Make more movies in London, Boris Johnson tells Indian filmmakers

Mumbai: Mayor of London Boris Johnson today met top film and TV producers here and announced that two new Indian films are to be shot in the UK capital next year.

The third film in India`s hugely successful `Housefull` franchise, starring Akshay Kumar - will be entirely filmed in London, a release said.

The Mayor has also invited the film`s producer Sajid Nadiadwala to shoot his directorial debut `Kick`, starring Salman Khan, in the UK capital. Post-production on both films, which have a combined budget of 35million pounds, will be in London`s Soho.

Johnson, who is on a visit to India to strengthen economic and cultural links, appealed to filmmakers to make London their movie set of choice.

"I am thrilled that Sajid Nadiadwala has chosen London as the backdrop for not one, but two of his brand new blockbusters. As our recent World Cities Culture Report shows, London and Mumbai are major players on the international stage for creativity and the arts," he said.

London is the third busiest production city in the world, with studios in and around the capital making up 75 per cent of the UK film industry, and every day an average of 40 crews are out filming on the city streets, the release said.

London is home to some of the world`s best post-production companies, offering award winning, state-of-the-art facilities that are in demand for the world`s biggest effects movies.
The new James Bond movie `Skyfall` and Ridley Scott`s `The Counselor` were both filmed in the heart of London this year, while last week, the iconic Trafalgar Square became the setting for action scenes from `All You Need is Kill`, Warner Bros Pictures` new film starring Tom Cruise, to hit the screens in 2014, the release said.

London and India already have a healthy creative relationship, with a steady stream of Indian films being shot in the UK over the last decade. Earlier this month saw the premiere of `Jab Tak Hai Jaan`, the final film of revered Bollywood director Yash Chopra.

Starring Shah Rukh Khan, much of the film was shot in London, taking in many city landmarks, with significant assistance from Film London, the capital`s film and media agency, to ensure the shoot was as smooth as possible.

At today`s summit with film and television executives, the Mayor outlined the UK`s new Creative Sector Tax Relief, which comes into force in 2013 and is aimed at international companies producing TV, animation and games.

This will complement the tax relief already available to filmmakers and a film co-production agreement that is in place between India and the UK.

The Mayor hoped Indian filmmakers and TV producers, who can benefit from the new tax relief, will find working in the capital even more attractive.

The Mayor is on a five-day visit to India, accompanied by a delegation of top London business people, to promote London as the destination of choice for investors and international trade.

He will be taking part in a series of high-level meetings with Indian business leaders, senior politicians and investors in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai. PTI

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