Panaji, Nov 21 (IANS) The Swedish government is examining a proposal on tax cuts for foreign film production houses shooting in Sweden, which once approved could open the doors for Bollywood films to be shot in the Nordic country in a big way, Swedish Consul General in Mumbai Ulrika Sundberg said on Wednesday.
Sundberg was in Goa to participate in a special programme, as part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman on the sidelines of the ongoing International Film Festival of India.
“There are a lot of opportunities around this… One of the issues is that my tax authorities have not been willing to give them tax cuts for production, but now we have a proposal on the table. I need the new government to take a decision on changing the rules, in which case we will be willing to give tax cuts. That will put us on par with other countries,” Sundberg told IANS.
She said that there is a lot of scope to host Indian film production houses in Sweden, known for its stunning locales, and that the synergy is not being tapped currently to the possible extent.
Sundberg further said that there has been a spike in the interest of Indian tourists in Sweden.
“I see the interest is there. I have seen major increase in the years that I have been here. We have seen 30 per cent increase in Indian tourists travelling to Sweden. They are all fascinated by the Northern Lights. They all want to go to the Ice Hotel, they want to see our indigenous people with their reindeers. So the interest is there. Now how you get the Ice Hotel into a Bollywood film, I leave it to Bollywood to decide,” she said.
The diplomat also described Bergman as one of the major ambassadors of her country to the world, a man who not only put Sweden on the international film map with his vision but also created a lot of jobs in that country.
“Bergman opened the doors and subsequent producers have capitalised on the platform that he gave them. I think…he gave us the key to understanding that some of the existential questions which he was raising were also relevant for a Japanese person or someone living in the US. That humanity is struggling with the same questions one way or the other…at different times in life,” she said.
The film industry, whose leading star was Bergman at that time, was responsible for employment of around 100,000 people in Sweden, she added.