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Monday, 01 April, 2019, 16 : 37 PM [IST]

‘Shoot At Site’ offers much needed momentum to film tourism

The 20th edition of FICCI Frames 2019, took place between March 12 and 14, at Grand Hyatt in Mumbai. On the day 2, the global media and entertainment convention started with a session titled ‘Shoot at Site’. The participants in the session discussed policies to ease film shoots across India and provide single window clearance for states.

Shoot at Site is a unique platform that aims to facilitate the synergies between the shooting destinations and the film & television industry and its third edition was held earlier this month in Mumbai.

The objectives of Shoot at Site is to highlight rare shooting destinations in different states of India, showcase production facilities, services offered and inform the production community about how to navigate through and capitalise on benefits offered by the state governments.

Moderated by Kulmeet Makkar, CEO, Producer Guild of India, the panellists included Usha Sharma, Director General, Archaeological Survey of India; Dr Neelam Bala, Secretary, Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, and Vikramjit Roy, Head - Film Facilitation Office. A keynote address was delivered by Jaspal Singh Bindra, Chairman, FICCI Maharashtra State Council & Executive Chairman, Centrum Group.

The participating states were represented by Dr Nitin Bhanudas Jawale, Managing Director, Odisha Film Development Corporation, Sudhir Sobti, Chief Manager (PR & Publicity / Tourism), Government of Delhi and Dr Manisha Arora, Additional Director, Rajasthan Tourism.

In his keynote address, Bindra said, “The portrayal of destinations through films and televisions play a very important role. The legendary Yash Chopra was the one who made Switzerland a tourist destination for people in our country and was recognised and awarded by the Swiss government. The whole thing is about awareness of a destination. They are creating infrastructure around the destination and largely building a local ecosystem of tourism around that place. All of this suggests that, formulating policies in states should be given adequate significance to film tourism policy as well. There is a need for a friendly and proactive policy to enable to get approvals in a specific timeframe and get assistance on site from the respective government departments and add financial assistance.”

“The study (FICCI-EY Knowledge Report on film tourism) released today covers the film policies in 21 states of India. And that’s a very encouraging sign,” he added.

Roy said, “When we talk about ease of filming, it is not just for the international filmmaker. Given India’s landscape, depth of the industry, and the fact that we have such a robust film industry, it is also about how the domestic film industry can harness and leverage more than one location across India.”

He also spoke about how the online application for ‘Shoot at Site’ has become a much smoother process where they can see locations, apply on a click of a button and the process is completed. The concerned authorities help the filmmakers get necessary permissions to shoot anywhere in a state.

Bala spoke about creating awareness around using animals for shoots. “There is a paradigm shift in treatment of animals in India. The board is also creating awareness through trainings, workshops, seminars and personal visits. There are strict rules about monitoring related to the use of animals in the movies and other media as films require permissions before releasing the audio visual for public viewing,” she said.

According to the FICCI-EY Knowledge Report, the advent of the 21st century witnessed the globalisation of the Indian cinema. Today, Indian cinema has not only reached out to global audiences, but has also found global acceptance. Indian cinema has been part of screenings at major international film festivals. The overseas market also contributes a sizeable chunk to film industry’s box office collections. Investments made by major global production houses also confirm that Indian cinema has made a mark for itself in the global film market.

It has been noted that especially over the last couple of decades, an increasing number of tourists began to visit destinations featured through films, TV or any other similar way of visuals which are not directly related to tourism promotion campaigns. Post liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1990’s, people from various segments of the society started going abroad for short term and long-term leisure as well as non-leisure trips. At the same time, the momentum to film abroad also picked up amongst the Indian film producers.

Besides portraying and boosting international destinations through films, Indian cinema has also played a major role in tapping previously unknown destinations within India. Film producers have increasingly stepped up their efforts to identify unique locations for filming their cinema, resultantly popularising such destinations as ‘must-visit’ places in the minds of the Indian travellers.

Direct benefits
  • According to the report, there may be benefits which can be directly attributed to the production of the film in the locality. Revenue generation due to direct spends on equipment hire, accommodation, leisure and travel expenses incurred during the period of film production in the locality.
  • Employment generation on account of hiring of local talent such as technicians, artists and people with local know-how
  • Providing an impetus to the local film industry by training the local talent and providing exposure to new technologies and techniques. Technology transfers which enable the local talent to hone their skills and individually explore future opportunities for film production.

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