The media and entertainment (M&E) and tourism industries are mutually beneficial, and working together can help unlock their true potential. In keeping with this theme, the 3rd Shoot at Site Inaugural at FICCI Frames 2019 amalgamated conversations on state and central government initiatives to improve on-site film shooting and production processes.
The right infrastructural facilities and incentives on-site are important catalysts to driving innovation in filmmaking. As Jaspal Singh Bindra, FICCI Maharashtra State Council Chairman put it, “location is the principal protagonist – location is what carries your film forward”. In recognition of this sentiment, the Film Facilitation Office (FFO), which has served as the nodal liaison for facilitating foreign film productions in India, recently opened up its services to domestic film productions as well. The FFO has developed an online ecosystem to browse locations, and film policies across 36 states and Union Territories and coordinate with nodal officers within each Indian state. It has also digitized the application processes, moving them to a single window mechanism. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Animal Welfare Board, and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting are similarly working towards creating seamless processes for granting requisite approvals. Online single-window clearance processes are being adopted across the board to enable ease of doing business and facilitating film productions on-site.
State Subsidies to Drive Investments
On-site film production creates direct economic contribution to the community by encouraging tourism, generating new employment opportunities, and developing infrastructure in the area. Film tourism is estimated to potentially generate revenues of up to USD 3 billion by 2022. The fact that state governments compete to bring film productions to their respective jurisdictions serves as a powerful illustration of the economic contribution of on-site film production. As ASI Director General Usha Sharma put it, “the monument is always known by the name of the film”. Currently, 20 Indian states already have their own film policies.
The Odisha State Film Policy 2019, unveiled at FICCI Frames, is the latest such document. It aims to promote Odisha as a destination for films, create tourism opportunities within the state, and bolster screen density. To achieve these goals, the Policy provides for single-window clearances and subsidies for shooting within the state, while welcoming investments to develop film cities. It also discusses creating a pool of technicians for the film industry. These provisions will be supplemented by a set of operational guidelines to enforce the vision laid down under the Policy. Mr Sudhir Sobti, Chief Manager with the Delhi Government also committed to working on a “Delhi Film Shooting Policy” to tide over challenges faced by filmmakers in Delhi.