By Arundhuti Banerjee
Mumbai, Sep 21 (IANS) With the aim to enhance their mutual relationship and facilitate the shooting of Indian films in New Jersey, the Producers Guild of India (PGI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State of New Jersey, Choose New Jersey, New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission on Friday in Mumbai.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Siddharth Roy Kapur, the president of PGI, alongside Governor of the State of New Jersey, Philip Murphy, First lady Tammy Murphy and also Kulmeet Makkar, CEO of Film & Television Producers Guild of India.
Talking on the occasion, Murphy told IANS: “First of all this is a big, very important MOU that we have signed between Producers Guild of India and the State of New Jersey. Bollywood is a global brand, it is a global reality and this is the step towards exchanging thoughts, promoting talents and each other’s market. We have a booming film business.”
The MoU focuses on idea sharing as well as best practices of film production and promotion. It will also assist PGI with the production of films and other cinematic content including location scouting and support for Bollywood film production in New Jersey.
“We are one of the largest Indian-American communities of any American states and Bollywood is not just watched by the Indian community over there but the other communities as well. Therefore there is an enormous amount of appetite for the Bollywood films over there in New Jersey. So the MoU will allow us to deepen the relationship between the two countries. You know Steven Spielberg just filmed ‘West Side Story’ in New Jersey. The film ‘Joker’ was also filmed in New Jersey,” Murthy pointed out.
Asked about how the collaboration will be fruitful for Indian filmmakers, Siddharth said: “I think apart from the fact that this MoU gives great incentives to the local producers to shot their films in New Jersey, I am sure that the citizen of New Jersey seeing their place been picturised so beautifully would want and see films in the theatre that they might not have wanted to watch in the past. So I think it is really a win-win for both sides.”
So, will it help to grow the market of Indian cinema in New Jersey?
“Of course, there is a very large potential Diaspora in New Jersey and our moves are played there to packed houses for years. Having said that, this MoU is more to do with creating ease between to countries so that we can do more business on film production, in terms of shooting our movies there,” answered Siddharth.
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at [email protected])