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13/11/2008: SPAA LEADS AUSSIE PRODUCERS TO INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL

The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) is leading a delegation of senior Australian producers to the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), to be held in Goa from 22nd November to 2 December 2008.

The National Film Development Corporation has extended an invitation to SPAA to bring a delegation to participate in the Film Bazaar, a co-production event attached to IFFI. SPAA’s Executive Director Geoff Brown, and Julie Marlow, Senior Policy Consultant, have organised a top line group of profile Australian producers, all of whom have Australian-Indian projects in advanced stages of development, to travel to Goa for this prestigious event, where they will mix with a group of Indian producers and financiers, along with a delegation from Europe.

Geoff Brown commented: “There has been serious interest for the past five years from many of our members to open negotiations with India for a coproduction treaty. The time is now right, and talks have opened between our two countries, so it’s extremely important for our select group to go to India, make contacts and start some serious business. SPAA is pleased to lead the delegation, and looks forward to forging some lasting bonds that will lead to production activity with this wonderful range of projects and people.”

The following five leading producers and production services companies will go to Goa:
Jim McElroy, one of Australia’s leading producers, whose career spans almost 40 years in film and television, produced Peter Weir’s first film The Cars That Ate Paris and his subsequent classics Picnic At Hanging Rock, The Last Wave with his twin brother Hal McElroy. Jim then solo produced Peter Weir's first American picture The Year Of Living Dangerously for MGM, starring Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver. This picture won an Academy Award for Linda Hunt as best supporting Actress. Jim has produced many hours of television and is presenting his latest feature project in Goa, a romantic comedy entitled The Test, ideal material for an Australian-Indian co-production.

John Winter, producer of the award-winning Rabbit Proof Fence, directed by Phillip Noyce and Paperback Hero starring Hugh Jackman, just two of his numerous credits, has over the years developed a close relationship with the Indian film community. His feature films have screened at five of the major Indian film festivals and he was on the jury of the Pune International Film Festival. His company Wintertime Films now has a slate of India centric Australian feature film and TV projects which he will represent in Goa.

Chris Kennedy is the renaissance man of Australian film – a writer, director and producer, he has written, directed and co-produced 4 feature films, one of which, Doing Time For Patsy Cline, won 5 Australian Film Institute Awards. Chris is bringing two projects to Goa; combining his love of music, comedy and dance, they are both ideal co-production material.

Anupam Sharma heads Film and Casting Temple. The company has been recognized for pioneering Indo Australian film links and has successfully completed over 167 projects between the two countries which include feature films, TV serials, music videos, and TV commercials. Films and casting TEMPLE is also the only company to successfully structure three of the biggest marketing tie ups and grants for Bollywood films in Australia and Singapore. Anupam is taking a slate of projects to pitch at Film Bazaar and is the consultant to the delegation in India.

Luke Gracias heads up Instinct India, an arm of one of Australia’s most prolific production companies Instinct Entertainment currently in production with their feature Charlie and Boots, starring Paul Hogan and Shane Jacobsen. Instinct India line produced "Singh is Kinng" in Nov - Dec 07. About 70% of the film was shot in Australia and this was the first film which had an all Australian technical crew. This was released on 8 Aug on approximately 1700 screens in 26 countries. It broke all box office records on the highest first weekend take and its first week. Luke is looking not only to co-produce projects with leading Indian producers, but to attract Indian projects to shoot in Australia.

SPAA’s delegation will be in India from 22nd to 30th December. Geoff Brown is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of International Producers Associations (FIAPF) and as an official of this prestigious global organisation he will be attending the FIAPF Winter General Assembly in Goa.

 

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