Bad roads and poor air connectivity are seemingly keeping the film producers away from the scenic locales of the hill state.
Tourism development board vice chairman S Vijay Singh Mankotia, who recently attended the Cinema Summit in Mumbai, said that the filmmakers praised the state for its beauty but were highly critical of the problems they faced during shoots.
“My simple question to the filmmakers was why they prefer foreign land over Himachal Pradesh. They said that there were no problems abroad as government facilitates film shoots,” he said.
Mankotia also held a series of meetings with producers for promoting the state. Mankotia separately met top producers, including Ramesh Sippy; Mahesh Bhatt; Yash Raj Films vice-president Ashish Singh; Rajan Kapoor from Kabir Khan Films; National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) CEO Neena Lath Gupta and producer Guneet Monga among others.
“Poor air connectivity and bad roads was one of the biggest concerns expressed by film producers. They complained that even the hotels in the state did not offer discounts to film units which they easily get in foreign countries. The filmmakers also rued the hassles in seeking permissions for shoots in the state,” he said.
Earlier, the state government had drawn a proposal for setting up a film studio and had shortlisted two places - Chail in Solan and Andretta in Kangra district. The state government has also framed a policy that has made getting clearances easier for filmmakers.
“Film producers are not very keen on setting up of a film city. Since technology in cinema advances rapidly, rather they asked me to shortlist ten sites for film shoots in Himachal Pradesh,” he said.
It was in the 1960s that RK Nayyar’s black and white romantic musical hit “Love in Shimla” attracted Bollywood to Himachal Pradesh.
The state’s beauty attracted filmmakers till the late 60s and the 70s, after which filmmakers found a new love in Kashmir Valley and Europe. Recently, as part of its tourism promotional programme and to attract Bollywood to Kashmir, J&K tourism department organised a one-day Cinema Tourism Summit in Mumbai.
Prominent films shot in Himachal
Love in Shimla
Jab We Met
Main Tera Hero
Tere Ghar Kay Saamney
Main Aisa He Hoon
Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani