Aust strengthens India ties with screen industry deal

Australia has signed a film production agreement with India, designed to bring Bollywood to Brisbane and Melbourne to Mumbai.

The treaty-level deal means projects in both countries will be able to get government grants, loans, and tax breaks to make screen content.

The Australia-India audiovisual co-production agreement was announced in March and has now been ratified by both nations.

“We’re proud to have a large and growing Indian community here in Australia and this agreement will only see our links strengthen further and bringing our people even closer together,” said foreign minister Penny Wong.

But Screen Producers Australia (SPA) said the deal is another ad hoc agreement struck without enough industry consultation.

"Without a coherent export strategy for the Australian screen industry, we are failing to capitalise and maximise the opportunities afforded by co-production agreements, such as this one with India," SPA said in a submission to the government in September.

Since Australia's international co-production program began almost 40 years ago, 14 countries have signed on, leading to 214 official co-production releases.

Yet competing nations have cut many more deals: Canada has 56, while the UK and France each have more than 50, according to SPA.

The industry will not view the deal as a success if it only results in Indian productions using Australia as a filming location, it said.

It's tricky to directly compare the screen industries in Australia and India.

India's box office was worth $A1.8 billion in 2022, and its film industry released more than 1600 films, according to a report by global accounting company EY. 

Australia's box office take last year was worth $941 million, but just five per cent of this was from locally-made films with fewer than 100 local titles released, according to Screen Australia figures.

But international productions have recently spent a record $1.22 billion making films in Australia, thanks to big budget features including The Fall Guy, and Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

The ratification comes as Australia and India hold talks focused on strategic, defence and security links between the two nations.

India and Australia are also part of the Quad, an alliance that includes Japan and the US, which aims to counter China's rising influence in Asia.

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store