Source AP ©

Indian movies to earn US$213 million abroad this year

Indian movies are expected to gain 8.5 billion rupees (US$213 million, EUR156 million) this year, an Indian minister said Wednesday.

The market is growing by 18 percent annually, mainly because of the growing Indian diaspora around the world, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said in a statement in India's Parliament.

Indian movies are popular in Europe, North America, 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 a "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 7 billion rupees (US$175 million, EUR128.07 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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