As India emerges from the global pandemic, the red carpet has been rolled out for the global filmmaking community, while ensuring that all safety protocols are in place, and permissions processes have been further simplified under the Ease of Doing Business policy to make filmmaking a beautiful experience in the world’s largest filmmaking country
As it prepares to face the challenges of a post-Covid world, India, the world’s largest filmmaking country, is once again rolling out the red carpet for the global filmmaking community to explore the beauty of filming in India.
The importance of original content creation cannot be overstated as India embarks on a journey to build a robust ecosystem that fosters talent and growth. Today, thanks to technological advancements, good content knows no geographical boundaries, and to make filming in India a memorable experience, the Government of India has ensured a smooth process for filmmakers.
“India is a very old civilisation. With a diversity of cultures and languages, we have a lot of stories to offer to the world. Today we feel that India can be the content hub of the world with these stories. The epics of Ramayan and Mahabharat have been a major source of inspiration for various aspects of human life over the centuries, and the fables in these stories offer lessons to humanity in many ways,” says Anurag Singh Thakur,Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports.
Established in 2016, the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) of the Ministry of I&B, Government of India, is housed under the aegis of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). Its web portal https://ffo.gov.in/en is India’s single window clearance and facilitation mechanism for international feature films, reality TV &, web series, commercial TV serials/shows and web shows/series that film in India
India is a very old civilization. With a diversity of cultures and languages, we have a lot of stories to offer to the world. Today we feel that India can be the content hub of the world with these stories
As a result of some serious efforts put in by FFO, as many as 138 international projects (Feature Films, TV/Web shows and series) from across 33 countries have been accorded permissions to film in India. Out of these, 13 projects were granted official co-production status by the Ministry of I& B. India has co-production and bilateral agreements with around 15 countries across the world. The government has also introduced a separate category of Visa called Film (F) Visa, which is valid for one year, with multiple entry facility. It has simplified entry of international filmmakers, cast & crew to film in India. It has been subsequently modified to include web shows/series and location recce for foreign filmmakers. Since 2016, over 1265 F Visas have been issued.
“Under the Government’s ease of doing business initiative, the FFO is the single window which assists in obtaining filming permissions. In this AzadiKaAmritMahotsav we invite filmmakers to shoot in this beautiful landscape of our country, from the mighty Himalayas in the North to the scenic temples and beaches of Mahabalipuram,” says Dr L Murugan, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
As many as 18 international projects were given permission during these pandemic times, thus showing the support given to filmmakers. The shoot of the official Indo- Bangladesh co-production Bangabandhu was successfully completed and currently crew members from France, US, UK, Nigeria, Canada etc. are in the process of obtaining Film Visa to travel to India for shooting various projects.
As the government has become an important stakeholder in the film ecosystem in India, the establishment of FFO has ensured that the processes of permissions and other support services become much faster and streamlined in India.
Under the Government’s ease of doing business initiative, the FFO is the single window which assists in obtaining filming permissions. We invite filmmakers to shoot in India, from the mighty Himalayas in the North to the scenic temples and beaches of Mahabalipuram
In 2021, FFO’s mandate has been expanded to include creation of an ecosystem to facilitate various approvals and clearances required in setting up of theatres and execution of events by event management agencies at State and National level.
“The Film Facilitation Office has emerged as the one-stop solution for filming needs of producers in India and abroad. It has helped almost 138 film production companies to shoot in India from abroad. So I will urge all the film producers from abroad and within the country to reach out to the Film Facilitation Office of NFDC to come and shoot in the beautiful locations of India,” says Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
India is blessed with scenic locations, incredible cultural diversity, trained film crews and low production costs, which is coupled with film friendly policies. Owing to these advantages many overseas studios are increasingly entering into arrangements with producers in India to jointly produce films and television series. India also allows Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) upto 100 percent for film and TV productions under the automatic route.
Welcoming the global filmmaking community to explore “the beauty of filming in India”, Neerja Sekhar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, said, “We would like to reach out to the world community to showcase how ready we are to welcome you all. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has been working on the policy of Ease of Doing Filming in India.
We are in the process of integrating with various State Governments and agencies, so that filmmakers can devote their entire time for creative pursuits and putting things together for shooting and filming rather than going from one office to another to apply for permissions.”
“We are committed towards the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s initiative of Filming in India under the Government of India’s Ease of Doing Business. NFDC through the FFO is constantly engaging with various Central Government Ministries/Departments and the State Governments to not only ease the filming process but also setting up a mechanism that will enable the FFO to address grievances pertaining to filming and track receipt of incentives on behalf of filmmakers,” says Ravinder Bhakar MD, National Film Development Corporation and CEO, Central Board of Film Certification.
He adds that filmmakers can apply for permits for location recce, shooting in monuments under the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India and locations under the Ministry of Railways at ease through the FFO. “We look forward to welcoming producers and production companies from across the world to shoot their Feature Films, TV and Web shows and series in India,” he says.
Recently, the FFO has implemented certain modifications in its web portal, which will further ensure ease of filming in India. These modifications include simplification of the application form to make it more user friendly for both domestic and international projects. A Document checklist is also being made available in the applicant’s dashboard to enable the applicant to be prepared with all the required documents that needs to be uploaded as a part of the application.
Incentive Tracking Mechanism has also been executed on the portal. It allows applicants to fill in a form to enable the FFO track the status of disbursement of the incentive from the State Governments, on behalf of the applicant.
FFO has also put in place a shooting permission redressal / resolution mechanism. A form filled in by the applicant allows the FFO to intervene on behalf of the applicants and ensure the filming process is smooth and easy.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur will lead the delegation from India to Cannes.
The delegation will comprise celebrities like A.R. Rahman (International Music Composer), Mame Khan (Folk Music Composer, Singer), NawazuddinSiddiqui (Actor, Bollywood), PoojaHegde (Actress), Prasoon Joshi (Chairman, CBFC), R. Madhavan (Actor & Producer), Ricky Kej (Music Composer), Shekhar Kapur (Film maker), Tamannaah Bhatia (Actress) and VaniTripathi (Actor).
The intent of the delegation is to showcase the rich flavour and diversity of India – culture, heritage, legacy, and developments through its cinema. The delegation has been hand-picked from across the length and breadth of the country to represent different strengths and aspects of the country.
The Indian lineup of films that will be screened at Cannes Film Festival includes the world premiere of R Madhavan starrer Rocketry, Godavari by Nikhil Mahajan, Alpha Beta Gamma by Shankar Srikumar, Boomba Ride by Biswajeet Bora, Dhuin by Achal Mishra, and Tree Full of Parrots by Jayaraj.
India will be presented as the Focus Country at the Opening Night of Marche Du Films being organised at the Majestic Beach with spotlight on India, its cinema, its culture & heritage
Visit Viacom 18 at Palais Stand 24.01
Visit Delhi Tourism at Palais Stand 24.01
Indian flavour to the Opening Night of Marche Du Films would be special performances by Indian Choir bands along with Folk Music and Fireworks. The Cuisine served would be Indian as well as French.
Actor Deepika Padukone will walk the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and will also serve as the member of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival’s jury.
There are close to 100 online delegates from India at Cannes Film Market this year
Along with Deepika Padukone, actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and other celebrities from Indian film industry are set to be in attendance, and walk the Cannes 2022 red carpet.
VISIT INDIA PAVILLION, 109 VILLAGE INTERNATIONAL, CANNES
India is also a “Country of Honour at the Cannes Next, under which 5 new Start Ups would be given an opportunity to pitch to the Audio-Visual Industry.
India has been given an opportunity to pitch 5 selected movies at the “Goes to Cannes Section”. These movies are part of the Work In Progress lab under the Film Bazaar that include Baghjan by JaichengZxaiDohutia (Assamese, Moran), Bailadila by Shailendra Sahu (Hindi, Chhattisgarhi), EkJagahApni (A Space of Our Own) by Ektara Collective (Hindi), Follower by HarshadNalawade (Marathi, Kannada, Hindi), and Shivamma by Jai Shankar (Kannada)
Ten professionals from India will participate in the Animation Day networking. The program features talks, panel discussions, animation screenings and networking events.
A Cinema Hall called the Olympia Screen has been dedicated to India on 22nd May 2022 for screening “Unreleased Movies”. There are 5 Movies which have been selected under this category.
A dedicated India Forum, One Hour Conference is being organised at the Main Stage, comprising of the leaders of the Entertainment Sector and would position “India as the content hub of the World”. The India Forum would be attended by hundreds of guests and would live streamed online.
Visit CII Pavilion at Palais Stand 24.01
India Pavilion at the Cannes this time will have the sole focus of branding India as “Content Hub of the World”. It will showcase Indian cinema across linguistic, cultural, and regional diversities of the country and will serve as networking platform for delegates from across the global community.
India is the Official Country of Honour at Cannes Film Market (Marché du Film) in this edition of the festival. This is the first time this honour has been bestowed on any country and comes at a time when India celebrates its Azadika AmritMahotsav. India and France are also celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations this year.
More than 100 Indian media and entertainment companies will attend the Cannes, aiming to establish international partnerships in film shooting, distribution, production, script development, technology, promoting film sales and syndication. India’s celebration of centenary of Satyajit Ray continues at Cannes as a remastered classic of Satyajit Ray classic – Pratidwandi will be screened at the Cannes Classic section Cinéma de la plage.
Shaji N. Karun, the veteran cinematographer and director, who believes that cinema must always retain its meditative, philosophical and spiritual qualities, speaks to Pickle, about his thoughts on Cannes, India’s participation at the festival and what would it take for India to overcome the hurdles to make it to international film festivals in a big way.
Shaji N. Karun, the filmmaker from Kerala, made a strong impression in Cannes with his very first film, Piravi (1989), which screened in Un Certain Regard and earned him a Camera d’Or–Honourable Mention. The director’s second film, Swaham, competed for the Palme d’Or in 1994. That was the last time that India had a film in Competition in Cannes. Shaji’s Vanaprastham made it to the Un Certain Regard section in 1999. Before he debuted as a director, Shaji was G. Aravindan’s cinematographer, shooting a string of films for themaestro beginning with his second venture, KanchanaSita (1972). The second film that Shaji lensed for Aravindan, Thampu (The Circus Tent, 1978), is a part of Cannes Classics at the current 75th Cannes Film Festival.
How did it occur to you…….
Many of the films at Cannes and many people, including Satyajit Ray, were different in terms of content when I was a student. It wasn’t like there were any Oscar-winning films available. But then the concept of spirituality entered the films. Films, in my opinion, are a form of poetry that requires spirituality. We also used to watch a lot of films at the Film and Television Institute of India that were selected for the Cannes Film Festival. At the time, the Venice Film Festival was more aggressive in acquiring films from India. Indian films used to win awards there as well.
More Asian films were approved for screening at Venice. However, Cannes received more international films and placed a greater emphasis on new discoveries. They also discovered a lot of new talent, including myself. In fact, my first film, Piravi, was supposed to compete but was moved to the Uncertain Regard section. However, I believe it was a mistake. I missed a lot of competitions that year. However, the film later went on to win 46 international awards from around the world. People were eager to see the film after it was discovered, so I entered it in a number of festivals. Cannes is comparable to the Olympics in terms of sports. Running or even being there is the highest honour for a filmmaker, whether you win or not.
How did Swaham happen?
I directed Swaham in 1994, which was nominated for the Palme d’Or. It had a running time of 146 minutes. They even called to ask if I could shorten the film, but I couldn’t come up with a solution. They then left it at that. Swaham was shot in black and white. I was given the opportunity to compete at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. As you may know, no new Indian film has entered that competition since 1994. People in India are unaware that countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia are emerging on the strength of Cannes, but the concept of the international language of cinema is becoming diluted here. Appreciation of good cinema art in India is not there as compared to developed countries and even some developing countries. It’s not ignorance, as we are culturally strong, but the idea is to have the ability to understand what is art and what is not. I believe we should examine the quality of art custodians in India. Looking at art necessitates a variety of selfless activities. The first step is to remove selfishness from your heart, which is unfortunately not happening in India. Unfortunately, if no Indian film was accepted into the Cannes Competition section after 1994, it means that Indian cinema is no longer relevant to the international community, which is unfortunate.
What solution can you suggest to resolve this issue?
We should be concerned because India is celebrating its 75th year of independence. But, with the exception of two classic films, there are no Indian films in the other sections. I am proud of our classic films, but I am disappointed that Indian cinema is not included in the competition. When India turned 75, I would have preferred at least one or two films in the Competition or in Un Certain Regard section, and were not on the sidebars.
Please tell us about Vanaprastham, how did it happen?
We had sold out the idea of Indian aesthetics as well as the spiritual part of our Vedas after the competition in Cannes. Pierre Assouline was looking to make a film and liked the ideas I pitched him. My intention was to make a film about what happens to a grieving family and the social fabric when a man dies. That’s how Vanaprastham got its start. I think these ideas matter a lot, because cinema is also the history of a nation.
How do you see Cannes as a festival that has grown to 75 years….
When compared to other festivals, Cannes holds an unrivalled position. Art is the desire to create and discover, and I believe the latter is more difficult than the former. This is where the Cannes Film Festival enters the picture. Cannes discovered Parasite, which was not from the English-speaking world. It means that cinema is discovered on the basis of its strength, rather than its language. It is the concept that can be communicated at various levels and layers. Cannes, in my opinion, is far ahead of any other festival in terms of discovery. Tell us about the projects that you are currently working on My next project is about Amrita Sher-Gil, a Hungarian-Indian painter who died when she was only 28 years old. She transformed the concept of art, and her life has inspired me. Her paintings are all sad and depict pain. From a female perspective, I’d like to highlight her as a passionate and kind person. Surprisingly, she had a secret plan to marry Pt. Nehru. It will be shot in a variety of locations.
While India is celebrating its 75th year of independence just as the Festival de Cannes celebrates its 75th anniversary, India will be the official Country of Honour for the Marché du Film 2022, set to run in Cannes from 17-25 May.
In yet another global recognition to Indian cinema, India will be the official Country of Honour for the Marché du Film 2022, set to run in Cannes from 17-25 May. The country is celebrating its 75th year of independence just as the Festival de Cannes celebrates its 75th anniversary – a momentous milestone for both institutions.
The celebration will kick off during the Marché’s traditional Opening Night festivities on Wednesday 18 May on the Majestic Beach following an introduction from the Marché du Film’s Executive Directors Jérôme Paillard & Guillaume Esmiol and a welcoming address from Anurag Singh Thakur, the Government of India’s Minister of Information & Broadcasting.
With more than 3,000 movies made per year, India is the largest film producer in the world. Apart from Bollywood, the country is home to over 30 regional film industries, and its film sector is estimated to generate a revenue of €2.6 billion by 2024.
As one of the highlights of India’s status as the Country of Honour, a special screening of a restored Indian classic film, directed by Indian auteur Satyajit Ray, has been planned as part of the Festival’s Cannes Classics selection. In addition, world premieres of a selection of Indian films will be held at the Olympia Cinema.
The India Forum will be the first event to open the conference program of the Marché du Film on Thursday 19 May and will feature acclaimed personalities from India and around the world on its Main Stage. The panel discussion, “India: The Content Hub of the World,” will feature the Government of India’s Secretary of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Apurva Chandra, Chairperson of India’s Central Board of Film Certification Prasoon Joshi and veteran Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, among others.
India will also be spotlighted through several of the Marché du Film’s diverse group of industry programs, including Goes to Cannes, Cannes Next, Cannes XR, and Animation Day.
Goes to Cannes: Film Bazaar and India’s National Film Development Corporation will present their special selection of feature films in post-production, still looking for sales agents, distributors or festival exposure on Saturday 21 May.
Cannes Next: On Sunday 22 May, on the Marina Stage, five cutting-edge Indian start-ups will showcase their projects through a dedicated pitching session, highlighting India’s latest innovations in front of film industry professionals and decision-makers.
Cannes XR: India will be a partner of our XR-dedicated program that will offer participants a fully immersive experience at the Palais des Festivals.
Animation Day: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will join Indian professionals and talents at the animation-dedicated networking cocktail on Sunday 22 May to meet and connect with animation film experts and enthusiasts.
Like every year, the India Pavilion will return to the Festival de Cannes at the iconic Village International. The India Pavilion, which will be officially inaugurated on Wednesday 18 May, will showcase Indian cinema in all its linguistic, cultural, and regional diversity and will serve as a networking platform for delegates from across the global community. The pavilion’s aim is to establish international partnerships in film shooting, distribution, production, script development, technology and promoting film sales and syndication.
This is the first time the Marché du Film has an official Country of Honour, and this special focus will continue annually with different nations in the spotlight at future editions.
“We are delighted to have India as our Country of Honour this year at the Marché du Film; and even happier to be able to share the celebration of our anniversary that we have in common – 75 years of Indian independence coinciding with the 75th Festival de Cannes!” said Jérôme Paillard & Guillaume Esmiol, Executive Directors of the Marché du Film.
“We are extremely proud to be the Country of Honour at the upcoming edition of the Marché du Film, in the 75th year of our independence. We are taking giant strides in making India the content hub of the world, and this collaboration will be crucial in making the world better acquainted with what India has to offer,” said Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.