Economy

Foreign film production houses may soon get one-stop approval for shoots

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on July 08, 2012

TOURISM BOOSTER

International production houses may soon find it easier to get permission to shoot films in India.

In a bid to make India a filming destination, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is looking at setting up a Film Commission that will initially act as a single-window clearance agency to issue permits for shooting. At present, international producers need to seek multiple approvals. While they require script approvals from the I&B Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs, cast and crew approvals are required from Ministry of Home Affairs. Based on the kind of shots and location, they need approvals from Customs Department, the Archaeological Survey of India besides several other local and State authorities.

SHOOTING DESTINATION

Just as Hindi film producer, Mr Yash Chopra’s movies have put Switzerland on the Indian honeymooners to-do-list and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara put Spain in the spotlight, the Commission may gradually expand its activities to put India firmly on the tourism map, besides marketing India as a shooting destination.

“The Commission will work on marketing and promoting the expertise and skills of our local talent for shooting and production. It will also look into what kind of an incentive package can be offered to attract foreign productions and help international production houses to scout for locations and other support services,” an official said.

According to estimates, the Film Commission would require annual investments worth Rs 5 crore.

INCENTIVE PACKAGE

The incentive package will be formulated in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, which will also closely work with the I&B Ministry, to design activities to promote film tourism. In several consultations between the Ministry and the film industry, it was suggested that the Film Commission could be modelled on cities such as New York and Berlin, besides countries such as Canada, Germany and Australia.

The number of international production houses seeking permission to not only shoot movies, but also television series and advertisements has been growing. Besides Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, several movies, including the upcoming Dark Knight Rises, have been shot in India. But the procedural hassles led the producers of the James Bond sequel, Skyfall, to reportedly cancel their plans to shoot in India.

With more than 300 Film Commissions around the world, there are various incentive schemes to promote countries as a filming destinations. For instance, Hong Kong and Indonesia do not tax international production houses, and Korea, Ireland and South Africa offer tax rebates.

Published on July 08, 2012

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