“We want to promote India as a content hub” – Mr. Ravinder Bhakar
A panel of dignitaries at the 75th Cannes Film Festival discussed the opportunities for filmmakers to produce films in India. The objective of the panel was to encourage international filmmakers to explore India as a filming location and present the latest policies and incentives the government has announced.
Mr. Ravinder Bhakar, Managing Director at NFDC notified the audience of the initiatives that the government is running to make the process of filmmaking hassle-free. He also apprised the audience of the enterprises that the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) facilitates. For example, a single-window scheme, incentives to open single-screen theaters in the country, and an incentive tracking and grievance settling mechanism. The intent is to project India as a content hub, Mr. Bhakar said.
Mr. Saurabh Vijay, Secretary, Dept. of Cultural Affairs (Maharashtra) further added that the state of Maharashtra is working on a new policy that will have the same ease as a single window. The state wants to promote an easy filmmaking atmosphere.
Mr. Kilian Kerwin from SK Global, a foreign production company, also shared his experiences of producing films in India highlighting the quick process of gaining permissions and the co-operative attitude of locals in filming locations. He also highlighted that more than the location, it is Indian writing and storytelling that is exciting to the global market. He joked about the unavailability of a favourite DP or a focus puller in India since many films are in the making of late.
Mr. Ravi Kottarakara, Secretary film federation of India and South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce pointed out that over 5000 films are made in India and with the availability of the latest equipment and skilled technicians, the opportunities are abound.
The panel also touched upon the boost to tourism and local economy with the introduction of the latest set of incentives.