Our state has a congenial environment and ample natural resources for film production. The government is ready to render every possible support to the budding entrepreneurs of this sector, saysChief Minister of Sikkim PS Tamang
Besides providing picturesque locations to filmmakers, Sikkim also offers all necessary support to them. These things have made it emerge the most film friendly state of the country at the 67th National Film Awards 2019.
Sikkim Chief Minister PS Tamang has promised all support to filmmakers from his government. “Film is an area where the outcome of skill, activism, perseverance and hard work is instantaneous. Besides gaining name and fame, one can earn their livelihood working in the film sector,” he says.
According to Tamang, through film, information of various events from the world is easily accessible. Film nurtures dynamic thinking and creates enthusiasm to trail and pursue the progressive world.
“Our state has a congenial environment and ample natural resources for film production. The government is ready to render every possible support to the budding entrepreneurs of this sector,” he states.
Hopefully our youth will make a lot of progress in the field of film production in the days to come, adds the CM.
Listing out some of the initiatives of his regime, he says, “Our government has launched Sikkim Film Policy 2020 which attracts film makers from across the world and provides subsidies to the film makers to encourage them to visit Sikkim as a film destination. We assure to lend a helping hand to the film makers creating a film-friendly environment and understand that film tourism with the global avenue is the next big thing to develop in Sikkim to provide endless opportunities for our aspiring and talented people.”
Sikkim will be very pleased to open its door and welcome film makers from all over the world, as we stand with the slogan “Visit Sikkim 2022”, he concludes.
WELCOME TO SIKKIM
Sikkim is home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Steep paths lead to hilltop Buddhist monasteries such as Pemayangtse, which dates to the early 1700s. Prominent shooting locales of Sikkim include Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake, Yuksom, Khangchendzonga National Park, Nathula Pass, Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley, Ravangla, Namchi and Zuluk
The state government of Sikkim is tirelessly working on creating a conducive ecosystem in making Sikkim a favoured destination for filmmakers, says Pooja Sharma, Chairperson, Sikkim Film Promotion Board
Sikkim was conferred with the title of ‘Film Friendly State’ at the 67th National Film Awards recently…
This National award is prestigious and holds a special place in my life as it’s in tenure of Prem Singh Tamang Golay as the Chief Minister of Sikkim and me as the Chairperson of Sikkim Film Board that we could make it happen. This is an award of each and every Sikkimese. Many thanks to IPR Department and predecessors involved in it. My special thanks to the 67th National Film Award jury Mr Ravi Kottarakara -who has been a constant guide and support to us, Mr Firdausul Hasan , Mr Shaji N. Karun, external advisor to the Film Board Mrs Anita Gupta among others.
What is the message to the global filmmakers?
Holding on to this title as the most Film Friendly State in India is quite challenging but I find any sort of adversities and challenges interesting as they give me more strength to work hard and make things successful. Sikkim Government identifies this as the next big opportunity and supports and welcomes the international and national filmmakers who wish to `Shoot in Sikkim´ with huge subsidy schemes upto Rs 1 crore in cash and kind according to Film Policy. Other facilities include single window clearance permit done through Film Facilitation Office, logistics such as hotels and accommodation, and vehicle provided in subsidised rate after the Sikkim entry point. One bus shall be provided free of cost to international filmmakers. Government has made the shoot in Sikkim very producer and filmmaker friendly. We have good set of line producers empanelled with the board to make the recce convenient and viable for Filmmakers.
What is the state of film sector in Sikkim? What has been the impact of Covid-19?
Sikkim at present is seeing phenomenal changes as far as creative art is concerned. The state government is tirelessly working on creating a conducive ecosystem in making Sikkim a favoured destination for filmmakers. The State Film Board has already chartered the Film Policy which not only helps in projecting the state as a premium filmmaking destination but also helps in upliftment of local performing artistes, filmmakers, entertainment business professionals. The government has been very vigilant under the guidance of the Chief Minister P S Tamang and was well prepared in advance for Covid-19 pandemic. Various measures were already in place which helped the state considerably in keeping the cases to zero for a very long time. Though the pandemic did hit all sectors of the state, the resilience of the people have made it possible in bouncing back and fighting continuously.
What is the objective of Sikkim Film Board? Is a Film City being considered to be built in Sikkim?
Films are arguably one of the most important and impactful sectors in a modern society. It is a universal power of communication which not only records great events but also plays a key role in shaping society. Thus the objective of the Sikkim Film Board is not just to make Sikkim as a pivotal filmmaking destination but also give platform to the tremendous pool of talents that we have available in the state.
One of the visions under the leadership of Chief Minister Tamang is to set up a Film City in the state. The idea behind it is to create and build a robust and modern Film City in Sikkim which would serve as a complete film Production Facility.
Cinemas from North Eastern States are emerging as a film centre of India…
Cinema is universal, beyond flags and borders and passports. North East India serves as a region which is linguistically and culturally diverse thus having a wide array of stories to tell. Directors and filmmakers of the region are now leaping forward into the cinematic world. From internationally and nationally acclaimed filmmakers like Rima Das, Pradip Kurbah, Manju Borah, Dominic Sangma, Bobby Barauh, we have our own homegrown talents from Sikkim like Shyam Pradhan, Ugyen Chopel, Prashant Rasaily, Karma Takapa who have been successful in creating a niche for themselves in the map. Personalities like Bhupen Hazarika, Salil Chowdhury, S.D.Burman, Seema Biswas and Danny Denzongpa have made huge contributions at various national levels.
There is abundance of talent in the North East places like Assam, Arunachal, Manipur, Meghalaya. Many talents are now heading to global film festival circuit.
Cinema in the North-East is undergoing a forward transition and their creative vision is finding a space globally. Film Festivals have opened up avenues for budding film makers to screen their movies at large platforms like the New York Indian Film Festival, International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival etc.
Do you get local talent to help global and domestic filmmakers?
Sikkim has unlimited pool of local talents who have been showcasing their talents not just nationally but globally as well. Various personalities have contributed in the mainstream Indian cinema and made a mark for themselves such as Danny Denzongpa, Geetanjali Thapa and Karma Takapa. Immense number of local talents are readily available to prove and make a mark domestically and globally.
Sikkim is looking at conducting a Film Festival. What are the plans?
To promote local performing artistes, filmmakers, entertainment business professionals and create a self-sufficient and world class film industry in Sikkim, the state government is planning on hosting a Film Festival later this year. It will not just showcase the local talents of filmmakers but also plans to felicitate and give out awards to encourage production of films of aesthetic and technical excellence and social relevance.
How is the infrastructure being developed in Sikkim for filmmakers?
A dedicated institution on Film and Television apart from the Film City has been envisioned by the government of Sikkim where film making courses will be imparted. The State Government also plans to create labs in consultation with National Film Development Corporation which will include Screen Writers’ Lab, Directors’ Lab, Producers’ Lab, Animation Lab so as to create a Media and Entertainment Hub. Setting up of screen theatres/community halls and upgradation and modernisation of the facilities in the existing cinema halls are also in the pipeline.
What is unique about Sikkim? What are the three things that one can cherish in Sikkim which is rare in other places?
Sikkim is blessed with an abundance of natural wealth, diverse culture, rich tradition and a riveting history. It is a picturesque paradise which is unparalleled to any other place in the world.
Assistance in permissions, Provision of empanelled Line Producers, Security, Location Scouting, Audition Facilities, Production Office, Meeting/Conference Halls, Conveyance, Lodging, Food and other pre-production support facilities within the state of Sikkim with ease of doing business through single window clearances.
The state government shall promote and facilitate, in assistance with filmmakers from the state, FAM trips (familiarisation trips) for potential investors, filmmakers, policy makers, film professionals and other stakeholders to encourage investments and incentives in this sector.
At the 67th National Film Awards 2019, Sikkim was adjudged the most film friendly state in India. The picturesque state in northeastern India well deserves this honour. For, besides providing beautiful locales to filmmakers, it also offers all necessary support to them, thus emerging the most film friendly state of the country.
Sikkim is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Steep paths lead to hilltop Buddhist monasteries such as Pemayangtse, which dates to the early 1700s.
Eminent filmmaker Shaji N Karun was Chairman of the Jury that selected Sikkim as the most film friendly State in 2019. The other Jury members in the panel were Ravi Kottarakara, Manju Borah, Firdausul Hasan and Abhishek Shah.
Announcing the Most Film Friendly State Award to Sikkim, Jury Chairman Shaji N Karun stated that Sikkim by virtue is very beautiful. “Our Jury visited Sikkim. They found that this is the probably the best state to be discovered in India. The jury members were impressed with Sikkim being develped as a filming state and even offer incentives to filmmakers, develop infrastructure and as well as encourage skills and talent development, despite limited resources. Moreover, Sikkim impressed with their honest approach and film friendliness towards filmmaking community with their vision and concern, which was far above than any other Indian State — especially, given the difficult terrain, location and size,” said Shaji N Karun.
Thirteen Indian States were considered by the Jury for this Award. The jury also gave a list of 30 recommenations to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for examination and consideration of States in the Most Film Friendly Awards category
Film industry leaders maintained that Sikkim bagged the Award because of the film friendly gesture and leadership of the Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, better known as P S Golay.
Prominent shooting locales of Sikkim include Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake, Yuksom, Khangchendzonga National Park, Nathula Pass, Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley, Ravangla, Namchi and Zuluk.
But, fully understanding that pristine locales alone are not enough to attract filmmakers, the government there has implemented a string of measures.
The state has planned concrete steps to ease out the process of planning and shooting films in the state and is committed to offer an investor-friendly policy to make the work of filmmakers easy.
Sikkim Government provides financial support to eligible local film with the maximum limit of Rs 20 lakh per movie. Departments have to complete the clearances within a stipulated time frame of 15-30 days and can issue permissions to shoot films in the general areas under forest cover after verifying the requisite documents and credentials.
So, all these things have made Sikkim a preferred destination of filmmakers and propelled it to bag the most film friendly state in India honour.
The institution of the ‘Most Film Friendly State’ Award, is positioned to promote ease of filming across India. The State of Gujarat was selected as the most film freindly state in India in 2015, the State of Uttar Pradesh in 2016, the State of Madhya Pradesh in 2017, the state of Uttarakhand bagged the honour for most film friendly State in 2018 is a unique initiative in this direction.
EVERYTHING ABOUT SIKKIM
Sikkim is the 22nd state of India came into existence with effect from 26th April, 1975. Sikkim has been divided into four districts and each district has further been bifurcated into two sub-divisions for administrative purpose. Sikkim state being a part of inner mountain ranges of Himalayas, is hilly having varied elevation ranging from 300 to 8540 meters. But the habitable areas are only up to the altitude of 2100 mtrs. Constituting only 20% of the total area of the state. The highest portion of sikkim lies in its north west direction.
A large number of mountains having altitudes of about seven thousand meters stands here with – Kanchenjunga (8598 m.), The third highest peak in the world. The high serrated, snow capped spurs and peaks of Kanchenjunga look attractive consisting of Kumbha Karna (7711 m.), Pendem (6706 m.), Narsingh (5825 m.), Kabru Dome (6545 m.), etc. A number of glaciers descends from eastern slopes of Kanchenjunga into Sikkim where snow clad line is found above 5300 mtrs. The biggest of them is Zemu, from whose snout above Lachen monastery rises the river Teesta. Teesta is the main river and its main tributaries are Zemu, Lachung, Rangyong, Dikchu, Rongli, Rangpo and Rangit which form the main channel of drainage from the north to the south.
It boasts of the great mount Kanchendzonga as its crown. Ethically Sikkim has mainly three groups of people viz. Nepalis, Bhutias, Lepchas. The local language is Nepali. English is the official language. This jewel- like mountain state of ethereal beauty with an area of 7299 sq. kms , nestles in the heart of Himalayas. Cradled in the manifold splendors of nature deep within the snow clad Himalayas is Sikkim’s capital Gangtok. Wrapped in mists and clouds, a garden state with an incredible variety of rhododendrons & a host of other flowers.
FOR FILM SHOOTING IN SIKKIM CONTACT
Information and Public Relations Department, Government of Sikkim EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org