Day after Yogi’s bid to woo Bollywood, state govt plans ₹4,500-crore makeover for Film City
The Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government on Friday announced that Film City in Goregaon would be modernised at an estimated cost of ₹4,500 crore
The Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government on Friday announced that Film City in Goregaon would be modernised at an estimated cost of ₹4,500 crore. Plans are afoot to build state-of-the-art studios and create tourist attractions on the lines of Universal Studios in Hollywood.
The development comes a day after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath met more than 40 leading Bollywood personalities and invited them to shoot films and TV/OTT shows in a film city coming up in his state.
Cultural affairs minister Sudhir Mungantiwar Mungantiwar said, “We have planned an integrated development of Film City spread over 521 acres with additional 104 square km forest area around it. It has no comparison because of its unique location.”
The focus will be on four major factors, he said. “It will have state-of-the-art studios and training facilities for advanced filmmaking technologies. It will have landscaping to provide more opportunities for outdoor shooting. Finally, we will make it tourist-friendly like Universal Studios where a tourist can even get their one-minute film made on them.”
The state government had in 2018 invited global tenders to upgrade Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari or Film City, but it did not get any response. This time, officials said, the tender documents they are preparing will be more bidder-friendly.
“We are preparing an integrated plan making it more realistic. We expect the project to be completed in three years,” the minister said.
The state also plans to rope in a private player to invest around ₹4,500 crore in the modernisation project. The revenues earned could be shared with the government as per a pre-decided ratio.
“The major problem with the first bidding process was the mandate to rehabilitate 2,500 slum dwellers on the Film City campus. We then realised that the global bidder who was expected to come with the expertise to modernise it could not be expected to rehabilitate the residents. We will have to tweak the tender conditions to attract more experienced players this time. The discussion has begun and we expect the process to start soon,” an official from the cultural affairs department said.
After the failed attempt by the previous government, a section of the officers from the department was mulling the idea of giving away smaller portions of Film City on lease to several companies for development, the official said.
“The idea was, however, turned down by the minister during our meeting on Thursday. He wants a holistic development of Film City which can address the future requirements as well. We want to develop it in such a way that it can compete with world class facilities like Universal Studios in California,” the official added.
Yogi, during his meeting with Bollywood personalities at Hotel Taj on Thursday, promised hassle-free shooting locations with better connectivity and world class technology at their upcoming facility spread over 1,000 acres in Gautam Buddha Nagar. He also announced 50% subsidy for web series and 25% subsidy for using laboratories.
Later in the day, Mungantiwar chaired a meeting with officials to discuss the proposal to give Film City a makeover.
Film City is owned and managed by Maharashtra Film, State and Cultural Development Corporation Limited.