At the 67th National Film Awards 2019, Sikkim was adjudged the most film friendly state in India. The picturesque state in northeastern India well deserves this honour. For, besides providing beautiful locales to filmmakers, it also offers all necessary support to them, thus emerging the most film friendly state of the country.
Sikkim is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Steep paths lead to hilltop Buddhist monasteries such as Pemayangtse, which dates to the early 1700s.
Eminent filmmaker Shaji N Karun was Chairman of the Jury that selected Sikkim as the most film friendly State in 2019. The other Jury members in the panel were Ravi Kottarakara, Manju Borah, Firdausul Hasan and Abhishek Shah.
Announcing the Most Film Friendly State Award to Sikkim, Jury Chairman Shaji N Karun stated that Sikkim by virtue is very beautiful. “Our Jury visited Sikkim. They found that this is the probably the best state to be discovered in India. The jury members were impressed with Sikkim being develped as a filming state and even offer incentives to filmmakers, develop infrastructure and as well as encourage skills and talent development, despite limited resources. Moreover, Sikkim impressed with their honest approach and film friendliness towards filmmaking community with their vision and concern, which was far above than any other Indian State — especially, given the difficult terrain, location and size,” said Shaji N Karun.
Thirteen Indian States were considered by the Jury for this Award. The jury also gave a list of 30 recommenations to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for examination and consideration of States in the Most Film Friendly Awards category
Film industry leaders maintained that Sikkim bagged the Award because of the film friendly gesture and leadership of the Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, better known as P S Golay.
Prominent shooting locales of Sikkim include Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake, Yuksom, Khangchendzonga National Park, Nathula Pass, Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley, Ravangla, Namchi and Zuluk.
But, fully understanding that pristine locales alone are not enough to attract filmmakers, the government there has implemented a string of measures.
The state has planned concrete steps to ease out the process of planning and shooting films in the state and is committed to offer an investor-friendly policy to make the work of filmmakers easy.
Sikkim Government provides financial support to eligible local film with the maximum limit of Rs 20 lakh per movie. Departments have to complete the clearances within a stipulated time frame of 15-30 days and can issue permissions to shoot films in the general areas under forest cover after verifying the requisite documents and credentials.
So, all these things have made Sikkim a preferred destination of filmmakers and propelled it to bag the most film friendly state in India honour.
The institution of the ‘Most Film Friendly State’ Award, is positioned to promote ease of filming across India. The State of Gujarat was selected as the most film freindly state in India in 2015, the State of Uttar Pradesh in 2016, the State of Madhya Pradesh in 2017, the state of Uttarakhand bagged the honour for most film friendly State in 2018 is a unique initiative in this direction.
EVERYTHING ABOUT SIKKIM
Sikkim is the 22nd state of India came into existence with effect from 26th April, 1975. Sikkim has been divided into four districts and each district has further been bifurcated into two sub-divisions for administrative purpose. Sikkim state being a part of inner mountain ranges of Himalayas, is hilly having varied elevation ranging from 300 to 8540 meters. But the habitable areas are only up to the altitude of 2100 mtrs. Constituting only 20% of the total area of the state. The highest portion of sikkim lies in its north west direction.
A large number of mountains having altitudes of about seven thousand meters stands here with – Kanchenjunga (8598 m.), The third highest peak in the world. The high serrated, snow capped spurs and peaks of Kanchenjunga look attractive consisting of Kumbha Karna (7711 m.), Pendem (6706 m.), Narsingh (5825 m.), Kabru Dome (6545 m.), etc. A number of glaciers descends from eastern slopes of Kanchenjunga into Sikkim where snow clad line is found above 5300 mtrs. The biggest of them is Zemu, from whose snout above Lachen monastery rises the river Teesta. Teesta is the main river and its main tributaries are Zemu, Lachung, Rangyong, Dikchu, Rongli, Rangpo and Rangit which form the main channel of drainage from the north to the south.
It boasts of the great mount Kanchendzonga as its crown. Ethically Sikkim has mainly three groups of people viz. Nepalis, Bhutias, Lepchas. The local language is Nepali. English is the official language. This jewel- like mountain state of ethereal beauty with an area of 7299 sq. kms , nestles in the heart of Himalayas. Cradled in the manifold splendors of nature deep within the snow clad Himalayas is Sikkim’s capital Gangtok. Wrapped in mists and clouds, a garden state with an incredible variety of rhododendrons & a host of other flowers.
Information and Public Relations Department, Government of Sikkim