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India's films are said to be gaining interest worldwide

August 31, 2007|From the Associated Press

NEW DELHI -- Indian movies are gaining popularity in the overseas market and are expected to fetch $213 million this year, an Indian government minister says.

The market is growing by 18% annually, mainly because of the growing Indian diaspora around the world, Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, minister for information and broadcasting, said in a statement in India's Parliament this week.

Indian movies are popular in North America, Europe, Japan and even in China, he said. Latin America is also considered a new market.

The mainstream cable companies in the United States have started "video on demand" for Indian films, the minister said.

Though movies are produced in more than a dozen Indian languages, "Bollywood" is the name given to the popular Mumbai-based, Hindi-language film industry. Indian movies are generally musicals with songs and dances, love triangles, comedy and daredevil thrills.

The overseas market for Indian movies was estimated around $175 million in 2006, according to a report by the PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Indian government is promoting Indian films through participation in foreign film festivals. Also, India has signed audiovisual co-production agreements with Italy, Britain, Brazil and Germany to expand revenues and markets for the Indian film industry, the minister said.

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