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Anil Kapoor eyes China film collaboration

Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor arrives for the Zaia Cirque Du Soleil Show during the 10th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) weekend in Macau June 11, 2009. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

MACAU (Reuters Life!) - Bollywood film star Anil Kapoor said on Saturday he would like to team up with Chinese film makers on future movie projects.

Kapoor, who starred in the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, said the higher global profile of the Indian film industry represented opportunities for tie-ups not just with Hollywood, but also with China.

“There are some great filmmakers in China and phenomenal films in China.” he said on the sidelines of the annual International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards - Bollywood’s equivalent of the Oscars -- which are being held in the gambling haven of Macau on China’s southern coast.

“There is great talent over there and I would love to be working with any of the Chinese filmmakers,” Kapoor added.

However, a recent China-India film tie-up “Chandni Chowk to China”, a mix of Bollywood song-and-dance routines and kung fu, failed at the box office despite high hopes it would prove a breakthrough collaboration between the two countries.

India, the world’s most prolific film production hub, has been trying to extend its global influence through the annual IIFA Bollywood roadshow, held in a different country each year.

But the awards come at a difficult time for Bollywood, the popular name for India’s huge Hindi-language film industry, with box office takings and film budgets badly hit by the downturn.

A strike by film producers also saw no new films released in Bollywood for two months until it ended in early June.

India’s filmed entertainment sector, estimated at about $2.2 billion, is expected to suffer badly this year. Longer term though, consultancy KPMG forecasts average growth of more than 9 percent every year over the next five years.