South Korea lures Indian filmmakers with big concessions

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 13, 2013 04:28 hrs

In a bid to woo the Indian film industry, South Korea is offering a whopping 30 percent cash rebate for all films shot in the country, top officials said at the 14th FICCI-FRAMES-2013 here.

Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) vice president Hangon Kim said that his country - the partner country for Asia's foremost annual conclave on media and entertainment (M&E) - is actively fostering content and is aiming to become a creative content-driven economy.

"The Korean film industry is a major contributor to the country's GDP, with a ROI of 13 percent. It is one of the most viable businesses in Korea with a solid infrastructure for content expansion that has helped achieve a stable environment for foreign investment," Hangon said on the opening day of the event on Tuesday evening.

He said India as a content market is rapidly growing, with an average scale of 14.3 percent, and the gap between the Indian and Korean content market, which is growing at an average of 4.2 percent, is narrowing.

South Korea is branded as the content powerhouse of Asia with its popular K Pop sensations, including Psy, that have created waves all over the world.

Hangon's comments came at a panel discussion on the increasing M&E business between India and Korea, led by animation expert Biren Ghose; Vijay Shankar, managing director of Karnataka Biotechnology & Information Technology, and Korean delegates like Jonathan Hyong-Joon Kim, Kum-Pyoung Kim, Charles Lim, Harry Yoon and Sang Ani.

Encouraing the business ties between the two countries, Korean Ambassador to India, Joon-gyu Lee said: "We are in talks with the Indian government and at the final stage of negotiating a co-production agreement on an audio-visual product."

He invited businessmen from both the countries to continue and cultivate their engagements in the business sector.

The Korea Tourism Organisation, with offices in Mumbai and New Delhi, also hopes to promote Korea as a new film destination.

Besides the massive subsidy, there is scope for co-production through remakes, sharing locations and exchange programmes.

Shankar said that Bangalore is the epicentre of the IT revolution in India and Karnataka was the first state in the country to introduce a policy on animation, visual effects, gaming and comics.

"We have a lot of plans for this year that include starting digital art centres, PPP projects and joint venture with foreign collaborators. We are also very keen to ensure that there is a permanent linkage with Korea. This will immensely benefit youth of both the nations," Shankar urged.

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