Since its inception in November 2015, the Film Facilitation Office, set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, under the operational aegis of National Film Development Corporation (NFDC),has been working towards promoting and facilitating film shootings by foreign filmmakers in India, with its services now extended to Indian fil mmakers as well.
FFO acts as a facilitation point for filmmakers in assisting them to get requisite permissions while disseminating information on shooting locations as well as the talent, resources and facilities available for production and post production.
It proactively works closely with various Central and State Government Agencies to create a film friendly environment in India. FFO accepts application for shooting of feature films, reality TV shows and commercial television series in India.
The web portal www.ffo.gov.in, not only enables online submission of applications for international filmmakers, but also enlists India’s co-production treaties and guidelines of key Central government Ministries/departments, leading to greater ease of navigation, and thereby easing filming in the country.
The web portal has information regarding the Nodal officers of all Indian States and Union Territories, along with their filming policies and guidelines.FFO disseminates a comprehensive list of incentives currently available for filmmakers from across various States.
The FFO, which became operational in 2016, has since assisted some 86 productions, including international films partially shot in India, including Iqbal and the Indian Jewel, Hotel Mumbai, and The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir.
In recent times, FFO has received applications from the UK, France, Bangladesh, USA, Argentina, Italy, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Canada, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Denmark, Spain, Germany Australia, Iran, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and Indonesia.
To further help international producers cut through the labyrinthine permissions process required to shoot in India, the website will act as a single point for all filming related information in the country.
All under one roof
The new website (www.ffo.gov.in) is comprehensive, with directions for applying to film in India, a list of locations, filming hubs, trade associations and state incentives. Once a filmmaker applies, there is an automatic transmission of information to all the nodal agencies.
The FFO is currently in the process of integrating the website with Indian States and Union Territories, which will come as a relief to any international producer considering shooting in multiple States, and to Indian producers shooting in States other than their own.
FFO has been proactively creating an enabling ecosystem for filming in India
The FFO has been creating an ecosystem of Nodal Officers across various State Governments and within key stakeholder Central Government Ministries/ Departments such as:
• Airports Authority of India (AAI)
• Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)
• Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
• Border Security Force (BSF)
• Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC)
• Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
• Indian Coast Guard
• Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change (MOEFCC)
• Ministry of Railways (MoR)
• Ministry of Tourism
• Ministry of External Affairs, amongst others.
This ecology has enabled effective governmental collaborations at the policy level as well at the ground level, towards the creation of a film friendly environment.
2. Most Film Friendly State Award
The institution of the “Most Film Friendly State Award” by the Ministry of I&B is another endeavour towards the Film in India initiative. This unique Award, which was included in the 63rd National Film Awards in the year 2015, is the Ministry’s endeavor to promote India as a filming destination as well as to encourage the growth of the filming industry. The States of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have been recipients of this Award in the last few years.
3. Facilitation of the appointment of Nodal Officers across 29 Circles of the Archaeological Survey of India
Post several follow-ups and one-on-one meetings with ASI, FFO successfully facilitated the appointment of 29 Nodal officers across all ASI circles, so as to ease the permission process at various ASI sites across the country.
4. Facilitation of ease of issuance of Film Visas through coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)