Films to get subsidy for showcasing tourism destinations

Besides launching the careers of its young stars, the 2006 blockbuster Mungaru Male had tourists rushing to Jog Falls.

Some years prior to that, Shivarajkumar-starrer Nammoora Mandara Hoove brought Yana in Uttara Kannada in the day-tripper’s focus.

Realising that films are the best vehicles to market tourism destinations, the State government has decided to give special subsidies to producers who choose to shoot their films at such locations.

This is a lucky reversal for producers who hitherto had to pay for filming at tourism locations besides chasing red tape to get government permission.

Five minutes of footage

What the government wants in return is that producers show at least five minutes of footage along with a one-line description of the place and location.

They can claim the subsidy by submitting the footage to the Department of Tourism.

Ministry decision

The government decision comes in the wake of a Union Ministry of Tourism initiative to promote India as a film shooting destination, offering financial support to State governments and Union Territories in its July 25, 2012 order.

The order also mentions many ancillary gains for the destinations, fundamentally boosting local economies.

Noting that production teams are stymied by undue delay in getting multiple permissions from different State agencies, the Ministry has written to Chief Ministers seeking their proactive role in cutting red tape to promote film tourism.

It suggested the constitution of a high-level committee to coordinate inter-departmental issues, identifying a nodal officer for regular follow-ups and identifying locations, which could be promoted through films in consultation with the departments of Forest and Wildlife, Art and Culture, Heritage and Archaeology.

Five films, for a start

The Ministry’s order said that five films will be eligible for a maximum of Rs. 2 lakh per film each financial year in each State and Union Territory, though an additional two films could be considered based on their merit.

Consequently, the Tourism Department has offered the subsidy for a film and teleserial.

While welcoming the move, Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy Chairperson Tara said the subsidy should be increased to Rs. 5 lakh and the government should not insist on permission for film units to shoot at tourism locations.

Decision on October 1

The final decision on the subsidy amount and the number of films eligible is likely to be taken on October 1, according to Tourism Department sources.

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