Easing Filming in India

By Pickle  November 1, 2022
Easing Filming in India, Pickle Media

The operations of the Film Facilitation Office, which acts as a single point of contact to obtain filming permissions and supports the filmmaker’s journey from script to screen, have been brought under the purview of Invest India as part of the government’s ease of doing business initiative, with the singular goal of bringing in more efficiency

Co-Production Treaties and Incentives for Foreign Filmmakers

India has Audio Visual co-production treaties with 15 countries. Recently, India also announced an incentive scheme for audio-visual co-production and shooting of foreign films in India to unleash the potential of the M&E Industry.

The Incentive Scheme will be executed through Film Facilitation Office (FFO) under the aegis of National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). Some of the salient features of the scheme are:

  1. For all qualifying projects, the international film production company can claim a payable cash incentive of upto 30% on Qualifying Expenditure in India subject to a maximum of INR 2 crore (USD 260,000).
  2. In case of foreign films shootings in India, an additional 5% bonus upto a maximum of INR 50 lakhs (USD 65,000) as additional reimbursement would be granted for employing 15% or more manpower in India.
  3. The incentives of the schemes can be claimed under either of the Schemes and not for both. To be eligible for the scheme the filmmakers need to ensure that the project must have been granted the “Co-Production” status by the Ministry of I&B and the participating country must fall under one of India’s official bi-lateral co-production treaties on Audio-Visual Co-production.
  4. Projects that have been granted official Co-production Status after May 1, 2022 are eligible for the incentive.
  5. International productions that have been granted shooting permission by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and Ministry of External Affairs (for documentaries only) after May 1, 2022 are also eligible for the incentive.
  6. As far as the disbursement mechanism is concerned, the Incentives will be disbursed in two stage—Interim and Final. The Final disbursement claim can be made only once the project is complete in India, as per the guidelines under the scheme. Incentives are provided on the recommendation of a Special Incentive Evaluation Committee.

With the global media and entertainment market entering a new age following the Covid-19 pandemic, India welcomes filmmakers and investors attending the American Film Market 2022 who wish to tap into the country’s constantly expanding Media and Entertainment scene.

The Government of India recently opted to further reform the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) by bringing it under Invest India, India’s national investment promotion agency that serves as an advisor, guide, and facilitator to every investor wishing to create a home in India.

Besides increasing FFO’s operational efficiency, the move allows filmmakers and investors to benefit from Invest India’s expertise in encouraging foreign investment into India’s film business. India also enables up to 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in film and television projects through the automatic route. Invest India has already attracted more than $100 billion in FDI to India this year.

As part of the government’s ease of doing business programme, FFO has been functioning as a single point of contact since 2016 for acquiring filming approvals as a collaborator on the filmmaker’s journey from script to screen. It makes it simple for filmmakers to apply for permits for location reconnaissance, shooting in monuments under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Survey of India, and shooting in locations under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Railways via its online ecosystem, http://www.ffo.gov.in, which is both dynamic and user-friendly. FFO has helped 127 foreign film production firms shoot in India to date.

There is currently a system in place to manage filming concerns and track the receipt of incentives on behalf of filmmakers in order to support filming. FFO’s online system is linked with various states and federal ministries to accept and handle all applications, both domestic and foreign. A large network of FFO nodal officers exists within various state administrations.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *