Toronto poised for Bollywood boom
If all goes according to plan, Hollywood North might soon become Bollywood West.
Toronto’s film industry is hoping that continuing talks between Canada and India will result in a federal co-production treaty that will bring more Bollywood production work here.
Discussions initially began between the two countries last September, but the arrival of the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) later this week is adding to the buzz. Film industry and government leaders from both countries are expected to continue negotiating at the IIFA Global Business Forum on June 24.
If an agreement is hammered out, Bollywood’s growing interest in Canada could fill some of the demand for more work in Toronto, said Peter Finestone, the city’s film commissioner.
“We haven’t had a lot of Bollywood productions here yet, but we’re more on the radar because of the IIFA awards,” Mr. Finestone said “I think IIFA will catapult us to the very top of the list as a destination for foreign shooting.”
Toronto has attracted considerable Hollywood work with U.S. feature film productions spending roughly $350-million in 2010 in Toronto. But the figures have yet to go back to pre-SARS levels of $560-million in 2002. Now Mr. Finestone is hopeful that the $2-billion Indian domestic film industry might fill some of that gap.