The government is planning to introduce a draft model film policy in an effort to ease film shooting in India. The Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry Secretary Apurva Chandra acknowledged the fact that filmmakers feel that getting permission for shooting in India is difficult.
“Fourteen states have come out with a film facilitation policy and the government is planning to introduce a draft model film policy based on some of these policies. This will be circulated to other states so that they can also adopt that,” Chandra said at a symposium on Film Tourism at Taj Lands End, in Mumbai on Monday.
Highlighting the need for ease of filming, the I&B ministry secretary said that more than the incentives, ease of shooting and ease of clearances are important. Under its Film in India initiative, the I&B ministry has set up a Film Facilitation Office (FFO) at National Film Development Corporation, which is mandated to promote and position India as a preferred destination for filmmakers across the world. Its web portal is India’s single-window clearance and facilitation mechanism for International and Indian filmmakers.
Arvind Singh, tourism ministry secretary, said the federal system of governance makes such film incentives mostly a state subject and there are many states which actively encourage film tourism and are quite successful in this regard. “The ministry of tourism recognizes such efforts through the national tourism award given each year under the category most film tourism-friendly state.
Singh said states should consider establishing a film promotion office, preferably in the chief minister’s office for timely shooting permissions. “This is required since most of the issues regarding approvals are localized and within the purview of the state governments. This office can coordinate with various departments and institutions and get the permissions processed on time, while also having the authority to intervene and sort out issues at the local level wherever required.”
The tourism secretary pointed out that India’s varied landscape, seasons, colors, wildlife as well as culture and heritage make the country an ideal location for film shoots. “However, we acknowledge that there are several bottlenecks and there needs to be a concerted push. This should be a two-pronged approach, one at the policy level and the other with a promotional effort.”
Film tourism helps boost the local economy in various ways, such as employment, hospitality, transportation, skill development and income generation amongst other things; and also has a multiplier effect on the economy.