Hollywood, Bollywood sign landmark cooperation pact

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The Independent Culture

Hollywood and Bollywood, the world's largest movie industries, have signed a pact that will boost cooperation for producing and distributing their films.

The "historic declaration" inked Wednesday between the city of Los Angeles and the Indian film industry strengthens commercial ties and will move to increase the number of Indian productions that are filmed here, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) said in a statement.

The pact "reinforces our city's commitment to attracting international production... we enthusiastically welcome further Indian production," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at the event at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood.

The two industries account for the majority of the world's cinema, and cooperation between them has already grown strongly in recent years.

Representing the Indian delegation, producer Bobby Bedi praised the pact's potential, noting how Hollywood and Bollywood "are economically robust and represent significant economic and cultural interests of their respective countries."

India has "always held a fascination for Hollywood, and this agreement pulls us closer together with the aim of sharing ideas and best practices on domestic and international film production," he added.

Analysts also point out that India's movie industry potential is huge.

India's film and television industry generated revenue of 7.7 billion dollars in 2008 and the figure is expected to top 13 billion dollars by 2015, according to the study conducted by consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The figures are dwarfed by the major Hollwood studio's total annual revenue of around 40 billion dollars, but the film audience on the subcontinent dwarfs its western counterpart.

Last year, some three billion cinema tickets were sold in India, compared with 1.5 billion in the United States, according to a Crisil media and entertainment report last September.

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