.

“Both felt through enhanced cultural exchanges, exchange in the field of films, of personnel in our public broadcasters and cooperation between our private film industry and the industry in China and regular exchanges between our film institutes will help promote further understanding between our two countries.”

Cai said the visit last month of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had held bring about greater consensus between both countries and Tuesday’s talks would help give a further fillip to bilateral mutual understanding and cooperation.

A Chinese film festival also kicked off at Siri Fort Tuesday evening with the screening of “Chinese Zodiac” starring action hero Jackie Chan.

According to an official source, with Bollywood films “3 Idiots” and “My Name is Khan” proving popular in China, both sides held talks to “relax” the quota of Indian films allowed into China. Beijing is keen on screening classical Hindi films rather than many of the new Bollywood potboilers, the source added.

India and China have formed a joint working group on the proposals, the source said.

China allows 10 Hollywood films to be screened every year and New Delhi has asked to allow five Indian films for screening, according to the source.

With Hindi soaps also proving popular, the Indian side also pushed for “landing rights” of Indian channels to be able to screen more Hindi serials, the official added.

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