Fijian delegation in Mumbai promotes Fiji’s advantages to Bollywood Producers

[2 April 2017] Senior representatives of the Indian entertainment industry expressed significant interest in Fiji’s potential as a venue for film and television production as the result of a visit to Mumbai by a Film Fiji delegation.

The delegation, led by Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service & Communications, Honorable Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, met with major Indian production houses and executives of the Times of India Group, publishers of the Times of India newspaper and now India’s largest multimedia corporation.

The delegation included Ms. Shaenaz Voss, Chairperson of Film Fiji and Executive General Manager at Fiji Airways, Dallas Foon, CEO of Film Fiji;; and the Fijian Honorary Consul in Mumbai, Shyam Shroff.

The delegation with Tourism Fiji also co-hosted a special Film Makers Forum with the Times of India on 4 March for Bollywood producers and directors, and film journalists and representatives.

The Attorney-General told the guests that the Fijian Government had made a strategic decision a few years ago to create filming incentives that could make Fiji one of the world’s most attractive film-making destinations.

He emphasized that Fiji’s diversity of people, geography, urban and rural landscapes, and historical settings provide an abundance of locations and assets for Indian film makers and said that these advantages are complemented by an attractive 47% Film Tax Rebate.

Later in the week, members of the delegation met with senior executives of production houses including Yashraj Films, Dharma Productions, Sony Pictures, Eros International and Excel Entertainment, all of which showed strong interest in Fiji’s potential, particularly in light of improved air connections between the two countries through the Fiji Airways-Jet Airways codeshare agreement.

The Indian film industry produces hundreds of films every year, and attracting major Bollywood films to Fiji would generate interest in Fiji worldwide. It would also create employment opportunities and build the capacity of Fiji’s creative sectors through their participation in first-class film and television productions. Ultimately, tourism will benefit with the expectation that a successful Indian film will generate more interest from that market for Fiji.

Film Tourism is a growing phenomenon worldwide. Studies have shown that a successful film can increase tourism arrivals to the filming locations by as much as 54% over the following four years.  Countries such as New Zealand, Britain, Taiwan and Spain have benefited from increased visitor arrivals after successful movies shot in their countries.

The Attorney-General and Film Fiji also met with Times of India Managing Director Vineet Jain, who committed to continuing the company’s extensive media coverage of Fiji and to work with Film Fiji, Tourism Fiji and Fiji Airways to raise Fiji’s profile as a destination through competitions, travelogues, targeted stories and familiarization trips by agents to Fiji.