Ireland refuses visa to Indian film crew | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Ireland refuses visa to Indian film crew

PTI | ByIndo-Asian News Service, London
May 15, 2004 09:24 PM IST

Irish film industry, which was already facing difficulties, might face harder times by turning away the lucrative Bollywood industry.

The Irish government has been criticised for refusing to grant visas to an Indian film crew to travel to Ireland to shoot a movie.

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Reports say work permits had already been arranged for a total of 34 Indian workers, but immigration officials had denied the visa applications.

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Dara McClatchie, of Big Fish Productions, said: "It's a kind of cynical treatment towards anyone coming in from the (developing) world, whether or not they are coming over to work.

"They say 'yes' or 'no' on a country basis. They are not really looking at individual cases. It's almost as though they are making a blanket decision."

McClatchie, who helped arrange work permits for the crew, said some of the applicants worked on a similar project in Ireland last year.

She said the Irish film industry, which was already facing difficulties, might face harder times by turning away the lucrative Bollywood industry.

"We're going from a situation where we had a dozen film makers a year with significant budgets who were coming to Ireland," McClatchie said.

"Now we're turning our back on an industry that produces more films than Hollywood and they're not looking for anything. They just want to come to film."

The film commissioner of the Irish Film Board, Naoise Barry, said: "There are groups of people in India who are being declined their visas for one reason or another.

"The department of justice is absolutely right in declining the visa application if they have concerns."

Barry said the Irish Film Board, along with Tourism Ireland, was actively promoting Ireland as a destination for film production.

"We have to let the department of justice do their job and we really feel that they are," he said.

The department refused to comment on the individual case.

A spokesman said it was up to the department to assess applicant's bona fides, but that decisions could be appealed.

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