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Filming at Indian locations is compelling

March 14, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

India’s State Tourism Boards are making film tourism policies, waiving fees and are even offering a menu of locales to draw film makers to shoot at their sites. 1600 films are made every year in India and its media and entertainment industry will be of US$ 3.2billion in 3 years. Tourism authorities from different Indian states expressed their keenness to host film crews at the Shoot at site conference in FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) Frames 2018 event in Mumbai last week.

Sanjay Pande, Additional Director (Development), Rajasthan Tourism, Said: “We’re the first state in the country to start a single window clearance for film shoots in October 2018. Interested parties can apply online to Director Tourism and we’ll get all required approvals for them within 15 days. We get an application everyday and we’ve already granted approvals for 35 films.”


Security deposits of INR 5 million for week schedule and INR 1 million per day beyond one week and processing fees are done away with in the new film tourism policy of Rajasthan Tourism. The state is also offering 3 years of entertainment tax subsidy for new multiplex cinema halls.

Film tourism conference at FICCI Frames 2018

According to a study by FICCI, Indian film industry is growing at 11.9 percent till 2021 from the current market size of US$2.5 billion. Diverse locations spread in different regions of India where films and television series are shot are attracting tourists who identify, like and fantasise the place where their popular stars have been at.

Ms Neela Lad, Regional Director (Western & Central Region) India Tourism, Mumbai, said: “Films are promoting India. People relate to locations shown in films. It’s not surprising to see guides explaining about the film shot at a location along with its history. We’re in constant dialogue with state tourism departments for new location identification and promotion.”

Filmmakers too are looking for new and exotic locations to shoot. Filmmaker Ramesh Sippy said: “There’s a natural link between cinema and tourism. Everything, from choosing a location to travel, transport, hospitality and hotel accommodation is required by the film crew, while cinema is a great partner to tourism.” Sippy’s Sholay was India’s first block-buster film and continues to draw visitors to rocky mountains of Ramnagara near Bengaluru.

Sudhir Sobti, Chief Manager, Tourism, Events & Film Shooting Facilitation, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, said: “We will shortly be introducing an online process for film permissions. It’s amazing to see how an unknown location of Delhi featuring in popular Hindi film has suddenly started being visited by tourists. We sure wish to explore the opportunity further by easing approvals and facilitating film shoots.”

Sanatan Pancholi, Resident Manager-Mumbai, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat, said: “I co-ordinated and accompanied Taarak Mehta, a popular television serial crew for a three episode filming at Rann of Kutch. They liked the place so much that they ended up shooting 7 episodes and are repeating telecast of those episodes again and again on viewers’ demand. We had provided government owned accommodation and had hardly spent INR 650,000 for other facilities during their 8 day long shooting schedule. This sure is a win-win proposal.”

Gujarat Tourism was among the first states to recognise cinematic tourism with single window clearance and assistance extended by its dedicated film tourism cell.

Odisha, Maharashtra, Kerala, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Karnataka and even upcoming Jharkhand Tourism have film tourism policies to attract crews searching for new locations. The competition will only get stiffer with many more state tourism boards joining the bandwagon.

Mr Pande said: “We’re ready to simplify the process even further and are also in the process of offering a ready reckoner menu on film locations.”

International film crews are welcomed too. It sure is going to be a tough choice for a film maker with a new script to choose a location from variety of destinations on offer.

Written by Anand & Madhura Katti

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