As the largest producer of films in the world, the Indian film industry produces between 1,500 and 2,000 films annually. European governments, tourism ministries and film commissions, have recently started promoting their respective countries as film-shooting destinations. This charged context of increasing competition in attracting film-makers to new locations and the international circulation of Indian cinema has created new types of cultural connections and economic cooperation opportunities between India and European countries. The infrastructure of shooting films in foreign places enables promotion of tourism, employment opportunities, knowledge sharing, and country branding with long-term economic and transcultural effects. This project will analyze how different locations shape and are shaped by film production as well as by film circulation. First, the project aims to understand the infrastructure of film productions in foreign locations, the specificities of chosen locales, looking at the linkages within the film industry and at spillovers to other sectors. Second, we propose to look at the mechanisms of awareness raising due to seeing specific locations on the screen. Images created by films produce meanings, which influence people's attitudes and behavior. The project aims to understand how viewers respond to the use of foreign locations in attitudes and behavior.
This research will draw on theoretical and interdisciplinary developments in film studies (ecology of film production and distribution, textual and visual analysis), film geography (the location of places and spaces as informing cultural and economic interlinkages), cultural studies (diaspora studies and globalization) and public policy (role of institutional actors and local and national policies) to situate and offer an exploration of potential socio-economic impacts of shooting Indian films in several locations in Europe.