The ministry of Information and Broadcasting has decided to make India a more filming-friendly country for foreigners, but desi filmmakers say the government should think about them before thinking about international filmmakers.
I&B minister Manish Tewari had recently said, “Films are a huge tourism multiplier and when Indian filmmakers shoot abroad, it spurs an entire wave of tourism. But when we want to do it in reverse, we are told that there is huge bureaucratic delay in getting permissions to shoot here. We’re setting up an inter-ministerial committee with representations of the state government to see if we can create a single window clearance structure for foreign filmmakers who want to shoot in India.”
To this, acclaimed filmmaker Onir says, “The government needs to think about making the permission processes easier for Indian filmmakers before thinking about foreigners. We are the ones who need it the most!” Filmmaker Rajshri Ojha agrees, and says Indian filmmakers are uncared for. “We are making films with very little resources, and too many problems. The government should give us incentives too!,” says Ojha.
Director Alankrita Shrivastava says the single-window clearance is a great idea as long as it also takes desi filmmakers unders its wings. “Indian films have far smaller budgets compared to International films, and for shooting, we land up paying multiple departments and various government employees. Red-tapism needs to go.”
Some, on the other hand, say it’s a good step. “To make things easier for a person from an alien land is a good step. It will open great opportunities for tourism in India. Also, if a foreign crew’s shoot in India is made easy, they will return, strike a synergy with Indian crews and generate employment,” says filmmaker Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra.