Tourism promoters see great potential in showcasing the place

The concept of transforming Puducherry as a paradise for film shootings has gained momentum thanks to the implausible depiction of Puducherry to the worldwide movie lovers with the Oscar winning “Life of Pi.”

Ever since the movie hit the headlines by getting three Oscars a few weeks ago, crew members of at least two films, including a French group, have landed in Puducherry to capture the beautiful beach, perpendicular streets, palatial houses, the scenic botanical garden, colonial French structures and exquisite churches.

With a few more film crews scheduled to arrive soon and more producers expressing interest, the authorities and tourism promoters see an opportunity to showcase Puducherry to the domestic and international film-makers.

They see a great potential to promote shooting tourism in Puducherry, which may fetch more revenue to the government, local bodies, hotels and restaurants.

“It is fantastic to be here in Puducherry, which houses some spectacular shooting spots. It is amazing to see a number of heritage structures, beautiful gardens, picturesque lanes and others,” says ‘Power Star’ Seenivasan, hero of the film, “Naan Sarakku Nee Oorukai”, which being shot in Puducherry.

Places such as Beach Road, Bharathi Park, Botanical Garden, Ariyankuppam and the Chunnambar boat house had been the favourite film spots in Puducherry so far.

A number of new spots have been added to the list post screening of Life of Pi, which was shot in at least 18 spots here.

According to a rough estimate, more than 350 short, feature and advertising films and Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, French, English movies were shot in Puducherry till now. Notable pictures such as “Kannathil Muthamittal,” “Rajaparvai,” “Varanam Ayiram,” “Mounam Pesiathe,” “Minnale,” “Kadhalil Vizhunthaen” were shot here.

Tour promoters are of the view that the success of Life of Pi has given a win-win situation to the stakeholders to woo film-makers of different languages.

“We do receive many enquiries from far away countries post Life of Pi. It is a golden opportunity to tap the resources from various countries. Telugu, Kannada, Bengali and other regional and national language film-makers can also be attracted. There should be a separate division for portraying the potential of Puducherry to the worldwide film-makers. It will ultimately bring direct and indirect revenue to the Union Territory,” says Harsaran Singh of Thomas Cook, Puducherry.