Strengthening ties: The growing importance of India’s film industry to the UK

The dynamic landscape of the film industry sees an increasingly significant contribution from India, particularly in the realms of special effects (VFX) and animation.

As demand surges both domestically and internationally, the UK’s creative sectors find a valuable partner in India’s burgeoning talent pool, with many filmmakers turning to talented Indian artists to bring their stories to life.

India’s expertise in VFX and animation has not gone unnoticed on the global stage. with notable examples including Thor the Dark World which was supported by Prana Studios Ltd (Mumbai), and Game of Thrones, The Shape of Water and The Handmaid’s Tale.

This collaboration highlights the seamless integration of India’s VFX capabilities with high-profile international projects from Hollywood and the UK.

Pankaj Rajani, co-founder of Macalvins, a firm deeply embedded in the UK and Indian film industries, emphasizes the mutual benefits of this partnership.

He said: “India’s film industry, especially its special effects and animation sectors, is becoming an indispensable part of the global entertainment landscape.

“The collaboration between UK and Indian film industries is not just a testament to the skill and creativity found in India but also to the cost-effective solutions it offers to high-budget projects.

“Both projects are incentivising the creative industries with tax reliefs and grants that are designed to support these fast-growing industries.”

The advent of cloud computing has further facilitated the contribution of Indian talent to overseas projects, making geographical boundaries irrelevant.

This technological advancement allows for a more integrated and efficient workflow across countries and has led to more than 250,000 Indians becoming VFX artists.

Mutazir Bhimji, Partner at Macalvins, highlights the potential for growth and employment within this sector. He added: “The potential growth of the Indian VFX industry is substantial, with the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comic (AVGC) Task Force projecting that there may be as many as 2.2 million digital effects professionals in India by 2032.

“This growth trajectory presents an incredible opportunity for collaboration between the UK and India, ensuring the delivery of cutting-edge entertainment to audiences worldwide.

“UK producers, directors and filmmakers are already tapping into this market and this collaboration is only likely to increase in future.

“It is important that all parties involved have tax and accountancy advice from professionals who understand their industry and have the connections to facilitate the careful financial curation of their affairs.

The synergy between the UK and India’s film industries extends beyond project-based collaborations.

It is a bridge between cultures, economies, and technologies, fostering an environment of mutual growth and innovation.

As both countries continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in film and entertainment, the partnership stands as a beacon of creativity and technological advancement.

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