Explore the Rainbow called INDIA

admin   July 7, 2021

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

SIKKIM

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.

UTTARAKHAND

UTTARAKHAND

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.

MADHYA PRADESH

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 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.

UTTAR PRADESH

UTTAR PRADESH

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.

GUJARAT

GUJARAT

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.


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With Film Visa, Global Producers Can Now Shoot in India

admin   January 10, 2021

Now that the Government of India has opened business visas for overseas companies to travel into the country, global film producers and studios with Film Visa are exploring options to come and film in India. The aviation restrictions have been lifted for foregin business travellers and companies into India.

Already, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has announced guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for film shooting and media production in the country. Various State governments have also issued SOPs for film shooting in their respective States detailing dos and don’ts aligning with prevailing local Covid conditions.

Film Visa, a special category for foreign filmmakers, producers and crew members to shoot in India was introduced in 2017 on the initiation by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Dilip Singh Rathore, India’s most successful Line Producer for leading Hollywood Studios and European filmmakers, confirmed to Pickle that global producers are “expediting the process” to film in India in the new scenario of opening business to overseas companies.

Rathore’s On the Road Productions was the line producer for Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ (Produced by Warner Bros’) for filming portions of the movie in Mumbai.

“We are constantly getting calls over the last two days on filming in India,” says Rathore. “Interest in film in India is top in the radar of global producers. I am very optimistic that foreign film projects which were stalled in the beginning of the year will soon get activated.”

Italian filmmaker and producer Sergio Scapagnini is soon set to shoot in India for the new India-Italy co-produced film directed by Goutham Ghose. UK-based Collin Burrows of Film Treats Production is looking to film in India for forthcoming  projects. Late last year, Paramount Pictures had announced producing web series ‘The Bear’ for Apple TV to be shot in Madhya Pradesh. The Hollywood project was based on a bestseller novel by Gregory David Roberts ‘Shantaram’.

Business visits among global production houses are also likely to pick up in the coming days as India offers cost effective solutions for animation, VFX and gaming verticals of the Media and Entertainment industry. Major Indian production companies have strengthened their remote servicing capabilities in animation, VFX and digital intermediaries for collaboration. 

Film Facilitation Office (FFO), set up by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), is currently accepting online applications for foreign producers to shoot in India.

FFO which was set up with a view to promote and facilitate film shootings by foreign filmmakers in India has also been extended to Indian filmmakers as well.

In the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, Indian film locales have captured the attention of global producers and viewers. Mira Nair’s TV series ‘A Suitable Boy’, a six-episode, 349-minute long series, adapted from Vikram Seth’s classic novel, was extensively shot in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, India. It is currently streamed on Netflix across the world and BBC One (in UK and Ireland). Netlflix’s action thriller ‘Extraction’ starring Chris Hemsworth was filmed in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Netflix has revealed that ‘Extraction’ tops the list in its 10 most-watched original movies of all time, as of today.

Another leading line producer stated that in recent times Film Visas have streamlined foreign film shooting in India. “Quick visa clearances for the foreign crew is one of the reasons why more foreign filmmakers are coming to shoot in India. For shooting in India, foreign filmmakers have to get clearance from the I&B Ministry. The Ministry officials coordinate with the Indian embassies abroad, and help in getting visa clearances faster. “Over 118 international films have been shot in the last four years and the FFO has been offering all support to filmmakers to shoot in India.


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The Changemaker

admin   July 13, 2020

An optimist and a staunch believer in making new beginnings, Gaurav Banerjee, President (Hindi and English Entertainment), Star India, who takes creative calls at the network , sees some great opportunities to turnaround the Indian M&E industry during and post COVID-19 while following his Dharma of keeping the fans entertained

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the M&E industry in many ways. How has been your experience of work from home during this time?

It’s been interesting and extremely productive. Honestly, I personally feel that I’m more productive than I used to be in normal times. Having lived in Mumbai since 2004, spending at least two hours commuting to work from home had been one of the major challenges. Now I can spend those two hours far more effectively.

The second thing that has kind of helped is that when you go to office, you end up wasting a lot of other people’s time as well. So, if someone needs to pitch an idea to you, they have to travel distances and then there are security protocols, etc, that take further time.

I personally feel that one must spend time in listening and debating an idea. But often you feel that you can get to the crux of an idea and understand it better and do it faster. So, if it is a video call and you can finish it in half an hour and not 45 minutes then you don’t feel any guilt.

But in a physical meeting there are considerations like the person coming in for a meeting has travelled a long distance, and you feel that you should spend some more time to do justice, whereas in a video meeting, you don’t need to. So, I think it has its set of advantages.

But there are limitations too. I spend most of my time in the creative pursuit of great scripts and you sometimes miss the energy in the room. A lot of people, you know, brainstorming together. We’re trying to get that sort of feeling going on, on Zoom calls with colleagues, but it’s not the same thing. And that’s very hard to sort of grasp. I think that is part of the challenge.

Fortunately, I have been at Star for a very long time, as you know, and that is true for a large number of my colleagues as well. So we definitely know each other really well; there is a long history that one can fall back on. And I think that is deeply helpful. At the same time, I also think that when you meet someone new in person that’s a much better opportunity to have a lot more communication and a deeper understanding. So I think that is a fair challenge. But hopefully we would find a way of connecting better and deeper as we get out of this crisis.

From your perspective where do you see the industry heading from here?

I am the person who spends all my time looking at programming and taking a lot of creative decisions. So, I think it’ll be interesting, and it will definitely be different. I don’t believe for a second that the post COVID world will be the world that used to exist before COVID happened. I think we will end up creating something new and something different.

I think the challenge for each one of us—for our companies and for the industry—is to figure out that how this new and different that we create is better. I think that’s what a lot of us are trying to solve. I think there are some challenges which are apparent. First of which is that giant scale physical production is very hard to do in this environment right now and will probably continue to be a challenge going forward. I think companies like mine where in the past we have never hesitated to have a real massive crew and huge set pieces like battles, for example, will shoot and plan it now very differently.

It will hopefully look even better to viewers. But the way we will go about making it will be powered a lot more with CGI. I think once this massive shift happens, it will really accelerate the opportunity to adopt new technology in production in a very big way.

I think the second thing that we are definitely seeing is the advantage of having a deep pipeline—how many ideas do you have in your funnel? How many creative people are you working with? How many scripts are in the mix? How many productions? We’re working together and working across different parts will become very-very important.

Thirdly, I think one of the challenges for us, as as a creative company is, can we do something so that we are not kind of get a little bit locked up in our own loop and away from the larger world and concerns and issues that our viewers face.

The issue of COVID-19 is so enormous and it has affected all of us equally and in so many different ways that perhaps it is not possible to keep it out of our stories. And, therefore, in this there is an opportunity to reduce the degree of deafness that creeps up into a creative industry which is small and is largely still in Mumbai, especially Hindi. How do we overcome that is
something that we can do better on.

As COVID-19 is going to be the new normal, how is the Indian M&E sector trying to find new ways to function in this new scenario?

We have deeply contributed to the creation of SOPs as an industry across the board. It’s something that is important, and it’s evolving every day. We are talking to the best health policy experts. We are deeply in conversation with the government and with various bodies like the producers and the artists associations. So it’s a deeply collaborative process. And it’s a process that we have created and strongly participated in.

We want to ensure that we do our level best to keep our cast and crew safe. I think more than any other responsibility, this responsibility is of paramount importance. It’s very hard to do it there. It’s a real challenge as nobody truly is fail proof. There are no textbook on it yet. But I think we can continuously learn from our experiences in order to succeed. Thankfully, we are not the first industry which is starting back again, internationally. A lot of work on this front has happened—some of it in Europe, some of it in Australia. We’ve looked at that and are learning but it’s very hard.

How do you see the Indian M&E industry doing in terms of creating world-class productions?

When people compare it to the global standards, they say that it’s much easier to shoot outside India than in India now. I come from a humble television background, and before that I was associated with news industry. All my work has been in India. All the production that we do for television is in India, which is a lovely country to shoot in. We have, of course, few challenges. But I think if you look across the board, I think those challenges are there in every industry. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that we cannot be a world class production destination. I think our ambition should be to become world class, and we need to get there as soon as possible. But the question we need to answer first is that are we learning? Are we thinking on making improvements? The answer is absolutely yes.

I think a lot of recent shows have set higher production benchmarks than what used to be before. The quality of these shows has started sort of reshaping this agenda in the last couple of years. And I think that’s a good step forward. It puts in face a couple of things—the quality of the talent has become better and a lot more time and effort is going into just writing better scripts.

New institutions, new frameworks have come in, and those are good. They will ensure over a period of time, far better quality products coming through from our country. So we are learning. I think a lot of journalists are a little impatient with us. But I keep telling everyone that this industry is roughly 20 years old. The next scale of development of investments is about three years old. So, be a little patient and we’ll hopefully turn this into something that all of us can be deeply proud of.

People have not watched any of the TV serials since March 17. But soon they will be able to watch those serials again on their TVs. How do you think they will recap and pickup the story from where they left off? What’s on your mind now?

I’m happy that you’ve asked this question when we are only four days away from resuming broadcast of TV serials. So, I don’t need to keep any secrets from you. I can tell you honestly. I think the way we have thought about it is that it’s going to be a re-launch of the shows—all the shows. So whether the shows work or they don’t, is not in our hands, that’s in the hands of our fans and we will humbly accept their verdict.

But in our minds, we were clear that we were not bringing back something that people had stopped watching in March. But we were bringing something new. And we were bringing something different. And hopefully we were bringing something better. So the way we thought about it is that this was a forced season break. And now a new season will start, where some parts are what you really like to come back, and then some new dimension is brought in, which hopefully, as a fan, you find very exciting. So let me give you a couple of examples. On Star Plus, we have this incredibly powerful show called ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kahlata Hai’, which has run nonstop for 11 years. We launched it in January of 2009. Other than COVID, nothing has managed to stop it. So it’s the only break that the show has had in 11 years. So now when it is coming back, we said, okay, we need to do something totally different. And totally different is that the business
family has had a massive problem because of the way their business has got fully stuck with no money coming in due to COVID-19 crisis, and they don’t want to let go of their workers. So they are in a big financial crisis. And to overcome that crisis, they need to find a deal with this person who’s deeply conservative. But this person has now run into some trouble with Naira, the most loved character on the show, who now pretends to have a twin sister just to ensure that this deal doesn’t fall through. So we’re adopting our hearts to the great Shakespeare. And it’s something that has never happened on the show earlier. And it’s again contextual; it’s around what people have dealt with in the last several months.

So that’s what we are trying to do on Kasauti Zindagi Ki, which is another really big show of ours. We are bringing in Karan Patel, one of the most loved television actors of the last half decade as the new Mr. Bajaj and hopefully that casting and the rule and the new dimensions to that character that Mr. Patel will excite fans a lot more than what was happening earlier.

So, those are just two examples by which we are trying to suggest that this is not a restart. It’s a fresh start. Hopefully better than where we left off.

Will that mindset be reflected in other shows running on the network—making people connect with each other?

Hopefully, yes. The last three-four months have given us an opportunity to pause and to reflect and to think deeply about our channels, our shows and our scripts. So, we are excited. I think we have not been able to physically do any production. That has only started in the last 10 days or so. But everybody in the team has been working very hard to think about our game, and how can we improve it. So hopefully after all this net practice over the last hundred days or so, when we come out and play a few shots, some people find it exciting.

So will there be surprises of new shows?

Yes, of course. So we are launching a new show on Monday itself. Anupamaa is a show that we are very very excited about. It is the remake of a show that has done very well for us in Bengali, in Maharashtra and in Telugu as well. So we are bringing it to Hindi. We’re very proud to bring it to them. And it’s a story of a 40 plus woman who is a mother, who hasn’t got all the respect that she truly deserves in her own home, and how she now fights for her self-esteem and respect. So that’s the theme. It has sold really well. The script that I have heard has been outstanding. Let’s see, we have some fantastic actors on the show. So I hope fans really like it.

It’s a great thing in terms of reconnecting with people. People will also be looking forward to it. Not only the young audience, but also sizable fans of all these shows in every corner of the country are looking forward to it, and especially people who are above 65-70 yrs.

Yes, my mother is a really big fan and she been looking forward to this. And I know there are many people like her who keep us in business. We’re here to entertain them to take care of their evenings by telling them a story. So that’s our job. That’s what pays the bills. We’re very happy to get back to that and hopefully we get back to it in a very safe manner.

Disney Star has made the first disrupter in announcing the Disney + Hotstar Multiplex, which is a game changing decision. So, where do you think OTT heading?

I personally believe it is about fans. It is about a man’s deep desire and love for the movies. And I think for the time being, stepping out in a theater is not possible. And therefore, there is an opportunity to make movies available directly at home and you create an environment that makes people want to cherish. And I think we need to innovate and this is an interesting innovation in the crisis at hand in the movies world. There are several such innovations that have happened. So for example, international cricket has resumed in the West Indies and England, and the cricket board and the health authorities have found a way of ensuring that fans and crew are going to be safe.

I think innovation at our end which we have now been doing for the last three months is that we took the entire process of making ads and made it remote. We made making of ads work from home. That’s how we launched Disney Plus Hotstar. That’s how we launched a range of shows on the Star network on our TV business as well as on OTT. Just as the lockdown was starting, we launched Special Ops. Very recently we have launched Aria, both the shows have done really well. And that gives us confidence that we need to adapt to this new world. And a lot of rules and frameworks will need to change, keeping the new realities in mind. And I think the big Dharma for all of us is to entertain our fans, and whether it happens to OTT movies or it happens by the way of resuming content production in our TV shows, or in organizing cricket, or in making big series, by ensuring that promotion and post production have been in a safe environment. I think we’re committed to do our level best to ensure all of that gets done.

India Needs Centers of Creative Excellence

A new India is emerging that is being more ambitious around what can and should get achieved, says Gaurav Banerjee, adding that the country has the resources and the vision to become a leading player in the global M&E space. But he thinks that India would require public-private cooperation in creating a number of centres of creative excellence to achieve this goal. “I think we haven’t done enough in this area as a country and we should do better and we need to do more. We shouldn’t only have one FTI (Film and Television Institute of India) and we should figure out what do we need to do to have such schools in other parts of the country.


Featured Post

No Business as Usual for Film Industry

admin   July 13, 2020

COVID-19 has stunned film producers in India, who see the pandemic causing major disruptions in the way this unique industry functions. Here are some major challenges and remedial measures that can be taken to help the industry get back on its feet By Ravi Kottarakara

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused an irreparable damage to businesses and industries globally. Our film industry too finds itself into quite a predicament and the writing on the wall is absolutely clear. The Indian film industry has a peculiar ecosystem and its mode of functioning is entirely different from the normal industrial practices. In the past few years, the business in the Indian film industry has seen a lot of volatility—marked by lots of failures and a meager success rate of say 15%. Adding fuel to the fire, the COVID-19 pandemic has created so much havoc and pandemonium that it’s a difficult task to imagine recovery of the film industry anytime soon.

I have underlined some of issues of the film industry that need to be addressed before we resume business as usual:

PRODUCERS / PRODUCTION SECTOR

The film producers are stunned due to the several issues caused by the novel Corona virus and the lockdown that followed after its outbreak.

Released Films Losses

Some of the films that were released and screened at the cinema halls and were doing well in terms of box office collection have been abruptly stopped after the announcement of lockdown. This has caused irretrievable and permanent loss to the film producers and distributors [During the
lockdown there were around 80 to 90 films in different languages running in various cinema halls pan India]. The financial loss accrued due to abrupt closure of cinema halls during the lockdown is alone expected to amount to more than Rs. 400 crores.

Shooting Locations and Sets

Some film shootings had to be stopped suddenly in the aftermath of COVID-19 crisis that has caused huge losses to film producers. Adding to the injury, many gigantic sets erected by them for shooting are now wearing out [the shooting sets are temporary and made from perishable materials, so lifespan of these setsis very short]. Besides the uncertainty that looms over the commencementof film shootings, the Monsoon season will be another
factor leading to the total destruction of sets, thus creating irreversible losses to the producers as now they would have to erect new sets and structures again. The producers will also have to pay daily rent for the locations where these sets have been erected.It will be an additional cost to him.

Reorganizing and Rescheduling

To start the shooting process is another herculean task as the producers will have to now get new shooting dates from their respective artistes and technicians and reschedule the shooting. Adding to our woes, we are aware that some the artistes and technicians need to travel from different states for shootings. Some films have to be shot in outdoor locations like garden/
parks, bus stands, airports, roads, historical monuments, temples, and farmlands, etc, and shooting at many of these locations doesn’t seem a possibility in near future. Some of these films have to be shot in foreign locations and it looks like an impossible task to get permissions to shoot in those foreign locations in near future.

Unfortunate Loss of Lives & Displacement of workers

In this difficult time, we are experiencing another major issue. Unfortunately, some of our artistes and technicians have become victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and many are experiencing depression, tensions, mental ailments and other issues due to uncertainty in resuming shootings. Now all these film have to be reshot using new artists which would incur additional costs to the producer. Many of the daily wage/ contract and semiskilled workers have returned to their native states and it would be an uphill task to get them resume work.

Debts & Interest on finance

Meanwhile, one of the biggest issues we are facing is the interest accruing on loans after cancellation of shooting and delay in completing and recovering our investments from the projects. The interests to be paid to financiers are mounting by each passing day. Since films are not financed by banks as the film production is perceived as a high risk industry, film producers borrow money at a very high rate of interest of 30% to 48% per annum which is very exorbitant but there is no other option.

Release of films

Even if we complete with a film facing all these hurdles,another major stumbling block would be trying to release the film in these desperate times. The reasons are:

a) To think of a worldwide release looks like an impossibility at this time.We would lose money to be received from those territories/ markets.

b) The cine goers would think twice to watch films in theatres by taking
undue risk of contracting the virus.

c) In this volatile market the distributors would not come forward to buy films.

THEATRES / EXHIBITORS

Social Distancing at Theatres Social distancing will be maintained very strictly at theatres. Tickets will be sold for every alternate or every third seat to maintain a gap between two occupants.

Screening Sanitizing

Further, prior to every show, before entry each and every individual going in for the show will be individually screened for temperature and sanitized before allowed in the premises.

Issues of Screening Films

Post screening, cleansing and disinfection and sanitizing of theatre hall, individual seats, corridors, toilets, will also be done. This will eat into the total time available for shows. The number of shows will have to be reduced to a maximum of three instead of four shows as the lot of time will go into screening, cleaning/sanitization of halls. The time between each show will increase due to checking and sanitizing each individual.Also, the interval time will have to be increased to avoid congestion at food courts/
stalls, etc.

Reduced Footfalls

As there exists a fear of Corona in the minds of the public and the entertainment is available to them on digital mediums like satellite TV and OTT platforms, the need for the public to watch cinema at theatres must be encouraged. Since cinema is still the cheapest form of entertainment in India, we are hopeful that the public will revisit theatres and watch films on large screens coupled with quality sound systems.

Relief sought from the State Government

  • 50% reduction in property tax during lean period*
  • Flat 30% reduction in Electricity Tariffs/Bills for a limited period*[From rates of April 1st]
  • Local Body Entertainment Tax holiday for 5 years. [LBET]
  • No Ticket Price Capping and the unfettered Right to increase the ticket price by the exhibitors due a)restricted sale of 50% capacity of theatre.
  • All shooting Locations such as parks, roads, gardens, Bus stand, Beaches, etc should be given for shooting at Rs.1000/- per day only.
  • *Period is three years.
  • All Monuments, Temples, Archeological Sites, Railway stations, Dams, must be charge only Rs.5000/- per day[Indemnity Bond to be given by producer in case of any damages incurred]
  • Single window permission and clearances for shooting at any location within 72 hours.
  • TDS deduction on sale of copyright rights to Digital, OTT, Satellite, etc, to be reduced to 1%.
  • Instruct Banks to finance film producers/ distributors/ cinema hall at a concessional rate of interest. [the same Rate as for MSME sectors].
  • Central Subsidy of Rs 5 lakh only to be given to the film producer [whose name appears in Censor Board certificate] for every film released [minimum in 10 screens], irrespective of language and where the budget of the film is less than Rs 3 crores[based submissions to Income tax]. The amount to be paid within six months from the date of release of the film.
  • Reduction of GST from 18% to 12% and 12 % to 5% ( there are two slabs).
  • A service charge of Rs.30 at Non A/c Theatres, Rs.40 at A/c Theatres, Rs.50 at multiplexes could be added to every ticket purchased to recover the cost incurred for providing additional sanitization services at theatres and during Film Production [This is collectible by an additional coupon to be issued with every ticket]. The service charge money will be split three ways between the Exhibitor [where film is screened], producer [appears on the censor certificate] and the governments in the ration of 40:30:30 –exhibitor 40% ,producer 30% and government 30% [Central 15% & State 15%, respectively]
  • This service charge is to compensate the exhibitor/producer for the extra expenses/costs incurred on safety measures of sanitization procedures. These recommendations made by us is just to provide some sort of remedial help to the industry on a temporary basis, but in the long run we would only be able to ascertain the damage after the wrath of corona is over and the industry starts functioning.


Shooting Locales in India – Mizoram

admin   August 1, 2019

Mizoram in North-East India is inhabited by numerous tribes practising a wide range of religious customs. Blessed with a diverse range of geographical features, this small state offers excellent opportunities for film makers to explore its splendour. The landscape of Phawngpui Hills, Vantawang Falls and Palak Lake are just waiting to be captured by camera. Mizoram recently organised a three-day Indian Film Festival at Vanapa Hall in Aizawl. The state government is ready to provide any assistance in terms of infrastructure or logistics support if interested filmmakers would venture in this picturesque state.

For More Information Contact
Lallianpuii,
Joint Director, I&PR Department,
State Nodal Officer for Visual Arts,
Mizoram Information Service, Directorate of Information & Public Relations Department
Tel: 9436158348
Email: lallianpuiiapril@gmail.com
State Website: http://mizoram.nic.in/


Shooting Locales in India – Meghalaya

admin   August 1, 2019

Meghalaya, or the abode of clouds, remains a virgin territory waiting to be exploited for film shootings. Improving its infrastructure manifold, the state recently agreed to come on board the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI) and aspires to become a preferred destination for shooting films. Star attractions in the state are its waterfalls, caves, rainforests, hill stations and a lot more. There are numerous places that are well-known all over the world as it boasts some of the most spectacular waterfalls like Nohkalikai Falls, Elephant Falls, and Mawlynnong Falls; the longest caves like Krem Liat Prah and Mawsmai Caves; and the wettest places in the world like Cherrapunji and Mawsynram. The crystal clear water of Umngot River in Dawki, the sacred forests of Mawphlang, and the world-famous living root bridges in Cherrapunji can form a beautiful backdrop of any film and mesemerize the audience world over.

For More Information Contact
State Website: http://meghalaya.gov.in/megportal/


Shooting Locales in India – Manipur

admin   August 1, 2019

Tucked in the beautiful North East India, Manipur has to offer some of the most scenic shooting locations in the country. Home to the beautiful Loktak Lake, picturisque Leimram Waterfall and the majestic Kangla Fort, Manipur is a paradise for filmmakers. The state is also rich in historical monuments like the ancient Kangla Fort or Willong Khullen, an extraordinary place resembling Stone Hinges, that can form a perfect backdrop for a film. The state also has a rich cultural heritage and its numerous festivals have much to offer a film maker. The state also has to offer exotic wildlife, and warmhearted people. It’s simply impossible not to fall in love with this state, which is rightly called the Switzerland of India.

For More Information Contact
Hamom Nabachandra Singh,
Secretary of MSFDS, Manipur Sate Film Development Society
Tel: 0385 – 2451861 (0),+91 8132818015
Email: mfdc_manipur@yahoo.com
State Website: https://manipur.gov.in/


Shooting Locales in India – Lakshadweep

admin   August 1, 2019

Beautiful Lakshadweep was in limelight after Sinjar, a feature film by Malayalam short film director Sandeep Pampally won big at the 65th National Film Awards recently. The Union Territory is a paradise in itself and the simplicity of life here is what can make it a wonderful backdrop of some of the unique stories that need to be told. This tiniest Union Territory of India is situated in Arabian Sea and is considered to be among the most beautiful beach destinations of the country. There are 27 islands in total and each is about 220 to 440 km away from the coast of Kerala. The Department of Tourism Development, UT Administration of Lakshadweep is engaged in the development of Film Tourism in the UT of Lakshadweep. Though till recently Lakshadweep was out of reach for the film industry, considering the importance of film tourism, it has been declared as one of the key elements.

For More Information Contact
Asker Ali,
IAS, Director of Tourism, Department of Tourism,
Near BSNL Exchange, Secretariat – Press Junction Cross road, Kavaratti- 682555
Tel: +91 4896262250
Email: adtourism.lk@gmail.com


Shooting Locales in India – Dadra and Nagar Haveli

admin   August 1, 2019

Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a union territory of India located in the western part of the country and situated between the states of Gujarat to the north and Maharashtra to the south. It lies some 15 miles (24 km) from the Arabian Sea and about 80 miles (130 km) north of Mumbai (Bombay). The territory consists of two sections—Dadra and Nagar Haveli—which together embrace roughly 72 villages. The capital is Silvassa. Area 190 square miles (491 square km).

For More Information Contact
Pratima Dutta, Manager (SPOTAC), DNH, Department of Tourism
Tel: 9924899946
Email: dnhtourism@gmail.com
State Website: http://dnh.nic.in/


Shooting Locales in India – Chhattisgarh

admin   July 31, 2019

The state served as the backdrop of films like ‘Newton’, which was India’s official entry at the Oscars. Carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000, Chhattisgarh has a vast tribal area with unmatched natural beauty. The state government has recently constituted Chhattisgarh Film Development Corporation to facilitate making of films in regional languages as well as those spoken across the state. The state has a unique topography, virgin forests and is rich in folk art forms. The state has some of the best locations in the counrty like Chitrakote Waterfall, Kanger Valley National Park, Pamed Sanctuary, Bhoramdeo Sanctuary, Kailash Caves, Achanakmar Tiger Reserve, among others. Chhattisgarh also has a prominent tradition of folk theatre with Naacha Gammat, Bhatranaat and Bharthari being well-known.

For More Information Contact
Moris Nandy, Director, Chhattisgarh Tourism Board
Email: md.cgtourism@gmail.com