The Bollywood Facilitation Cell, a brainchild of the Chandigarh administration, to facilitate film and TV serial makers to shoot in the city and promote cine-tourism in the region, has been divested of its powers to allow film crew to shoot in the city. The cell was set up in 2004.
Now, filmmakers will have to approach UT deputy commissioner (DC) Mohammed Shayin for seeking permissions to shoot in the city.
The cell was acting as a single window to help filmmakers get permission for shooting at different locations in the city and security for the artists and crew. The facilitation cell also helped the filmmakers in spotting shooting locations, both indoor and outdoor, as per their requirements. It also assisted them in boarding and lodging, transport, local artist, equipment and other arrangements.
Sources said t hat t he cel l was giving per missions without keeping the local police and senior officials in the loop. Due to the loose administrative control, the cell was also granting permits for places were shooting is not allowed.
Sources said t hat fo r o ne of the Hindi film, the cell had given per mission to shoot at the Sector-3 police station to which the department had objected. Similarly, in the garb of per mission to shoot at the Sukhna Lake, the cell wa s allowing filmmakers to shoot at restricted areas such as island and lake promenade. Shooting in such areas is prohibited due to environmental and ecological reasons.
Mohammed Shayin said that the cell was granting per mission on its discretion without consulting senior officials. “For permission to shoot in city, the filmmakers will have to apply for per mission at DC of fice,” said Shayin.
Meanwhile, the Chandigarh administration is working on making services provided by the cell available online. National Infor matics Centre (NIC) has been asked to develop the software, which is expected to be made available shortly.
The city has become a pre-ferred destination for filmmakers not only from across the country, but also aboard. In recent years, top producers and directors have descended upon the city for shooting of their films.
Among the recent movies shot in the city and its periphery, include Besharam, Santa-Banta, Ramaiya Vastavaiya, Special 26, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Son of Sardar, Bodyguard, Fashion, Mere Dad Ki Maruti, Apne, Zero Dark Thirty and Dev D.