Millennium Post

Chiranjeevi wants single-window clearance for foreign filmmakers

In an attempt to make film-making easier for foreign producers in India, tourism minister K Chiranjeevi has recommended to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that a single film facilitation body be created in every state.

Sources in the ministry told Millennium Post that the minister’s suggestion is to have the nodal facilitation centre located in the chief minister’s office in every state. This center will be headed by an IAS officer. International producers of films that are to be shot in India will then contact the official directly, who would in turn get all clearances for them, said the source. This will essentially create a single-window clearance system to make the process simpler, easier and faster, added the source. Chiranjeevi took this initiative after he met Ang Lee, director of
Life of Pi,
and Yann Martel, author of the book. While interacting with them he learnt they had to face a number of hurdles while  shooting the film. In fact, the source said, the director and author shared with the minister the ‘bitter experiences’ they had in India during the course of shooting crucial sequences of the film.

‘Ang Lee told Chiranjeevi they had to get nearly 74 clearances from the government to shoot in Puducherry and Munnar, which delayed the film-making process quite a bit. They were also asked to deposit an amount of Rs 50 lakh to the information and broadcasting ministry, before they could start filming in India,’ said the source.

Hailing from cinema background, the minister feels tourism in India is being affected because various locations in India are not being shot by foreign filmmakers due to these hurdles.

The minister had recently announced several initiatives for promoting ‘Film Tourism’ through films shot in India. A part of which is the ‘Land of Pi’ campaign, introduced to popularise and promote Puducherry and Munnar.
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