Welcome to India!

admin   May 18, 2022

As India emerges from the global pandemic, the red carpet has been rolled out for the global filmmaking community, while ensuring that all safety protocols are in place, and permissions processes have been further simplified under the Ease of Doing Business policy to make filmmaking a beautiful experience in the world’s largest filmmaking country.

As it prepares to face the challenges of a post-Covid world, India, the world’s largest filmmaking country, is once again rolling out the red carpet for the global filmmaking community to explore the beauty of filming in India.

The importance of original content creation cannot be overstated as India embarks on a journey to build a robust ecosystem that fosters talent and growth. Today, thanks to technological advancements, good content knows no geographical boundaries, and to make filming in India a memorable experience, the Government of India has ensured a smooth process for filmmakers.

“India is a very old civilisation. With a diversity of cultures and languages, we have a lot of stories to offer to the world. Today we feel that India can be the content hub of the world with these stories. The epics of Ramayan and Mahabharat have been a major source of inspiration for various aspects of human life over the centuries, and the fables in these stories offer lessons to humanity in many ways,” says Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports.

Established in 2016, the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) of the Ministry of I&B, Government of India, is housed under the aegis of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). Its web portal https://ffo.gov.in/en is India’s single window clearance and facilitation mechanism for international feature films, reality TV &, web series, commercial TV serials/shows and web shows/series that film in India.

As a result of some serious efforts put in by FFO, as many as 138 international projects (Feature Films, TV/Web shows and series) from across 33 countries have been accorded permissions to film in India. Out of these, 13 projects were granted official co-production status by the Ministry of I& B.

India has co-production and bilateral agreements with around 30 countries across the world.

The government has also introduced a separate category of Visa called Film (F) Visa, which is valid for one year, with multiple entry facility. It has simplified entry of international filmmakers, cast & crew to film in India. It has been subsequently modified to include web shows/series and location recce for foreign filmmakers. Since 2016, over 1265 F Visas have been issued.

“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.

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.

As the government has become an important stakeholder in the film ecosystem in India, the establishment of FFO has ensured that the processes of permissions and other support services become much faster and streamlined in India.

In 2021, FFO’s mandate has been expanded to include creation of an ecosystem to facilitate various approvals and clearances required in setting up of theatres and execution of events by event management agencies at State and National level.

The Film Facilitation Office has emerged as the one-stop solution for filming needs of producers in India and abroad. It has helped almost 138 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.

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.

Recently, the FFO has implemented certain modifications in its web portal, which will further ensure ease of filming in India. These modifications include simplification of the application form to make it more user friendly for both domestic and international projects. A Document checklist is also being made available in the applicant’s dashboard to enable the applicant to be prepared with all the required documents that needs to be uploaded as a part of the application.

Incentive Tracking Mechanism has also been executed on the portal. It allows applicants to fill in a form to enable the FFO track the status of disbursement of the incentive from the State Governments, on behalf of the applicant.

FFO has also put in place a shooting permission redressal / resolution mechanism. A form filled in by the applicant allows the FFO to intervene on behalf of the applicants and ensure the filming process is smooth and easy.

FFO: Adding Value to India’s Economy

The Film Facilitation Office (FFO) of the Ministry of I&B has added INR412.49 crores in terms of economic value through facilitation of permissions since FY 2016-17. As of today, out of the 138 international projects, 82 have completed shooting in India; data on money spent was received informally from 69 projects that shows approximately INR412.49 crores has been spent in India by these 69 projects. Moreover, over 29,000 people were employed directly or indirectly in these productions.

As part emphasis on ease of doing business, integration of FFO and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) web portals has enabled a filmmaker to apply and get filming permission in ASI owned monuments through the FFO. This is a step towards creating a single window ecosystem for filming across various heritage sites/monuments. FFO has also integrated its website with the Ministry of Railways to create an online application system. Domestic and International filmmakers can now apply for filming in areas under the Railway’s jurisdiction across India, through FFO portal.


INDIA Welcomes You

admin   May 18, 2022

As India emerges from the global pandemic, the red carpet has been rolled out for the global filmmaking community, while ensuring that all safety protocols are in place, and permissions processes have been further simplified under the Ease of Doing Business policy to make filmmaking a beautiful experience in the world’s largest filmmaking country

As it prepares to face the challenges of a post-Covid world, India, the world’s largest filmmaking country, is once again rolling out the red carpet for the global filmmaking community to explore the beauty of filming in India.

The importance of original content creation cannot be overstated as India embarks on a journey to build a robust ecosystem that fosters talent and growth. Today, thanks to technological advancements, good content knows no geographical boundaries, and to make filming in India a memorable experience, the Government of India has ensured a smooth process for filmmakers.

India is a very old civilisation. With a diversity of cultures and languages, we have a lot of stories to offer to the world. Today we feel that India can be the content hub of the world with these stories. The epics of Ramayan and Mahabharat have been a major source of inspiration for various aspects of human life over the centuries, and the fables in these stories offer lessons to humanity in many ways,” says Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports.

Established in 2016, the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) of the Ministry of I&B, Government of India, is housed under the aegis of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). Its web portal https://ffo.gov.in/en is India’s single window clearance and facilitation mechanism for international feature films, reality TV &, web series, commercial TV serials/shows and web shows/series that film in India

India is a very old civilization. With a diversity of cultures and languages, we have a lot of stories to offer to the world. Today we feel that India can be the content hub of the world with these stories

As a result of some serious efforts put in by FFO, as many as 138 international projects (Feature Films, TV/Web shows and series) from across 33 countries have been accorded permissions to film in India. Out of these, 13 projects were granted official co-production status by the Ministry of I& B. India has co-production and bilateral agreements with around 15 countries across the world. The government has also introduced a separate category of Visa called Film (F) Visa, which is valid for one year, with multiple entry facility. It has simplified entry of international filmmakers, cast & crew to film in India. It has been subsequently modified to include web shows/series and location recce for foreign filmmakers. Since 2016, over 1265 F Visas have been issued.

“Under the Government’s ease of doing business initiative, the FFO is the single window which assists in obtaining filming permissions. In this AzadiKaAmritMahotsav 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.

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.

As the government has become an important stakeholder in the film ecosystem in India, the establishment of FFO has ensured that the processes of permissions and other support services become much faster and streamlined in India.

Under the Government’s ease of doing business initiative, the FFO is the single window which assists in obtaining filming permissions. We invite filmmakers to shoot in India, from the mighty Himalayas in the North to the scenic temples and beaches of Mahabalipuram

In 2021, FFO’s mandate has been expanded to include creation of an ecosystem to facilitate various approvals and clearances required in setting up of theatres and execution of events by event management agencies at State and National level.

“The Film Facilitation Office has emerged as the one-stop solution for filming needs of producers in India and abroad. It has helped almost 138 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.

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.

Welcoming the global filmmaking community to explore “the beauty of filming in India”, Neerja Sekhar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, said, “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 been working on the policy of Ease of Doing Filming in India.

We are in the process of integrating with various State Governments and agencies, so that filmmakers can devote their entire time for creative pursuits and putting things together for shooting and filming rather than going from one office to another to apply for permissions.”

“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.

Recently, the FFO has implemented certain modifications in its web portal, which will further ensure ease of filming in India. These modifications include simplification of the application form to make it more user friendly for both domestic and international projects. A Document checklist is also being made available in the applicant’s dashboard to enable the applicant to be prepared with all the required documents that needs to be uploaded as a part of the application.

Incentive Tracking Mechanism has also been executed on the portal. It allows applicants to fill in a form to enable the FFO track the status of disbursement of the incentive from the State Governments, on behalf of the applicant.

FFO has also put in place a shooting permission redressal / resolution mechanism. A form filled in by the applicant allows the FFO to intervene on behalf of the applicants and ensure the filming process is smooth and easy.


Featured Post

The Path finder: Jyoti Deshpande

admin   May 18, 2022

As a keen observer and enabler of change in the Indian M&E sector for nearly three decades, Media Veteran Jyoti Deshpande, CEO, Viacom18, President – Jio Studios and Co-Chair, FICCI Media & Entertainment has her task cut out for herself in a postpandemic world dominated by new challenges. Deshpande expresses her gratitude for making India the country of honour at the 75th Cannes Film Festival as the country commemorates its 75th year of Independence, and she outlines her key priorities and grand vision for assisting the Indian M&E sector in its journey to becoming a $100 billion industry

Jyoti Deshpande

Jyoti Deshpande is an industry veteran with over 3 decades of experience in the media and entertainment business. On September 30, 2021, Jyoti was appointed as CEO of Viacom18 to drive its transition into a truly integrated media company across broadcast, OTT and content studio businesses spanning general entertainment, movies, kids and sports across languages. This makes her the first woman leader to be named CEO of a Big 4 media company in India. She also serves on the boards of Network18, Balaji Telefilms and JioSaavn. Jyoti joined Reliance Industries in 2018 as President, Chairman’s Office – Media Platform & Content. Over the last four years, Jyoti established Jio Studios as a key player in the entertainment value chain. In her previous company, Jyoti had successfully built a formidable media & content distribution business and pioneered ErosNow’s early entry into the OTT space. In her new role, Jyoti will grow Viacom18 in the backdrop of digital disruption while bringing synergies across all RIL media investments. An industry captain, Jyoti also serves as the Co- Chair, Media & Entertainment Committee, FICCI, again the first woman leader to hold this position. She has featured among Fortune India as well as Business Today’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business lists, both of which celebrate the journeys and triumphs of women who not only impact their organization but are also thought leaders in their industry. Jyoti believes in the power of positive thinking and practices Vipassana meditation. She’s an avid movie buff and equally follows cricket and tennis passionately.

Congratulations on acquiring a new leadership role as the co-chair of FICCI M&E Board. As you have witnessed the rise of M&E at close quarters for three decades, how do you see M&E evolving in postpandemic world? What is your major objective in terms of pushing the growth of the Indian M&E industry in near future?

Thank you. It has been my good fortune to be part of a paradigm shift in the M&E industry for almost three eventful decades— from the analogue to digital era in the nineties, to the proliferation of the mobile internet driven by the Jio revolution, to the subsequent digital/OTT explosion and now looking curiously ahead at a life in the Metaverse.

The pandemic has definitely pushed more households to accelerate digital adoption, be it for education or entertainment. Multi-device platform agnostic consumption of content (and therefore data) is here to stay. It would be safe to say that the change is permanent. The only constant is that technological advancements continue to increase the relevance, importance and demand for content and story tellers. During pandemic, TV became connected and interactive; films released online; news went hyper-local; 390 million Indians gamed online; and over 150 billon songs were streamed. Besides, subscriptions of OTT scaled to 40 million households, and digital media cemented its position as the second largest segment of Indian M&E. Our M&E sector should reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022 itself.

My major objective would be to work with the government and the Indian M&E industry champions to ensure that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole and we have a sustainable path to becoming a $100 billion industry which is currently less than $20 billion in size. This has been our dream for a while, as we straddle changing dynamics of traditional and new media, in the
backdrop of a complex regulatory environment.

Indian media and entertainment sector’s positioning at Dubai Expo later this month is one of the first physical global outings for the M&E sector since the start of the pandemic. What is the message we will be conveying to the world?

India’s message to the world is that the digital era has made it a level playing field and India is no longer playing catch up. We are well on our way to becoming the largest credible marketplace in the world with over 800 million internet users and over 600 million upwardly mobile middle class which is larger than the population of most developed countries. This is a consumer wallet no brand or service can ignore. With consolidation in the Indian M&E sector, our message to global companies in the media value chain is that we are open for business and strategic collaborations to spoil the Indian consumer for choice and tap arguably the most lucrative market in the world.

Post pandemic, various verticals of the M&E sector (TV, Film, OTT, AV GC, Radio) have strengths, status quo, weaknesses… some have more growth pointers than others… how do you view it?

India is unique in the sense that it feels like several diverse countries lie within this one great nation. We still have more than 300 million internet dark households who we are targeting to convert through 4G/5G. Only about 66% of households own a television set in India. As the top end of the urban mass and rural rich households pivot to a more digital multi-device multi-platform content consumption pattern, and cord cutting begins, I firmly believe that there is still headroom for new households to come into play in both traditional and new media in what is a rapidly developing nation of young people. Cinema and Print have been hardest hit in the pandemic while digital has been the biggest beneficiary.

As consumption explodes across media, moot question remains on the ability to drive up subscription ARPU and persuade the Indian consumer to part with a share of wallet by building a compelling value proposition. Ad ex has grown by close to 40% in the last year surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Monetization is still largely dependent on measurement metrics which may or may not be updated frequently enough to effectively and/or accurately reflect the rapidly changing consumption patterns. Again, this is an area where industry leaders and government can play a pivotal role. Transparency in monitoring and measurement with common currency within the remit of consumer data privacy can really help attract more dollars to the Indian M&E sector. Tax credits to encourage
shooting across various states in India can be another incentive.

The Indian Cinema industry is currently facing its biggest growth challenge. Since you have immersed yourself in this space, especially when it comes to increasing its global footprint, what steps can we take to increase India’s exports in the M&E space?

Even before the pandemic began, the Indian film industry was suffering from under-penetration of cinemas with only six screens available per million people compared to 125 in the US. The situation has turned worse with the shutting down of single screens during the pandemic. Despite highest number of tickets sold as well as the largest number of movies produced across languages (2000+) annually, low ATP or average ticket prices, have historically plagued our market. I do believe that India will now see production of ‘larger than life’ visual spectacles that will first cross over pan nationally before crossing over to the world. The visual medium is largely becoming language agnostic where audiences are willing to consume compelling content in dubbed or subtitled versions. There are more than 75 countries that regularly consume Indian content. A framework for viable cross collaborations between Indian and international talent, stateof- the-art production values where cost is supported by commensurate tax breaks and mainstream distribution and marketing of the same is what is needed to export our stories to the world.

How can we capitalize on our 2,000+ films, 800 TV channels, 50 OTT platforms, 650 million smart phones, and 400 million gamers to grow further? Is it enough to take Indian M&E sector to reach its $100 billion growth target? With $10 trillion Indian economy envisioned in 2030, can audiovisual sector has the potential to achieve 2% share in the economy going forward?

This is indeed a solid foundation to build a path to the $100 billion goal. While consumption grows in geometric progression, we need to work together to weave a framework for monetization that is robust and sustainable, be it directly from consumer wallet or from advertising. Our stories have to be relevant and entertaining to a global audience. Again, the key competitive advantage India will have is that the traditional parts of the media value chain will not decline as fast as it happened in developed countries while the new media will grow just as fast. The US M&E sector is 5-7% of their GDP in any given year so there is no reason why we cannot achieve 2% of the GDP in the next 3-5 years.

India is celebrating 75 years of its Independence in 2022. What is your vision for the Indian M&E sector in the next 10 years?

Ten years from now, the Indian M&E sector should be at least 5% of our GDP. The Indian M&E market should have driven up ARPU on the back of prolific consumption to be a top three market globally competing with US and China. ‘Make in India and Show the World’ mantra driven by Indian storytellers and tech companies would unleash the true power of the Indian Mythoverse into the Metaverse. Technologies change, distribution platforms change, devices change, operating systems change – what never changes is the demand for content, the demand for a compelling story and a talented storyteller. The next 10 years will see a large crop of young story-tellers crossing over globally.

How do we create a startup ecosystem, providing new canvasses – like the Metaverse– bringing stories to life in new forms?

Technological advancements, education, training and development and large-scale production and postproduction facilities are the need of the hour. Many traditional story tellers even today do not understand the power and possibilities of basic VFX, let alone the Metaverse. Creators are only limited by their own imagination. Institutionalization and democratization are required so that India and Indian story telling can play to scale.

There is a growing concern for ethics and morality of technologically driven advancements in the digital media space…How do we tackle this?

Ethics is too vast a topic to be straddled in a short answer. It can cover something as basic as parameters for censorship across different platforms like Cinema, TV or OTT, to something as complex as data privacy of a consumer who leaves a digital footprint with every click, to the unexplored use cases in the Metaverse and what it may do to our moral fibre or our mental health, especially of young India. What should be policed and what shouldn’t? How can governments have a nimble intuitive regulatory framework that is effective for consumer protection as well as not detrimental to business? Another topic worth discussion is the M&E sectors responsibility towards the issue of sustainability. We haven’t even scratched the tip of the iceberg here.

To make ‘Make in India, Show the World’ successful, we need to have a mechanism for our IPs created out of India. What are your thoughts on this issue?

Of course, protection of copyright is a pivotal spoke of the flywheel. It is estimated that last year India recorded over 6.5 billion visits to piracy websites, third highest in the world after US and Russia. As the various windows of exploitation collapse to offer consumers the ultimate choice to legitimately watch what they want when they want it, on the one hand we will need to work with the government to enforce stronger consequences to piracy that are effective deterrents and on the other hand we need to create technological barriers to piracy with further advancements.

Nearly 120 million Indian women—more than double the population of South Korea—do not participate in the workforce despite having secondary level education. Does the media sector provide outlets for them?

Once again this is a vast topic and one that is close to my heart. As per the Global Gender Gap Report 2021 published by the World Economic Forum, India is ranked at 140 out of 156 countries with a score of 0.625 (out of 1). Why girls in India don’t enter the workforce after being neck and neck with boys in education, why women drop out of the workforce midway through their career? While some of it is voluntary choice made by the women themselves, some of it is circumstantially thrust upon them due to deep-rooted cultural biases that continuously reinforce stereotypes. For this to change, men must equally be included in the conversation about women empowerment, and there needs to be a seismic cultural shift in the attitude towards preconceived notions and role definitions of men and women at home and at work.

I already see this happening due to greater exposure and awareness driven by the social media explosion. Starting with a bank account and financial independence sought by women. Winds of change have set in motion slowly but surely. The media and entertainment sector has seen a systematic increase in women workforce in the last several years. There are still only a handful of us at the leadership levels in M&E, but it’s surely growing. Women leaders in this sector (and others) are rigorously mentoring other women on merits and paying it forward to give this movement the momentum it desperately needs, as I am doing in my own organization.


Come, Discover India’s Eternal Beauty

admin   May 18, 2022

India gives filmmakers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to shoot snow, desert storm, and rain all at once. This vast landmass is also home to a diverse population of people of various faiths, castes, and creeds. It is a truly multilingual and multi-ethnic country that provides an excellent backdrop for a filmmaker and scriptwriter to paint their stories with various hues and colours

The Indian subcontinent’s topography is unique. On one side you have mighty Himalayas in the lot from Hindu Kush, and in the south-west the subcontinent stretches to Malabar coast, Western and Eastern ghats—the two long coastlines in this peninsula along the Arabian Sea and also Bay of Bengal which seamlessly mingle with Indian Ocean. India has lush green Gangetic plain and many hill tracks and meandering valleys in between. The country’s river system with rivers like Ganga, Brahmaputra, Krishna and Kaveri is the hotspot of all kinds of cultural activities. Then the country has the largest mangrove forest in the world shared both by India and Bangladesh. When you go to Rajasthan, you find desert, which mingles with the Rann of Kutch, a large area of salt marshes that span the border between India and Pakistan. India’s natural beauty is absolutely unbelievable.

When you look at the climate, you have sub-zero temperatures and somewhere in between you find very warm country and also Monsoon. It gives a unique opportunity to filmmakers to shoot snow, Desert Storm, and rain, all in one go. This huge landmass is also inhabited by a vast population from different faiths, caste and creed. It is truly multilingual and multi-ethnic country that offers a great landscape to a filmmaker and the scriptwriter to paint their stories with different hues and colours.

In 2021, FFO’s mandate has been expa nded to include creat ion of an ecosystem to facilitate various approvals and clearances required in setting up of theatres and execut ion of events by event management age ncies at State and National level.


Top Filming Destinations of India

admin   May 18, 2022

SIKKIM

Adjudged the ‘Most Film Friendly State’ of India in 2019 at the recently-concluded 67th National Film Awards, Sikkim offers picturesque locations like Yumthang Valley, Lachung, Gnathang Valley, numerous Buddhist monasteries and pristine glacial lakes that make for a perfect place to shoot a film. The small Himalayan state with its mesmerizing natural splendors coupled with an investor-friendly policy to make the work of filmmakers easy is extremely alluring.

With its own brief history of cinema, attracting prominent filmmakers like Satyajit Ray and Dev Anand, Sikkim has made several attractive provisions to have a friendly film shooting environment for the producers and directors and also for the local filmmakers. The state is also working towards setting up a film city. Over the past few years, the state, especially the picturesque northern district, has served as the perfect backdrop of several Bollywood films and many regional films.

On the policy front, Sikkim offers all permits/permissions and paperwork through a single window system. The state government has also identified, catalogued and developed promising potential shooting locations, which have aesthetic and cinematic appeal.

MADHYA PRADESH

Winner of Indian government’s national award for the Most Film Friendly State in 2017, the ‘heart of India’, Madhya Pradesh, offers a wide variety of locales, eliminating the role of a set designer. From famous forts, marble rocks of Bheraghat, to the green hills of Pachmarhi, the options are rich and many. The temples of Khajuraho are UNESCO world heritage sites.

The state has made considerable efforts towards easing filming in the state by creating a well-structured website, film friendly infrastructure, offering incentives, maintaining databases, undertaking marketing and promotional initiatives.

Initiatives taken by state for simplification of film production include appointment of Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) as the nodal agency for film shooting clearance, incentives and subsidies in the state. The tourism department also coordinates with other departments to obtain legal mandatory permissions needed for producers. MPSTDC offers discounts at state owned hotels and free of charge shooting at selected locations. The state also offers capital investment subsidy ranging from Rs 3-5 crores for creation of infrastructure along with installation of equipment to establish film studio, film making, museum, aquarium, and theme parks.

KARNATAKA

This state has the Silicon City of India and a whole array of health spas. A range of architecture depicted through its palaces, temples, mausoleums, monuments and ruins. Sanctuaries, national parks and waterfalls, along with endless beaches, scenic hills and modern cityscapes are abundant here.
The state has come up with the Karnataka Animation Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics Policy (KAVGC) 2017-2022 that addresses skill development, infrastructure growth, ecosystem expansion, marketing support as well as financial concessions and incentives.

The policy has been promoting exports by attracting global production, while at the same time providing impetus to indigenous productions in terms of original IP and short films and start-ups in areas such as game development, virtual reality, augmented reality and educational technology.

In terms of infrastructure, the state is committed to set up a world-class AVGC infrastructure. Karnataka has launched India’s first centre of excellence for AVGC fully equipped with a post-production lab (comprising an incubator, game testing facilities, render farm, etc.) and state-of-the-art equipment.

Home to excellent shooting locales such as Bangalore, Coorg, Gangavathi, Udupi, Badami Caves and Balmuri Falls,among others, the state has been promoting filmmaking through organisation of Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFESl), Innovative International Film Festival, Abstract Synergies International Short Film Festival and Karnataka State Film Awards.

TAMIL NADU

Tamil Nadu has a lot on its platter to offer. While the green fields of Pollachi, heavenly falls of Hogenakkal or the misty magic of Ooty and Kodaikanal offer a visual treat to the eyes, the temples of Madurai, or the beaches of Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari take one to a different world altogether.

Committed to provide world-class film production infrastructure, the state government has upgraded infrastructure at the M.G.R. Film City by setting up an animation and visual effects studio, renovating dubbing theatres, constructing hostels, etc.

The incentives offered by Tamil Nadu include grant of subsidy of Rs. 7 lakhs to quality low-budget Tamil films with social commitment; film awards to the best Tamil feature films, best actors, best actresses and technicians to encourage the Tamil Film Industry; another special prize of Rs. 1.25 lakh, along with a memento and a certificate is awarded to a Tamil film which portrays the dignity of women; a five sovereign gold pendant, a memento and a certificate are presented to the best actors, actresses and technicians.

Awards are also given to Best Dubbing Artistes (both male and female), Best Character Artistes (both male and female), Best Comedy Artistes (both male and female). The artistes appearing in television programmes are also honoured. Small Screen Awards are presented every year to Best Tele Serial, actors, actresses and technicians too.

HIMACHAL PRADESH

From hills to mountains, capped by snowy peaks; punctuated by passes and glaciers, Himachal Pradesh has an abundance of parks, rich with flora and fauna and regions that experience temperature extremes. Himachal Pradesh had always been a popular destination for film industry and had been attracting film makers for the last six decades. Himachal has several scenic locations which are ideal to the film makers especially in the remote belts and the government is making all-out efforts to develop these sites to facilitate the tourists and film makers.

Incentives offered by Himachal Pradesh include 100% tax exemption to films shot in the state; Rs. 10 lakhs provided to interested film makers who can work in the folk dialects of Himachal and Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu and English languages. This includes documentaries of more than 26 minutes and animation films of more than 10 minutes; complimentary facilities and rebates extended to film makers availing government facilities like accommodation, transportation and equipment.

Familiarization (FAM) tours for foreign filmmakers is also be facilitated by the support of the state government.

To promote Himachal Pradesh as a major destination for promoting film making, a film tourism policy is on the anvil. The government is also exploring possibilities of setting up of film studio in the state for promoting film tourism. Organising Film events and festivals like International Film Festival of Shimla, Free Spirit Film Festival – Dharamshala and Dharamshala International Film Festival.

JAMMU AND KASHMIR

Jammu and Kashmir has been a paradise for film shooting for its mesmerizing natural beauty and unparalleled scenic landscapes. The entertainment industry in Jammu and Kashmir took a beating in the past couple of decades despite having a great potential to become a world class film shooting destination, but all that is changing now with government focusing on the revival of cinema halls and developing infrastructure for multiple kinds of entertainment. Besides security, which the government is taking care of, common pre and post production facilities like small studios are also being planned in the state so that low budget films can also be shot in Jammu and Kashmir.

The initiatives taken by the state also include Single window clearance system for granting permission for shooting films within seven days in Kashmir; promoting filming location through a Film Tourism Promotion Committee; waiver of taxes for films shot in the state; and organising film events and festivals like Kashmir World Film Festival, Kashmir International Film Festival, Jammu and Kashmir Festival.

Since M&E sector has a natural potential for the state, the government is planning a mini film city that would have world-class film production infrastructure, and would actually anchor filmmakers and provide them a single touch point from where all their issues will be resolved.


Discover the Joy of Filming in India

admin   May 18, 2022

India now provides a high-quality, turnkey solution to foreign productions. Because of proactive measures taken by the Government of India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, an entire ecosystem awaits foreign productions in India, say leading producers of India who have made India proud by undertaking and successfully implementing some of the most prestigious co-production projects in India

India now offers a high quality, end to end solution to foreign productions. An entire ecosystem awaits foreign productions in India, thanks to proactive measures by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India. India’s diversity allows a filmmaker to tell both India focused and global stories from here. A rural South African exterior or urban London office interior can be recreated right here with equal expertise and ease. As India prepares to bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, renowned film producers who have successfully implemented many international projects in thecountry are hopeful that things would get better in India with production activities attaining the pre-COVID levels aided by enabling film policies, safety protocols being strictly implemented and norms for filming in India further eased to transform foreign producers’ vision to reality.

Alan McAlex
Co-founder, Jar Pictures

With diverse experience in film production, Alan McAlex formed Jar Pictures in 2011 with Ajay G Rai. Together they have been producing commercial and arthouse films. Killa, that opened at the 64th Berlinale in 2015, winning the Crystal Bear; Liar’s Dice, that opened at Sundance and was India’s official submission to the 87th Academy Awards in 2015; and Moothon that opened at TIFF in 2019, are a few titles from their oeuvre.

As a part of Alan’s several individual projects as an Executive Producer, he has worked on Dangal, which was the highest grossing Indian film, as well as the Amazon series Made in Heaven.
In 2019, Alan initiated Production Scope, a company focusing only on production services that started off with A Suitable Boy, a BBC mini-series adapted from author Vikram Seth’s eponymous book, directed by Mira Nair, for which Alan was the co-producer.

Here is what Alan has to say about his experiences of filming in India:

Experience of filming Mira Nair’s Suitable Boy

Every single shot was filmed in India on location. We didn’t create any period sets in studios. That was Mira’s vision- she wanted the look to be as authentic as possible, depicting post-independence India in the series. As a co-producer, I strive to ensure that the Director’s vision is implemented on screen. For A Suitable Boy, we scouted every nook and corner of the historic cities of Lucknow, Kanpur and Maheshwar. We also shot in smaller towns and villages in and around these cities such as Kakori, Mahmudabad etc.

It was amazing to experience the rich heritage of India while shooting at these locations. We shot in several interesting places -tanneries in Kanpur, palaces in Lucknow, forts in Maheshwar. I was quite mesmerized by the beauty of these locations. Every location we shot in had such an interesting history and story attached to it.

Lucknow also had a rich collection of vintage cars that were an extremely important part of creating the 1950s’ visual experience on screen. We didn’t realize it at first, but these cars were very popular. On days when we shot with the cars, we had huge crowds gather just to see these cars. Our crew also enjoyed posing with these cars when they weren’t filming.

How has India’s outlook changed vis-a-vis foreign productions

In recent times, when foreign producers look at India, they see much more than a country where they shoot one offs such as a Gandhi or a Slumdog Millionaire, in which the script requires a film to be shot here.

India now offers an entire ecosystem for foreign productions. India’s diversity allows a filmmaker to tell both India focused and global stories from here. We are able to recreate say a rural South African exterior, or urban London office interior right here.

Productions are also more attracted to India because the overall risk of filming here has gone down significantly. With the formation of the FFO, we have a one-stop-shop to obtain clearances and support. We’ve always been a cost-effective destination for production and now there’s an abundance of talent and skilled professionals in our industry as well. We also have superb post-production and VFX capabilities. India now offers a high quality, end to end solution to foreign productions.

Advantage India for filming in the aftermath of pandemic

Efforts of the government and vigilance of the people have helped keep fatality rate relatively low. Things will slowly but surely get back to pre-pandemic levels. As long as we’re vigilant and keep flattening the curve, filmmakers will be more confident about shooting in India. We have a cost advantage which definitely gives us an upper hand in these difficult financial times. In the long term, India will certainly be back as one of the top destinations of choice for filmmakers.

Projects in Pipeline

We’re already planning several projects. These are a mix of international and domestic projects. There are several companies that offer COVID safety protocols that are at par or even exceed global practices. It’s quite amazing to see the market react such quickly to offer these solutions.

Visible changes after the formation of Film Facilitation Office

When it comes to international productions helmed by companies here in India, the onus to deliver all expectations smoothly is on us and that includes visas for the foreign crew, shoot permissions, initial project clearance formalities with Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to name a few. FFO has been the singular point for all these crucial parts and speed up the process, right from liaising with the visa office to sanctioning permissions for filming in desired regions of the country. Once we have these clearances we can seek local authorities’ permissions for the respective locations.

Thoughts on Co-production Treaties

Co-production treaties are extremely helpful in creating the right incentives for filmmakers to shoot in India. Having foreign films made in India helps promote the local economy and tourism in the country. It’s a win-win situation.

We already have treaties with 15 countries, but it would be nicer to have more, because nowadays, film making is an exceedingly global endeavor. In addition to co-productions, production services is also an area that the government can look at for incentivization. In my experience, sometimes the incentives, especially the State/local ones, are limited to feature films. With the advent of digital platforms, there is an opportunity to expand those incentives to web series as well.

All in all, we’re on the right track and I am confident we’ll get better and it will definitely be advantage India!

Dileep Singh Rahtore
CEO and Co-founder, On The Road Production

Born and raised in Rajasthan, Dileep Singh Rahtore is highly regarded as a production expert in the Indian and South Asian region with over 20 years of experience facilitating international feature projects, award winning documentaries, commercials and high-end photography projects for American, European and Asian studios and production companies.

Dileep’s experience as Producer/Line Producer extends throughout South Asia and has filmed in Russia, France and USA. Some of his feature credits include Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, The Way Back, Blood Diamond, Hexe Lilli, Eight Miles High among others.

Here is what Dileep has to say about his experiences of filming in India:

Experience of filming Tenet and The Dark Knight in India

The Dark Knight was shot in Jodhpur and the film required a very different kind of location. So we had to prepare the backdrop of Mehrangarh because of the filming requirements. To shoot the film, we had to completely shut down the entry to the Fort for tourist visits for the whole day. We had to make a special arrangement with the royal family of Jodhpur. We would shoot the film during day and open the fort for the public during night. We shot there for 6 to 7 days and then achieved what Mr Nolan wanted to.

Similarly, for Tenet it was very challenging to shoot here in Mumbai. Without the support of the Maharashtra government we could not have achieved what we did. The government got us all the permits for shooting at a landmark location like Gateway of India. We had a huge crew of over 1,500 people and a part of the Gateway of India was frozen.

We cordoned off the area with the help of the transport department that diverted the traffic and we finished the shooting without any issue. The building where we were shooting was a high rise building and to light around 40 buildings around for a fortnight to shoot an action sequence was a mammoth task that was accomplished with the help of the state government, local crew and our international technicians. Mr Nolan left India on a very positive note.

How has India’s outlook changed vis-avis foreign productions

Some of the major changes include the ways the government supports the industry. There has been a significant change in the government mindset and now they are more forthcoming in inviting international filmmakers to come and shoot in India. Earlier, government officials were quiet skeptical and used to be very critical about film productions. Even the Information and Broadcasting Ministry permissions used to take anywhere between 6 to 14 weeks and we had to make many rounds to Delhi. But now the production process has really eased off with the government taking it very positively.

Also, earlier we used to bring a lot of crew from abroad as the local crew was not very efficient. But now any international company brings only the key members while the rest of the crew is sourced from India itself. Also, they used to come with a lot of equipment. There used to be a ‘J-Visa’ for filmakers and crew that was complicated and confusing because the J-Visa was mainly for journalistic work in India. Also, the visa process was time consuming. Now the government has introduced a new category of visa called Film Visa which is very easy to get and the process is quite transparent.

Visible changes after the formation of Film Facilitation Office

The government set up the Film Facilitation Office as an example to give foreign filmmakers confidence that they can come and shoot in India. The role of Film Facilitation Office has been very important as they did all the heavy lifting and worked as hard as us when we were shooting for Tenet. The FFO helped us get all the permissions, whether it was from the Aviation Ministry, Defense Ministry or Information and Broadcasting Ministry. They were working very closely with us shoulder to shoulder. They also played a key role in making all the right introductions and coordinated with the state government to get all the clearances.

Three things that attract global productions to India

The first is story, the second is locations and the third most important thing is the dollar value, as shooting as also the skill set in India is a lot cheaper than many other countries. We can build a lot of sets at cheaper, rates. The day India becomes as expensive as any other place, fewer people would come to shoot here. They will only come if the story is related with India or
for an interesting location.

Thoughts on incentivize filming and Co-production Treaties

The incentive plan is not there yet but talks are going on. Almost two years back in Goa, a lot of states like like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat talked about incentives. They have incentives for local filmmakers but I don’t think there is any significant incentive for international filmmakers. We are in talks with the Rajasthan Government and Uttar Pradesh Government but I don’t think there is anything in place as of now.

Shooting in Indian states

Every state now is connected to the FFO office in Delhi, which has placed nodal a officer in every state. I think they are all coordinating. Recently, I got in shooting in their respective states? touch with the FFO office for scouting filming locations and they were very happy to help me in connecting with a lot of people. They are making a coordinated effort to ensure that everybody is together on the same page.

Pravesh Sahni
Co-founder, ITOP Film Productions Pvt Ltd

Pravesh Sahni, Co-founder of 25-yearold ITOP Film Productions Pvt Ltd, has executed production services for Oscar winners like Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty and Lion in India.
ITOP also did production services in India for Netflix’s action thriller Extraction.

Here is what Pravesh shares with us about his experiences of filming in India:

Experience of shooting of Netflix’s Extraction in India

Extraction was one of our first international films which was full of action and stunt sequences. The Gujarat Government helped us to a great extent in cordoning off the roads during shoot to
make the entire process for our Director Sam Hargrave and Netflix US a dream come true. We are thankful to Netflix US in trusting us with their first project in India.It is only because we could deliver and make things happen that they trusted us for facilitating the production of their next film called White Tiger, which is due for release in December 2020.

Visible changes after the formation of Film Facilitation Office

Things have really changed a lot. The NFDC is a big support and backs the Indian producers. Now we have a government organization that understands the problems we face. We have solved many problems, but honestly a lot still needs to be done to achieve the goal we want to.

Three things that attract global productions to India

We have amazing locations in India, with professional technical crew able to match the highest international standards. The cost of shooting is far cheaper here than other countries like the US, UK and Europe. If we have an incentive program in place, we would be even more competitive.

Thoughts on incentivize filming in India

We have been waiting for the incentive scheme for very long. I have been a key member of the film fraternity who is helping draft this policy with the government. I hope it comes out soon as we
will need the incentives to get productions rolling smoothly. It is also needed to compete with other countries.

Déborah Benattar
Executive Producer and Founder La Fabrique Films

After working as the audiovisual attache for the French Embassy in India from 2010 to 2013 in Mumbai, Déborah Benattar founded La Fabrique Films in 2013, a Production company based in Mumbai, India. La Fabrique Films manages and executes projects all over India & Sri Lanka with a team of strong & experienced professionals working on feature films, TV series, documentaries & commercials.
Her international projects include feature films like “And tomorrow you will be dead” directed by Michael Steiner; “The best is yet to come” directed by Alexandre de la Patelliere et Matthieu Delaporte; “Fahim” directed by Pierre-Francois Martin-Laval; Maya directed by Mia Hansen-Love. Her Documentary Film “Animal”, directed by Cyril Dion, was selected for the Cinema for the Climate Section at Cannes Film Festival 2021.

Here is what Déborah has to say about her experiences of filming in India:

What fascinates her about India?

India is fascinating as it has an incredible variety of landscapes to offer. And apart from the variety of locations, one of the main advantages India has compared to several foreign countries, is that the technical crews are very skilled and experienced. It is always a great collaboration between the foreign and the Indian crew.

Visible changes after the formation of Film Facilitation Office

The Film Facilitation Office (FFO) has tremendously improved and speeded the permission process for international projects as well as the delivery of film visas for the cast and crew. We are hoping
to see similar improvements in terms of permissions with other institutions: Indian Railways, ASI, DGCA, etc.

Thoughts on incentivising filming in India and Co-production Treaties

Once the government introduces incentives like other foreign countries, India will definitely become one of the best shooting destinations in the world. Also, we would really appreciate it if the government took care of a few hiccups like streamlining the taxation processes to make it a win-win for all.

On filming in post-COVID India

The lockdown time has allowed us to become more creative and work more digitally. But we are very thrilled to go back to shoot and allow foreign and Indian crew to collaborate as they share the same passion for cinema.


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India is the Country of Honour at Cannes

admin   May 6, 2022

While India is celebrating its 75th year of independence just as the Festival de Cannes celebrates its 75th anniversary, India will be the official Country of Honour for the Marché du Film 2022, set to run in Cannes from 17-25 May.

In yet another global recognition to Indian cinema, India will be the official Country of Honour for the Marché du Film 2022, set to run in Cannes from 17-25 May. The country is celebrating its 75th year of independence just as the Festival de Cannes celebrates its 75th anniversary – a momentous milestone for both institutions.

The celebration will kick off during the Marché’s traditional Opening Night festivities on Wednesday 18 May on the Majestic Beach following an introduction from the Marché du Film’s Executive Directors Jérôme Paillard & Guillaume Esmiol and a welcoming address from Anurag Singh Thakur, the Government of India’s Minister of Information & Broadcasting.

With more than 3,000 movies made per year, India is the largest film producer in the world. Apart from Bollywood, the country is home to over 30 regional film industries, and its film sector is estimated to generate a revenue of €2.6 billion by 2024.

As one of the highlights of India’s status as the Country of Honour, a special screening of a restored Indian classic film, directed by Indian auteur Satyajit Ray, has been planned as part of the Festival’s Cannes Classics selection. In addition, world premieres of a selection of Indian films will be held at the Olympia Cinema.

The India Forum will be the first event to open the conference program of the Marché du Film on Thursday 19 May and will feature acclaimed personalities from India and around the world on its Main Stage. The panel discussion, “India: The Content Hub of the World,” will feature the Government of India’s Secretary of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Apurva Chandra, Chairperson of India’s Central Board of Film Certification Prasoon Joshi and veteran Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, among others.

India will also be spotlighted through several of the Marché du Film’s diverse group of industry programs, including Goes to Cannes, Cannes Next, Cannes XR, and Animation Day.

  • Goes to Cannes: Film Bazaar and India’s National Film Development Corporation will present their special selection of feature films in post-production, still looking for sales agents, distributors or festival exposure on Saturday 21 May.
  • Cannes Next: On Sunday 22 May, on the Marina Stage, five cutting-edge Indian start-ups will showcase their projects through a dedicated pitching session, highlighting India’s latest innovations in front of film industry professionals and decision-makers.
  • Cannes XR: India will be a partner of our XR-dedicated program that will offer participants a fully immersive experience at the Palais des Festivals.
  • Animation Day: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will join Indian professionals and talents at the animation-dedicated networking cocktail on Sunday 22 May to meet and connect with animation film experts and enthusiasts.

Like every year, the India Pavilion will return to the Festival de Cannes at the iconic Village International. The India Pavilion, which will be officially inaugurated on Wednesday 18 May, will showcase Indian cinema in all its linguistic, cultural, and regional diversity and will serve as a networking platform for delegates from across the global community. The pavilion’s aim is to establish international partnerships in film shooting, distribution, production, script development, technology and promoting film sales and syndication.

This is the first time the Marché du Film has an official Country of Honour, and this special focus will continue annually with different nations in the spotlight at future editions.

“We are delighted to have India as our Country of Honour this year at the Marché du Film; and even happier to be able to share the celebration of our anniversary that we have in common – 75 years of Indian independence coinciding with the 75th Festival de Cannes!” said Jérôme Paillard & Guillaume Esmiol, Executive Directors of the Marché du Film.

“We are extremely proud to be the Country of Honour at the upcoming edition of the Marché du Film, in the 75th year of our independence. We are taking giant strides in making India the content hub of the world, and this collaboration will be crucial in making the world better acquainted with what India has to offer,” said Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.


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Now, Shoot at Sight in India!

admin   February 14, 2022

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.


The Wonder that is India

admin   February 14, 2022

India offers a unique opportunity to filmmakers to shoot snow, Desert Storm, and rain, all in one go

The Indian subcontinent’s topography is unique. On one side you have mighty Himalayas in the lot from Hindu Kush, and in the south-west the subcontinent stretches to Malabar coast, Western and Eastern ghats—the two long coastlines in this peninsula along the Arabian Sea and also Bay of Bengal which seamlessly mingle with Indian Ocean. India has lush green Gangetic plain and many hill tracks and meandering valleys in between. The country’s river system with rivers like Ganga, Brahmaputra, Krishna and Kaveri is the hotspot of all kinds of cultural activities. Then the country has the largest mangrove forest in the world shared both by India and Bangladesh. When you go to Rajasthan, you find desert, which mingles with the Rann of Kutch, a large area of salt marshes that span the border between India and Pakistan. India’s natural beauty is absolutely unbelievable.

When you look at the climate, you have sub-zero temperatures and somewhere in between you find very warm country and also Monsoon. It gives a unique opportunity to filmmakers to shoot snow, Desert Storm, and rain, all in one go. This huge landmass is also inhabited by a vast population from different faiths, caste and creed. It is truly multilingual and multi-ethnic country that offers a great landscape to a filmmaker and the scriptwriter to paint their stories with different hues and colours.


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India and Vietnam to Collaborate in Digital Media

admin   January 11, 2022

India and Vietnam has signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate in the field of digital media, paving the way for further strengthening the partnership between the two countries.

2022 marks fifty years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the ministry said.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Manh Hung signed the document (On December 16, 2021) that envisages the sharing of information and experience in establishing policies and regulatory frameworks on digital media and social networks.

The LoI also envisages conducting capacity building and training programmes for media professionals and officials in the two countries, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said in a statement.

“The Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting emphasized that the deep relationship between India and Vietnam was further strengthened with the recent visits of the President and the Prime Minister of India to Vietnam, and meeting would shape the bilateral cooperation in the field of new technologies and challenges, such as the ‘infodemic’, which all countries are grappling with during the COVID-19 pandemic,” as stated in the press release issued by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

Anurag Thakur informed Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communication about the Digital Media Ethics Code being implemented by the Government of India since February 2021.

Hung invited Thakur to Vietnam and talked about enabling journalists of both countries to access information about the socio-economic developments in each other’s nations for wider dissemination of success stories and stronger people-to-people ties.