NEW DELHI: Jammu & Kashmir, the most popular outdoor location for Bollywood films in the Sixties and Seventies, is looking to reclaim the status by offering fresh incentives to Indian and international film production houses to make its scenic mountains and vales the setting for their upcoming cinematic ventures.
J&K LG Manoj Sinha, keen to enlist the support of top filmmakers in the UT government’s bid to revive J&K’s legacy as a cinematographer’s delight, met top Bollywood filmmakers in Mumbai on Sunday to not only invite them to shoot their films in the UT but to also seek their suggestions on how to make shooting in J&K a business-friendly, secure and attractive option.
Among the Bollywood producers/directors who attended the meeting were Ekta Kapoor, Imtiaz Ali, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, Dinesh Vijan, Nitesh Tiwari, Mahaveer Jain and Sanjay Tripathi, apart from trade analyst Komal Nahta. Though Karan Johar and Rohit Shetty could not make it, they spoke to the LG over the telephone.
Much has changed since the times when Kashmir was the preferred outdoor location for Bollywood. A policy which encourages filmmakers to shoot there again should be welcome. Attempts should be made to ensure that local talent also finds space in creative arts.
“The J&K government is working on a comprehensive film policy for the UT, the draft of which is ready. The filmmakers have been asked to suggest certain points that can be included in the policy. They will get back to us within a week,” a source told Reporters on Monday.
Government sources said films shot in J&K will help promote the place as an attractive tourist destination, apart from showcasing normalcy in the region. An official said security arrangements will be made free of cost to ensure that filmmakers can complete shooting.
As part of its efforts to create a vibrant film ecosystem in J&K, the UT government plans to set up a nationally competitive infrastructure; offer administrative assistance to ease filmmaking in J&K; lay down attractive schemes of financial support and exemptions; and offer local talent to assist in film-making.