As India emerges out of global pandemic, the red carpet has been rolled out for the global filmmaking community while ensuring that all safety protocols are in place, and the processes of permissions further eased under the Ease of Doing Business policy to make filmmaking a beautiful experience in the world’s largest filmmaking country
As India readies itself to take on the challenges of a post-Covid world, the largest filmmaking country in the world is once again rolling out the red carpet to the global filmmaking community to explore the beauty of filming in India.
To make filming in India a memorable experience, the Government of India has put in place all safety protocols for COVID, while also ensuring to provide a seamless process to facilitate fimmakers.
The FFO functions as a partner through the filmmaker’s journey from script to screen. Using FFO’s online ecosystem http://www.ffo.gov.in for filming has gained traction in the post-Covid era.
“India is a land of story-tellers, breath-taking landscapes and rich in filmic resources. Our Film in India initiative leverages this in creating an environment that will make India a content sub-continent of the world. Come shoot in India, collaborate with our content creators and take advantage of our skilled manpower, cost efficiency and world-class post-production facilities,” says Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports.
As a result of some serious efforts put in by the Film Facilitation Office (FFO), more than 120 international filming projects have come to India from different parts of the world. Many projects were taken up on co-production basis not only in the film sector, but also in the broadcasting and television sector. India has co-production and bilateral agreements with around 30 countries across the world.
“Under the Government’s ease of doing business initiative, the FFO is the single window which assists in obtaining filming permissions. In this Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav 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.
“The Film Facilitation Office has emerged as the one-stop solution for filming needs of producers in India and abroad. It has helped almost 127 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.
Welcoming the global filmmaking community to explore “the beauty of filming in India”, Neerja Sekhar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, says, “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 taken the lead in creating opportunities for international filmmakers to come and create content in India and take advantage of its ecosphere of filmic resources and its fast growing Animation, VFX, Gaming, Comics (AVGC) sector. The International Film Festival of India and the Film Bazaar have enabled the increasing acceptance of Indian content among global audiences. There is an enabling environment for the international film industry to unlock its narrative in India!”
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.
“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.
“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,” says Vikramjit Roy, Head-Film Facilitation Office (FFO).
As the government has become an important stakeholder in the film ecosystem in India, the establishment of FFO in 2016 has ensured that the processes of permissions and other support services become much faster and streamlined in India.
FFO has an online system in place to receive and process all applications of international as well as domestic producers. FFO has also set up its own network of nodal officers in various state governments, besides integrating its system with quite a few states and central ministries to facilitate clearances.