Unfazed by covid-19, Bollywood throngs Uttarakhand
Dehradun: Bollywood is swooning over locations of Uttarakhand like never before and it's no big surprise that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, film makers are heading to the picturesque locations like Auli, Dehradun, Rishikesh and Almora in Uttarkashi in the past six months.
The Uttarakhand Film Development Council (UFDC) has given 60 permissions to film makers for shootings and more requests are flooding.
Nodal officer, UFDC K S Chauhan who told the Millennium Post that the state has been a sought-after destination for Bollywood, historically. "Uttarakhand has always been a big Bollywood destination because of the unmatchable locations, the religious places, Himalaya and peaceful atmosphere. Last week, a long shooting of Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor's movie has completed in Dehradun," said Chauhan. It is worth noticing that in past can several movies like Student of The Year, Koi Mil Gaya, Lakshya, Paan Singh Tomar and Kedarnath, were shot in various locations and went on to become blockbusters.
The reasons behind the success of Uttarakhand emerging as Bollywood destination goes to the state film policy and the Uttarakhand state's which facilitates the film industry. Giving details of the last five years, Chauhan, himself a Bollywood buff, said that 427 movies have been shot in different locations from 2015 onwards in Uttarakhand. This means, every year, over 80 movies are shot in Uttarakhand which is quite a remarkable feat.
The state's film policy offers hassle-free permissions, 50 per cent discount on stay in all state government guest houses—GMVN and KMVN- for the crew, free five police personnel for security, Rs 1.5 crore subsidy for the movie that is shot 75 percent in Uttarakhand and free transport and meals for producers on recce of shooting locations.
Arun Gupta, owner of Shaheen Bagh- a luxury property in Dehradun where Bollywood stars frequently stay during their shootings, says that Uttarakhand has a great pull factor not just among film stars but all those associated with the Bollywood industry. "Our state's film policy is so Bollywood friendly that in next few years Uttarakhand would surpass all other states," said Gupta.