Mumbai, Oct 7

Filmmaker Boney Kapoor on Saturday said the need is to create a single window clearance system across India to get shooting permissions, while Mukesh Bhatt who has filmed widely in international destinations, said shooting in Indian locations is cumbersome.

They spoke at the 'PHD Chamber Global Film Tourism Conclave: Promoting Destinations through Films', organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) here.

A report released jointly by the PHD Chamber and its knowledge partner BnB Nation also said the Indian film industry is in for a 11.5 per cent year-on-year growth and its revenue realisation is likely to touch $3.7 billion by 2020.

The industry is likely to reach the figure against its compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 10 per cent in the last couple of years, read a statement.

According to the report, the film industry faces multiple challenges on regulatory fronts such as about 70 approvals and licenses from as many as 30 authorities for shooting films in India. The report also indicates that the growth of the industry could be higher if its regulations are minimised.

Due to hurdles in obtaining licenses, India has lost at least 18 big budget movies to other locations in the last four years, the report said.

Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was the chief guest at the event, which was also attended by Maharashtra's Tourism Minister Jayakumar Jitendrasinh Rawal, apart from film industry veterans like Kapoor and Bhatt.

While narrating their experience of film shootings in India, most producers demanded a curb on the lengthy process of approvals and permissions to shoot.

The effort of the conclave was to draw the attention of the filmmakers to promote film tourism.

Anil Khaitan, Senior Vice President, PHDCCI, said "films are a great source of showcasing any country's culture, heritage and vast economic potential".

Elaborating on regulations, the report indicates that central clearances for shooting of foreign feature films in India require the prior approval of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), whereas in the case of a documentary, approval of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is required.

The script of the film has to be approved by the MIB, which is a time-consuming process. The ministry may also depute a liaison officer to facilitate the shooting, and for location-specific permissions, filmmakers require approvals from authorities at specific locations prior to shooting.

The report recommends introduction of soft loans, providing filmmakers a short-term loan without charging interest to meet their short-term needs. This would encourage producers to shoot in that particular location, and would catalyse the growth of the industry.

Safety is also a major concern which needs to be addressed by the government, the report said, adding that inadequate infrastructure acts as the biggest hindrance to the Indian film tourism industry. Bad road conditions, poor connectivity, inadequate air and sea port capacities and lack of development of modes of transport like railways and alternates like inland water transport and domestic aviation have been causing delays in the film tourism industry operations.

Due to this, costs per film in the Indian film industry increase and ultimately disturb the planned budget. Therefore, there is an urgent need for investment in infrastructure linking roads, railways and airports, to curtail the losses, the report said.

 

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