Bollywood Comes to British Columbia
A new production house has opened in Vancouver, British Columbia, to assist and facilitate Indian film and television productions filming in Canada.
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IndoWest Films was established to help Indian productions get easy, professional and reliable access to Canadian locations, tax incentives and film production capabilities, providing a variety of production services to Indian film producers to facilitate film shoots in Canada - including production management, tax credit preparation, and debt financing.
Company co-founder, Vikas Bhalla, an actor and producer with a 15 year track record in the Indian film industry, said that the beauty and diversity of Canada has made the country a very desirable location for Indian productions. “You cannot match the locations of Canada. Canadian locations are the best in the world,” said Bhalla, who was particularly enthusiastic about Canada’s westernmost province: “The picture-perfect province of British Columbia undoubtedly makes for a fantastic visual where Bollywood is concerned, with its raw natural beauty. I could easily affirm that having travelled the world I haven't yet come across a more visually enchanting experience.”
Canadian and British Columbia locations aren’t just appealing to Indian filmmakers for their diversity and breathtaking natural beauty. One of Bhalla’s main motivations for establishing a presence in Canada was to allow his clients to take advantage of the Canada-India Audiovisual Coproduction Treaty, which came into effect July 1, 2014. The Treaty allows producers to combine their creative, technical and financial resources to create audiovisual co-productions between both nations, keeping Canada on the leading edge of media production and helping to create jobs and economic growth in both countries.
Bhalla said that British Columbia was a natural choice for IndoWest’s Canadian headquarters. “From the point of view of film making, very rarely do you come across a location which provides this lethal combination of jaw dropping scenic beauty and an organized, systematic and production friendly government support at all levels.” Bhalla credited the upfront support given the British Columbia Ministry of Trade’s Trade and Investment teams in Mumbai and Vancouver who helped guide IndoWest throughout the process of establishing the company’s Vancouver office. “The detailed and specific media industry-related information, accurate facts and figures, and a consistent professional yet friendly attitude…have actually been very instrumental in choosing B.C .as our preferred destination versus any other Canadian province for setting up our first shop,” said Bhalla. “We also found the media governing authorities like Creative BC, Telefilm Canada and Destination BC extremely warm, friendly, helpful, supportive and encouraging, but also extremely systematic, straightforward, business-friendly and going out of their way in realizing our vision of bringing Bollywood to Canada.”
In operation for only a few months, the IndoWest team is already in the process of bringing several film and television productions to British Columbia, including a 260-episode production deal for a leading Indian national broadcaster to be entirely shot in B.C. ,and the province’s film and television industry is ready to rise to the challenge. With over a million square feet of studio space, an experienced local crew base of over 30,000, and a world-renowned visual effects cluster, B.C. has the capacity to support every aspect of production for up to 40 projects simultaneously.
Qualifying film, television, and digital media companies in British Columbia are eligible for generous tax credits and incentives and a broad range of additional incentives. Learn more.