Three years after announcing that it would make it easy for international filmmakers to shoot films in India, the I&B ministry, through its Film Facilitation Office (FFO), has approached different departments seeking details on the procedures followed, the listed iconic spots, rules and regulations and mandatory licences for the filmmakers.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Airports Authority of India, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Animal Welfare Board, Ministry of Environment, ASI and Ministry of Railways were consulted for this.

A foreign filmmaker has to get an average of over 31 licences to shoot a film in India, because of which most of them don’t come to the country. Last year, the ministry, after a push from the top, consulted the MHA and MEA and introduced a special visa category for foreign filmmakers to “ease the hardship in getting the visa for shooting films”. Recently, the government has employed more scrutiny on filmmakers proposing to make documentaries on Kashmir and border villages.

Officials said information from the ASI and Ministry of Railways on iconic spots where films can be shot and the necessary approvals are awaited.

“We have been compiling data on historic spots and available studios and empanelling line producers and Production Services Companies that are hired by foreign filmmakers while shooting in India. They will be listed by the month-end on the FFO’s website which will have other details on permissions, locations, filming, co-production and a production directory,” a top official said.

“A number of petitions have been given to the ministry to reduce the time taken to procure permits for foreign crew that want to shoot in India,” a Film and Television Producers Guild of India official said. As of now, permissions that should take not more than four weeks takes close to six months and international crew pay 2-3 times higher rate to the locals they hire.





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