J&K launches film policy to promote UT as shooting destination
Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha has launched the Union Territory’s Film Policy, which officials said has been worked out to facilitate the overall growth of the film industry in the region, including setting up of a film development council and revival of closed cinema halls.
The policy, launched at a star-studded event here on Thursday in the presence of actor Aamir Khan and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, aims at establishing Jammu and Kashmir as the first choice of film shooting destination for filmmakers.
The officials said the policy has been worked out to promote the overall growth of the film industry in the Union Territory, setting up of the Jammu and Kashmir Film Development Council and providing hands on access to website for talent pool and all shooting destinations.
They said it will also facilitate the development of shooting locales, infrastructure for film screening, revival of closed cinema halls, upgrading existing cinema halls, encouraging setting up of multiplexes and cinema halls, destination marketing, organising the J&K film festival, and restoration and preservation of films from the region.
The government has set up a single-window clearance mechanism, prepared equipment, location and talent directories, besides offering a host of incentives for filmmakers coming to the UT, the officials said.
Speaking at the launch event, Sinha said it was a historic day for Jammu and Kashmir. He said the government is creating a vibrant film ecosystem to make the region the film industry’s favourite once again.
Among one of the best in the country, the new Film Policy will transform Jammu and Kashmir and revive its halcyon days of being a cinematographer’s delight, he added.
“I invite filmmakers from across the world to come to J&K and explore the pristine beauty of Jammu and Kashmir. At the same time, also avail a host of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, besides world-class facilities offered by the J&K government,” he said.
The Film Policy has been drafted after consultations with the experts and in-depth study of progressive film policies of other states, UTs, and other countries. “Suggestions of renowned names of the Indian film industry have also been incorporated while formulating the policy. The facility which one gets at other locations in Europe or America, we are committed to providing the same at the locations in Jammu and Kashmir,” the Lt Governor said.
Sinha said the Film Policy is not just a government document, but it is Jammu and Kashmir regaining its proud legacy of association with the world of cinema, and the long and cherished tradition of film shooting.
It is also a reflection of a changing development scenario of Jammu and Kashmir and represents the aspirations of the art sector, he said.
“To meet the need of the film shooting, we have the manpower of more than 1500 such trained artists which will also provide an opportunity to the local talents to show their skills,” Sinha said. “Besides, there are hundreds of unexplored places, which have been left unattended by filmmakers and we are developing those potential places with the requisite facilities and team of the best local artists.The new film policy will also give a fillip to the film tourism sector, thus opening up more employment avenues for the locals,” he added.
“As far as security is concerned, 10.52 lakh tourists coming in July alone shows that there is no concern from the security point of view,” the Lt Governor said.
While highlighting some of the key endeavours of the government to add more attraction to the film sector and introducing Jammu and Kashmir’s long association with the films to the new generation, he said the government has decided to install illuminating signages dedicated to the directors, film actors and crew members at the locations where memorable films have been shot.
Recalling the era of 60s and 70s, the Lt Governor said renowned films makers and film personalities such as Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Dilip Kumar in the 60s, and later Yash Chopra, Rahul Rawail, Mani Ratnam, had a deep association with Jammu and Kashmir. The world will once again get to see and experience the same scenario after decades, Sinha said.