Twin objectives of promoting Malayalam cinema, tourism

Tourism industry in the State is scaling up for better exposure, this time through the medium of cinema. The State is considering establishing a single window clearance system for film shootings in the State.

The proposal was made during a panel discussion on ‘Discovering Kerala through Cinema,' organised under the ‘Marketing Malayalam Cinema initiative. Minister for Tourism A.P. Anil Kumar inaugurated the session at the 16 International Film Festival here on Wednesday.

Speaking to The Hindu, the Minister said that the proposal had been accepted and a detailed study would be made to consider this possibility through which the State could achieve growth in the tourism industry and find markets for the Malayalam cinema.

This is under the scheme — ‘film tourism', a proposal for establishing a single window clearance system in the States, proposed earlier by the Central government. The system is already operational in Goa and Pondicherry.

The cell would be responsible for dealing with various issues such as access to various tourism locations, visa clearance for international film-makers and no objection certificates for film shootings in various locations of cultural importance. The State cell would be chaired by Chief Minister with representatives from various departments.

Tax sops

A proposal in which the Union Tourism Ministry will provide finance to the State for tax reimbursement to those who shoot films in Kerala will also be considered under this scheme.

In the panel discussion, it was pointed out that States such as Goa had adopted the single window clearance system through which locales were made more accessible to international film-makers. This, in turn, opens up opportunities for co-productions.

According to the convener of Marketing Malayalam Cinema, Raveendran, the State can offer exotic locations for shooting films and cost-effective post production works. If this potential is tapped with the help of government support, the State can develop as a major location for films. This also paves way for promoting Malayalam cinema.

An initiative to promote Malayalam cinema through various film study centres and universities was also being considered, he said.

Speaking at the function, eminent film-makers such as Shaji N. Karun and Kamal pointed out that the State needed an organisation that would be totally committed to promoting the marketing of Malayalam Cinema.

“Cinema in our State is not well organised. One has to understand that cinema is a product discovered by capitalism. It needs market because money is involved in it. Hence an organisational structure for marketing cinema has to be developed in the State,” said Mr. Karun.