In its endeavour to create a world-class film-friendly ecosystem in the country, FFO has been engaged in promoting various filming destinations dotting the country ranging from the lofty, snow-clad Himalayas to the sandy beaches of Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. As part of this sustained effort, the ‘Most Film Friendly State’ Award is given away each year during the National Film Awards ceremony in order to provide national and international level visibility to the best
performing states in terms of filming infrastructure, favourable policies and incentives offered to filmmakers. Beginning 2015, this prestigious award has been won by Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and 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, the state government 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. Besides providing support through resources and incentives in the production of a film, the state also assists in renting equipment required for filmmaking at reasonable rates along with the fee of the technician to handle the equipment.
Another state nestled amidst the mighty Himalayan ranges, Uttarakhand was declared the Most Film-Friendly State of 2018. The state with beautiful hills of Nainital, Mussoorie’s waterfalls, accompanied by the divine bells at Rishikesh, Badrinath, and Kedarnath is the right destination for filmmakers. Action scenes are bound to get racier, if shot at the skiing mountains at Auli and Munsiyari. Blessed with a rare bio-diversity, the animals at Jim Corbett Park too await their 10 seconds of fame.
Among the initiatives undertaken by the state for promotion of filming include development of a film city and selection and development of places for outdoor shooting. Incentives offered by Uttarakhand to filmmakers include exemption of all films shot in the state from shooting charges, 50% discount for film units during the time of shooting at rest houses of Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd and Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd, and consider financing (up to INR 1.5Crores) for Hindi films with production cost up to INR 2 crores.
Some of the films, documentaries and TV Serials shot in Uttarakhand include Student Of The Year, Koi Mil Gaya, Lakshya, Bunty Aur Bubli, Paan Singh Tomar, Shivaay, Dum Lagake Haisha, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Facing The Mountain, Kedarnath, Lifelines, Splits villa, Khatron ke Khiladi, Roadies, among others.
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 web site, film friendly infrastructure, offering incentives, maintaining databases, undertaking marketing and promotional initiatives.
Initiatives taken by the 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.
Winner of the Most Film Friendly State in 2017, Uttar Pradesh is the rainbow land where the multi-hued Indian Culture has blossomed from times immemorial. TajMahal in Agra, the symbol of love, has attracted filmmakers to Uttar Pradesh since the black and white era. The temple town of Varanasi offers a never-seen-before cultural experience for the international viewer, while the Buddhist relics at Sarnath and Lucknow are other places that could double up as props for a film catering to a wide audience.
The Uttar Pradesh government has developed the FilmPolicy 2018 with the sole aim of projecting the cultural,mythological, historical heritage and glorious traditions not only within the country, but also abroad through widespread publicity. For ensuring availability of all the film production related facilities under a single roof, the Film Bandhu, Uttar Pradesh has been constituted as a nodal agency. The Film Bandhu works in the direction of developing Uttar Pradeshas a hub of film production by generating a friendly climate and promoting film related activities in Uttar Pradesh.
Initiatives taken by the state for simplification of film production include setting up a Single Table System to provide better facilities to the people associated with films, setting up of State Film Division to provide easy, simplified and timely certification facility for films, providing free security arrangements for shooting films, and financial incentive through maximum subsidy of INR1 crore for film shot for more than half of its shooting days in Uttar Pradesh and INR2 crore for a film shot for more than two-third of its shooting days in Uttar Pradesh.
Winner of the Indian government’s national award for the Most Film-Friendly State in 2016, Gujarat is increasingly becoming the most preferred spot for film shootings. Filmmakers wishing to offer the audience an ‘eastern’ experience can land in Gujarat.Blessed with diverse choices of great locations including spectacular geographical, archeological and royal sites, Gujarat is a treasure trove for the filmmakers of every hue.
Gujarat’s single-window clearance facility, presence of a dedicated web portal,international promotions, database of product facilities andhotels and emergency services considerably streamline the otherwise cumbersome process of filmmaking.
Initiatives taken by the state for simplification of film production include quick shooting approvals. If a decision on a shooting application is not taken in seven days, permission will be deemed to have been granted. Free security arrangement is offered at open areas and public places for film shooting and TCGL film cells at Gandhinagar and Mumbai coordinates, facilitates and carries out marketing activities for film shootings in Gujarat. Besides that, producers can avail services of a consultant from the FilmCell to act as their liaison during shootings.