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Uruguay wants to attract Bollywood: Planes for one of the largest industries in the world

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Uruguay wants to attract Bollywood: Planes for one of the largest industries in the world

The diplomatic agenda between Uruguay and India also focuses on the audiovisual industry and seeks to get closer to Bollywood

The Indian Film Industry is one of the largest in the world and Uruguay wants to get closer to it.

The Bollywood production center is located in Mumbai, the most populated city, and is an industry based in Hindi, the official language of the country. Bollywood is by far the largest of the local industries, although many films are produced based on regional languages such as Bengali, Tamil and Telugu. In total, if it is estimated that they produce more than a thousand films a year and the recall for sales revenues usually be in the first places at World level. Therefore, according to data from Statista, in 2022 India will lead the classification of the main cinema markets at world level to sell approximately 980 million entries. Behind were China and the United States.

Currently the link between Bollywood and the Uruguayan audiovisual industry is being discussed at the diplomatic level. The Uruguayan ambassador to India, Alberto Guani, stated in an interview with the Uruguayan media in which El Observador participated that during the fifth meeting of political consultations between the two foreign ministries – in which the vice minister Nicolás Albertoni participated - different issues were raised around the table "so that they are contemplated and supported to some extent by India." The audiovisual item is part of the bilateral agenda. Uruguay seeks to encourage a "greater connection" between the audiovisual industries of the countries at a time when the Uruguayan market is growing thanks to the competitive advantages it maintains in audiovisual production.

The relationship between both industries has as its main interlocutor the new Uruguayan Film and Audiovisual Agency (ACAU), an organization that was created in 2022 within the framework of Accountability and which began operating in February of this year with the presidency of Facundo Ponce de León. According to what El Observador learned, before the diplomatic trip, Albertoni informed the Agency's management that India had proposed audiovisuals as a theme for the meeting, and before the meeting, a report was presented on the organization and the situation of the field in Uruguay. The talks will now continue between the two sectors - India also has an agency dedicated to audiovisuals - through a meeting via Zoom that has not yet materialized.

With this approach, Uruguay seeks to attract international productions to the country as well as promote national production of competitive quality and intends to strategically position itself as an audiovisual production hub with international projection. The link with India is expected to open up the Asian market and especially one of the most popular industries in the world.

“The idea is that they take advantage of the infrastructure that Uruguay has to offer, especially since it is at a very competitive cost. That they themselves bring extras and people to work on co-productions means less to them, despite the length of the trip. In the economic equation, they do quite well," Ambassador Guani said in the interview with the Uruguayan media. If it materializes, it would not be the first time that Bollywood leaves its natural habitat to produce its fictions, since it has filmed in different international locations, both in Europe and in South America. The Uruguayan ambassador pointed out, for example, that India has similar agreements with Argentina and Brazil.

“Why not rehearse an agreement and make a memorandum of understanding with Uruguay? Above all so that they can, in a convenient way, use the facilities that we have and at the same time promote their productions in Uruguay as a round trip mechanism”. In other words, that the Uruguayan plaza be used for filming - taking advantage of the advantages it offers in economic terms - and at the same time that Bollywood productions can penetrate the cultural consumption of Uruguay as they did at the time, for example, the Turkish soap operas.

During the official visit that Vice Chancellor Albertoni carried out in the first days of this month, they held a meeting with the director general of the National Film Development Corporation, Prithul Kumar, with whom they discussed possible cooperation agreements for audiovisual co-production between Uruguay and India. “They also promised to work with us on the possibility of making a memorandum of understanding,” Guani said.

For Albertoni, meanwhile, the trip was "very productive" in terms of the prospects that can be triggered from now on. “The mission was more general, to raise the issue with my counterpart at the vice-chancellor level. What we could do from the Foreign Ministry was to unite parts so that later, between counterparts, they continue advancing, in this case with the Agency, and in the case of India also with an agency that, among other things, has nothing more and nothing less inside than to Bollywood. There is an intention to move forward in exploring the possibility of an agreement, and what they gave us is a basis for one that they have signed with fifteen other countries. Uruguay could be part of that group. Now what there is is a text review between both parties. Argentina already has an agreement with India, and what if Uruguay could have your back to be able to join the list of countries with an agreement, "he assured.

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