Delhi an Enchanting Shooting Location

admin   May 18, 2022

With the Delhi Film Policy – 2022 billed as a game changer in attracting filmmakers from all over the world, Delhi Tourism is at the 75th edition of Cannes Film Festivalto showcase Delhi and its creative potential for filmmakers across the globe. Swati Sharma, Secretary (Tourism) and MD & CEO of Delhi Tourism, discusses the key features of the new policy and Delhi’s enormous potential as aworld-class filming location Meet Delhi Tourism at Stand No 24.01 Palais

What is your major objective at the Cannes Film Market this year?

Delhi Tourism is the nodal agency for facilitating film shootings in Delhi. We have unveiled an innovative and futuristic ‘Delhi Film Policy – 2022’, with the vision to create an enabling environment for inclusive tourism in Delhi. The Policy aims to brand Delhi as a national and international film shooting destination.

The development of an entirely online single window clearance procedure – the e-Film clearance – is the most noticeable element of the Delhi Film Policy. e-Film clearance will make the process of getting approvals easier, faster, more transparent, and more accessible.

Delhi has emerged as the preferred tourist and filmic destination for international and national filmmakers. Everyone is invited to come and shoot in Delhi because of its rich cultural and historic past, archaeological wonders, and stunning locations. And, despite being a contemporary, global city, Delhi has wonderful monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

A muse for creators across the world, the national capital offers new talent, lower production costs and international connectivity. For us, the Festival de Cannes is an opportunity to showcase Delhi and its creative potential for film makers across the globe.

As an exhibitor at the Market in Paris what are you looking for? What is your message to global filmmakers at Cannes (from over 150 countries)?

You are the best storytellers in the world, and Delhi has a multitude of stories worth telling. We are committed to arrived and left an everlasting mark on Delhi, we wish the fraternity of creators at the ‘Festival de Cannes’ explore the Indian Capital. Come and experience Delhi which has uniqueness that helps weave stories linking places and cities culturally together. Films were there, films are there and films will be there. In an increasingly digitized world, we are looking for your esteemed presence in Delhi to shoot films in an excellent environment.

What are the main features of Delhi Film Policy?

The Delhi Film Policy – 2022 aims to promote artistic, creative, and cultural expressions; brand Delhi as a vibrant film shooting destination at national and international levels; build large film audiences; and create a skilled ecosystem in Delhi.

The key feature of the Policy is the e-film clearance (a completely online single window clearance system), which brings together close to 25 agencies on one single platform for giving online approvals for film shootings. These stakeholder agencies are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the shooting locations. When the nation is celebrating the 75 years of India’s independence, Delhi Tourism is celebrating the event by making Ease of Doing Film Business in Delhi hassle-free and contactless.

The Policy also brings with it incentives based on points earned on a scoring system. There are special incentives for foreign productions and sister cities.

Delhi will also be organizing the Delhi International Film Festival (DIFF) annually as a platform to promote Delhi as a preferred filming destination, where film fraternity from across the country and globally will be invited to the Festival.

Delhi would also establish Delhi Film Excellence Awards (DFEA) to acknowledge,honour and celebrate people who contribute to the growth and excellence of Delhi film industry.

Delhi NCR has some of the best locales in the world. What according to you are the advantages of getting a film shot in Delhi?

Delhi has the infrastructure to host filmmakers from India and around the world. Presence of various ranges of hotels and facilities of transport, communication, film shooting equipment, and film processing make Delhi an enchanting shooting location. Trained, multi-skilled, multi-dimensional manpower for cinema is available in Delhi, coupled with relatively low production costs. The Delhi International airport here is one of the top four airports in the world and is capable of handling chartered flights and big international crews. Furthermore, Delhi Tourism facilitates all required permissions and assistance with film production in Delhi.

Many national and international filmmakers have already shot movies such as Jobs, Gandhi, 3 Idiots, Eat Pray Love, and many more, in Delhi in areas such as Connaught Place, famous monuments, and old Delhi alleys.

What are the protocols in place amidst COVID-19? Can filmmakers and producers do a recce and plan for shoot… Are film shoots allowed now for foreign filmmakers?

The Indian government follows world-standard COVID-19 guidelines. As you are aware, the vast majority of India’s population has been immunised with our two vaccinations, and we are fully in control and have effectively controlled the waves. Everyone is welcome to come to Delhi to explore and recce, and we will provide all necessary assistance. Yes, foreign filmmakers are permitted to shoot through the Film Facilitation Office, and Delhi Tourism is prepared to assist them in any way necessary.

Do you have any sops or incentives to offer to foreign film crews? Do they get concessions for staying in hotels?

Yes, in our Delhi Film Policy – 2022, we have kept a special provision for incentives and subsidies, especially with additional benefits for international filmmakers. The incentives make the Delhi Film Policy very appealing in addition to providing the right environment to shoot films. The Delhi Film Card provides additional support to filmmakers for reasonable accommodation facilities, transport, local professional crews along with safety and security and logistical support.

Tell us more about the single window clearance developed under the new policy.

The Delhi Film Policy offers an e-film clearance system (a completely online single window clearance system) through which an applicant can apply for filming permits in Delhi directly. e – Film Clearance would increase transparency, give time-bound approvals, and improve and speed up collaboration between stakeholders and production companies. The goal is to make doing business in the film industry in Delhi easier.

Do you have a panel of line producers on board?

Line producers are one of the key stakeholders that Delhi Tourism is in constant touch with. We are interacting and taking regular input in order to better understand the requirements and streamline the shooting process.

Do you have a mechanism in place for film producers to contact when they face problems during a film shoot?

As the nodal agency, Delhi Tourism will arrange clearances and support the site alongside its stakeholder partners. For on-the-ground support and facilitation, our single window system will give boarding pass type approvals with contact information for the nodal personnel of the respective sites.

What other initiatives do you have in store for the creative industry and filmmakers to engage with the city?

We will work as Partners in Growth with producers with the vision of ‘Get Connected and Get Engaged’. We would assist the producers in exploring and making films in the unparalleled archeology, architecture, and a cosmopolitan canvas, as well as utilizing local talent and filmic resources. Partnerships and connections will be forged with bodies, members and experts belonging to the film fraternity in India and abroad. Thus there will be exchange of ideas and branding of Delhi as an integral part of the Indian and global film family.


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Taapsee’s takes on OTT, Nepotism & Covid

admin   July 6, 2020

I welcome changes. But I am a very old school person where I enjoy watching films in theater with the community, says actress Taapsee Pannu, while talking about OTT and cinema halls at CII Delhi eConclave ‘Building Delhi for a New World’

The film fraternity is together in this (Covid-19) crisis. There are a lot of workers who depend on weekly wages and all of us have decided to take care of them till the time the economy gets back to normal. I believe that when things return to normal, people will flock the theatres again. You can’t replicate the theatre experience with streaming websites, says Taapsee Pannu.

While speaking on nepotism in the film industry, the actress, who is popular pan-India thanks to movies in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, mentions that favouritism, being integral to human nature, will not go out of the industry and we cannot totally get rid of it.

“I also have that urge of going back to work because I’ve never had Monday blues. We don’t have weekend or weekday in our profession. I am finally looking to going to work knowing probably that I will be the last one going to work,” she says, at CII Delhi eConclave ‘Building Delhi for a New World’.

On Covid, the actress says, “We never believed that such a crisis will happen. I guess none of us have prepared for it. We are lucky enough that many of us still survive. But there are so many who have literally hand to mouth existence in terms of not just the labour workers, but people who earn per shoot or per day basis and, and those people I don’t think can survive beyond a few weeks. The industry did come together to raise funds and then help these people out in a lot of ways. Also migrant workers walking back home are painful insights of Covid.”

Talking about OTT and big cinema, Taapse says, “I welcome changes. But I am a very old school person where I enjoy watching films in theater with the community. Rarely do we see people just going alone to watch a film. The experience of going in a big dark hall and focusing all your energy on a huge screen can’t be replicated anywhere else. II was not an ardent OTT viewer before lockdown happened because an average film also will look good to me in a theatre. I enjoy watching films in theatre and really miss that. I have a firm belief that when things get back to the old normal, not the new normal, I think everybody is going to rush to theater to have that experience with all safety norms. OTT platform is good as a temporary fix.”


EFM Landmark: Great Opportunity for Filming in India

admin   January 28, 2020

For the first time, Berline’s European Film Market will host EFM Landmark — a new platform dedicated to bringing together producers and film commissioners under the name “EFM Landmark” (February 24 – 25, 2020). It is a great opportunity for film tourism and location heads in various state government’s across to attract foreign film producers to film in their respective locations.

EFM Landmark gives an opportunity for film commission representatives to make presentations, do business meetings and attract film producers and directors to shoot in their respective film locations. It’s a great opportunity to attract film producers in hosting a happy hour or reception at EFM Landmark.

Matthijs Wouter Knol, EFM Director aUS: “’EFM Landmark’ will add an infrastructure for the growing group of producers at EFM. In addition to visiting film commissioners at the stand where they do their one-on-one meetings during the week, ‘EFM Landmark’ events will help both producers and film commissioners to get a quick overview in two days of what’s cooking, what’s changing, who’s new and where to find unexpected gems that will help them speed up pre-production at the right location and forge collaborations.”

“We are very happy for this collaboration with EFM,” says Truls Kontny, EUFCN President. “For our association and for all European film commissions this collaboration is crucial and it’s a great opportunity to give visibility to our professionals and what they have to offer within their territories. It’s extremely important to have a physical space in such a huge international market where the industry can easily meet all our film commissions and learn more about our activity. Furthermore, this space will be the perfect location to assign our third European Location Award 2019: the award that EUFCN assigns every year to the best European location in a movie or TV series.”

Pickle, India’s only film biz magazine will be bringing out a special feature on — Hotspot: India location guide during Berlinale 2020..For more details email if you have any questions at pickle@pickle.co.in or Call/Whatsapp 91 9884562227 on getting the best value out of EFM Landmark.

At EFM Landmark, film locations boards can not only assist them in their aims for the best locations for their film and drama series projects, but also offer an array of first-hand information regarding financing, co-production and shooting possibilities in the city or region they represent. Over the past 20 years, film commissions have become a key factor in the international film industry.

In 2005, a group of film commissioners devoted to the business of facilitating production activity constituted the European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN). In cooperation with EUFCN, the European Film Market will host a new platform dedicated to bringing together producers and film commissioners under the name “EFM Landmark” (February 24 – 25, 2020).

“EFM Landmark” will offer plenty of options to present new trends, the tax rebates and incentives du jour, as well as changes in co-production funding opportunities and showcases of the best locations for film and drama series to producers looking for the right fit. Additionally, an important aspect of “EFM Landmark” will be a matchmaking service on its two consecutive days.

Two days at EFM landmark will get producers and film director networked with Film Commissioners across the world and search for best place to look for locations for your next script will end here.

EFM Landmark 2020 offers a new platform to international film commissions to present and discuss trends and opportunities for producers from all over the world. Following up and asking for more details to ensure a match is made is crucial to a successful event. EFM Landmark therefore provides an exclusive meeting space for film commissioners and registered producers on 24-25 February in the new Business Lounge in the Gropius Bau.

Events will take place both in and around Gropius Bau, as well as in the Berlin House of Representatives, where the Berlinale Co-Production Market takes place. Like with all other business platforms at EFM, access to “EFM Landmark” is with a Market Badge only.


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THE MEDIA GURU-AMIT KHANNA

admin   December 13, 2019

Early Years: The Rise of a Star

A chance meeting with Star-Filmmaker Dev Anand in 1969 got Amit Khanna involved in films while he was still in college. “Dev Saab must have seen some spark in me. He asked me to manage Nav Ketan’s work in Delhi, which incidentally involved liaison with Government and as well as getting involved with his distribution in Delhi,” he recalls.

His interests in college included theatre, journalism, advertising, radio and TV, which stood him in good stead. He even wrote the dialogues for a couple of scenes in Dev Anand’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna. So when Amit Khanna passed out of the college in 1971, Dev Saab asked him to come to Mumbai and work with him. However, it wasn’t easy for him to take the decision, as “my parents were against my joining films,” he admits. “We had no background. Mostly in my family there were professionals, engineers, doctors and even civil servants. Nobody was in films. They were scared that I have no contacts. Moreover, nobody from St Stephens College preferred to join films at that time,” he adds. But given his fascination for films, the family allowed him to join Dev Saab.

It was a big break for him. “Nobody gets a chance where the top production house or top a star asks some boy from college that you please come and work with me and I am sending your ticket. I flew down to Bombay and on day one went straight to the studio from the airport. There was a car waiting for me there,” Amit Khanna says. Eventually, he got involved in every aspect of filmmaking. “Since I had been writing poetry (in Hindi and English), I ventured into lyrics writing and script writing.”

Talking about his schedule, he says that he was working 18 hours a day seven days a week doing different things. “My age and my educational background aroused a lot of curiosity among film industry and media at the time. Even singers like Lata Ji, Kishore Da, Rafi Saab, Asha Ji and others and other film stalwarts found me a strange mix of a creative person and a business head.”

A Spokesperson of the Industry

In 1976, Amit Khanna turned Producer, and this got him involved in the Film Producers Guild which at that time had only 35 members including veterans like V Shantaram, BR Chopra, and Raj Kapoor, among others. “They told me that you argue a lot but we still need you,” says Amit Khanna. He was the youngest member of the Guild and became its treasurer in 1976 and later its VP and then President. “Since I was articulate, I was a natural choice to be part of all film delegations meeting the Government,” he adds. Over the period, he also developed a strong network with bureaucrats, new parallel cinema directors, and the film festival circuit. He also developed friendships in advertising and corporate circles with almost all the leaders in these fields, and began writing on Industry affairs in various national publications. “During the emergency and post emergency I became the spokesperson of the industry on everything. Officially they would ask me to speak on almost every issue,” he says. He single-handedly pioneered the fight for industry status for films. “I was the first person who arranged the meeting between industry and FICCI.” He also chaired FICCI’s Entertainment and Convergence Committee and was Chairman of CII’s National Committee on M&E.

“I was the first person to take the Indian delegation to Cannes. I had to persuade people like Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai. This is when Devdas was released in 2001. We took a big delegation to Cannes,” Amit Khanna recalls.

Indian M&E’s Soft Power – ‘Get the Focus Right’

Amit Khanna does not mince his words when he speaks about harnessing India’s soft power through the M&E sector. “Let’s not forget, the global Media & Entertainment is a USD 2 trillion Industry while in India we are struggling to reach even USD 30 billion! The G20 countries have a Media & Entertainment sector averaging 3-5 % of GDP while India is at 1%. So much for the soft power and knowledge economy,” he says.

For him it’s time for the government and the industry to get the focus right. “Why are you obsessed with getting foreign guys to come and shoot in India. For that you don’t need a film festival. You need to go to individual countries and market your films. He wants Indian film stars to do more when it comes to showcasing Indian M&E sectors’ soft power. “All the Indian stars with one exception of Amir Khan, who decided that China was a big market and he has nursed that market, other Indian big stars are happy going and getting mobbed by South Asian audience. If you see the audience profiles when Shah Rukh did the David Lettermen show, there were all south Asians sitting there. I would have been happy if he had smattering of 100 people. Indian stars have been honoured in various universities. There are books being written about them. People have done PhDs on Indian cinema, Indian television and Indian stars, but they are all catering to the minority South Asian segment,” he observes.

Digital is the Future of India’s M&E Sector

The future of India’s Media and Entertainment sector lies in digital space, says Media and Entertainment industry veteran Amit Khanna. For him, internet is the ubiquitous currency of our world and connectivity is our lifeline. In this ecosystem these two enablers are leading to monetization of our leisure and increasingly work, he believes.

“Today’s it’s about personalization, privacy and performance. As institutive web (3.0) is replaced by thinking web (Web 4.0), m2m and IoT, it is estimated that Digital Media & Entertainment (inclusive streaming audio, video, broadcast, gaming, Out of Home will account for about 40% of the entire leisure Industry in 2026 totalling to more than USD 1.5 trillion empowering nearly 6 billion people. A similar scene will be repeated in India where out of a total size of 70 billion E&M Industry the digital part will be more than 40 %. This year the digital M& E in India is worth more than the film Industry and will exceed the Print Industry in 3 years and the TV industry later in the next decade,” he says in a recent article.

He also believes that the changing media landscape calls for the craft to evolve afresh. “We can already see more news being accessed through social media sites and apps like twitter and What’s App. Fake news is a temporary blip as AI assisted filters will soon spot manipulated reports and doctored news. In the next few years news breaks will be accompanied by short blurbs on known political and other biases of the source or reporter. Even newspapers and magazines will have to value add to their print versions to survive. A pay per use model has to provide premium service,” he says.

‘Freedom of Expression is Not in Peril’

The industry veteran counts himself amongst those who do not believe that our freedom of expression is in peril. He says that “fear is overstated”.

“It is in every generation. In 70s I have seen censorship during Mrs Gandhi’s time. Even in my book I have mentioned, particularly during Nehru’s time, lot of films were censored and banned; books were also banned. But there was no platform where a person or artist could agitate. There was no social media. National press was not bothered to write about films being banned. No newspaper wrote about cinema except the review. That has now become magnified,” he adds.

Amit Khanna is of the opinion that artists and citizens have to find a voice, and social media and electronic media is helping them find that voice. “But that voice has to be somewhat reasoned. It is not that for the first time things in recent Indian history or independent India have become so bad. During Emergency years anybody could be arrested and threatened and you had to be quiet.”

Regarding censorship in film industry, he says that the government made a rule that liquor bottles could not be shown in films. “They also said that you can’t show blood in films and that’s why the words ‘dishoom dishoom’ came into the films of that era. Then they passed this rule that you can have only 6 action sequences of 90 seconds each in a film.”

Film Facilitation Office – A Step worth Praising

Amit Khanna credits the current Government led by Narendra Modi to have actually opened the film facilitation offices after nearly 40 long years of only talks and no action. “They have only talked but execution has happened now. I hope it is streamlined,” he says.

“The Prime Minister has reformed many sectors of our economy and industry then why not Media & Entertainment? A nation of 1.3 billion people wants options to be informed and entertained in Digital India,” says Amit Khanna, who wishes that “before we celebrate our 75th anniversary of Independence we had a National Media & Entertainment policy framework, which takes into account the rapidly changing world. This is too important a sector to be neglected.”

He also put his views strongly on the “inherent conflict in the role of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and Ministry of Telecommunications & Information Technology”.

“Besides the HRD Ministry handles IPR (Copyright) and Culture Ministry does its sideshow. It’s time we have one omnibus Ministry handling all subjects relating to Media & Entertainment,” he demands.

“We must have a group of experts and not Ministers and bureaucrats working on the future of our web-based content and delivery. Unfortunately, we have half-baked self-styled IT cells headed by vague people.”


Shooting Locales in India – Delhi

admin   July 29, 2019

The capital of India, with its unique historical and cultural heritage, has formed the backdrop of many iconic films. Sprinkled with ruins that exist alongside modern infrastructure, Delhi is undoubtedly a cinematic delight embracing two contrasting worlds. The city is home to three World Heritage sites — Qutub Minar, Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb. Besides availability of new talent, lower production cost, international connectivity and better infrastructure, there are more than 200 locations to shoot at

Initiatives taken by Delhi for promotion of films

  • Delhi Tourism & Transportation Development Corporation Ltd. (DTTDC) is in process of introducing “Single Window Clearance” for filming facility.
  • The state has also made a film manual with details of filming locations, etc.
  • The state organises film events and festival like National School of Drama’s Summer Theatre Festival, Delhi International Arts Festival, Osian’s Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, Cinemala Film Festival and Delhi International Film Festival. The 7th Edition of the DIFF held between 14-18 October 2018, was hugely successful with 194 films from 56 countries being screened and about 100 works of art displayed at the art show. This year the festival will be held between 2-7 December 2019 in Central Park and NDMC Convention Centre, Connaught Place.

Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation along with Government of Delhi has been working towards making the Capital a film friendly city. Apart from coordinating with the various stakeholder agencies on a regular basis, the corporation also has a dedicated page on the website to guide the filmmakers on numerous locations and facilities available in the city.

What Delhi provides is the potent canvas for effective & emotive storytelling and the logistical support required to facilitate the process of narrating the story. The infrastructure that Delhi offers includes hotels, transport, communication, film shooting equipment and film processing. Delhi’s IGI Airport ranks No.1 in the world when it comes to service quality and is capable handling chartered flights.The city has much to celebrate as it has already reached the milestone of completing 100 years as a capital. Delhi is bounded by four states namely Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab that have a strong influence on the lifestyle of Delhi. It is a cosmopolitan city where people are open to embracing new ideas and life style. People from all parts of the country live here. All major festivals of India are celebrated and the Unity in Diversity is evident in social and cultural gatherings.

Shooting Locales

India Gate

Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

Red Fort

Agrasen Ki Baoli

Chandni Chowk

Humayun’s Tomb`

Jama Masjid Complex

Connaught Place

Qutb Minar

Hauz Khas

Chandni Chowk

Dilli Haat

For More Information Contact
Sudhir Sobti,
Chief Manager (Public Relations, Film Facilitation & Publicity), Delhi Tourism & Transportation Development Corporation Ltd.
Tel: 9810422633
Email: sudhirdelhitourism@gmail.com
State Website: http://www.delhitourism.gov.in/delhitourism/index.jsp