India and Israel would sign an agreement on joint production in films during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sojourn in the country this week, as both the countries look at collaborating in co-productions in the entertainment industry.
Co-productions provide an opportunity to create and showcase India’s soft power. India already has similar film co-production agreements with Canada, Germany, France, Spain and few more countries.
On Thursday, Mr Netanyahu will attend an exclusive “Shalom Bollywood” event in Mumbai during which he is expected to pitch for partnership with the famed Indian movie industry. Top actors, directors and producers are likely to attend the event.
Bollywood celebs have “tremendous influence” around the world and “we’re trying to get some of them and some producers to come to the event,” Gilad Cohen, Israel Foreign Ministry’s deputy director-general for Asia and the Pacific, said last week.
Some Bollywood personalities such as filmmaker Imtiaz Ali and television producers recently visited Israel at the behest of the Israel Film and Television Producers Association. “And we want more to come,” said Cohen.
“You can imagine the effect that would have on our tourism, on Israel’s exposure.”
Indian filmmakers have been looking towards Israel for its technology and locations, and the opportunities cooperation might yield in film-making business.
An under production film, Drive, featuring Jacqueline Fernandez and Sushant Singh Rajput recently completed shooting in different parts of Israel. According to Channel 2 TV, the Israeli government funded the shooting partly.
A dubbed version of the Israeli tele-series, Hatufim, has also debuted on Indian television on Star Plus channel.