Lifestyle | Culture & Books

May 21, 2013

Mauritius Woos Bollywood with Heavy Discounts

Showcasing its scenic natural beauty comprising beaches, mountains and plains coupled with modern architecture, Mauritius has launched a 30 per cent expense refund scheme for film producers looking to shoot their films here in this island nation.

The government representatives are particularly targetting the film makers from India, given the historic connect between the two countries and also the popularity of Indian films here in the country.

Under the scheme, the film makers would get 30 per cent refund on all the expenses incurred for shooting of their projects in Mauritius. Besides movies, TV serials and commercials would also be eligible for this rebate.

A few big names like Yashraj Films have already agreed to shoot their upcoming films here once they get the right script to be shot in this country and more are likely to join in, the officials from the government's investment promotion agency, the Board of Investment, said.

Besides, three films are ready to begin shooting under the new rebate scheme. These include one Indian venture, a Punjabi film, they added.

The Mauritius government had presented its vision for a film industry in its 2012 Budget, wherein provision was made for the development of Mauritius as a film-making destination for film-shooting, animation and post-production activities.

Consequently in February 2012, the government launched a Pilot Rebate Scheme at 25 per cent of Qualifying Production Expenditures (QPEs) with the objective to attract both local and international film producers in Mauritius.

These QPEs include transport, accommodation, local manpower, catering, the renting of equipment and location in Mauritius.

With a view to attract further foreign film producers and to differentiate with other film producing locations in the region, the government has now increased the rebate from 25 per cent to 30 per cent on qualified production expenditures in its national budget 2013.

The high-end TV commercials and documentaries would also be eligible for the scheme. To be eligible for the scheme, the film company should be either registered in Mauritius or, alternately, a film production firm can use the services of a locally registered producer. However, shareholding can be 100 per cent foreign.

The first Indian film shot in Mauritius was Sanjay Khan's "Chandi Sona" way back in 1970s, while the recent bollywood movies shot here include Go Goa Gone, FALTU, Chasme Baddoor, Break Ke Baad, Josh, No Entry, Kidnap, Phir Se, Kya Yehi Pyar Hai and Sorry Bhai. Besides, blockbusters like 'Souten' in 1980s, Amitabh Bachhan-starrer Hum and Karan Johar's 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hein' in late 90s were also shot here.

Indian movies are as such very popular in Mauritius, which is often referred to as 'Mini India' given vast similarities in the culture and the people of Indian origin comprising of a huge majority of this small country's population of about 1.3 million people.

 

Text by Business Standard
 

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