Jammu and Kashmir government is mulling to reopen closed cinema halls and set up multiplexes in the valley.

Under the Jammu and Kashmir Film Policy 2021, the government has decided to encourage and incentivize the owners to re-open closed cinema halls.

“The government of Jammu and Kashmir shall encourage and incentivize owners to reopen closed cinema halls. All the incentives to such units shall be governed under the provisions of J&K Industrial Policy 2021,” reads the policy document.

The government also proposes upgrading the existing cinema halls in Jammu and Kashmir to “give a unique experience to the viewers.”

“For promoting film viewing in the cinema halls, it is important to modernize and upgrade the facilities and technologies available in the existing cinema halls. The government of J&K shall encourage the owners of the Cinema Halls to create modern amenities by way of various incentives. All the incentives to such Units shall be governed under the provisions of J&K Industrial Policy 2021,” it said.

Moreover, incentives are also being offered by the government for setting up Multiplexes and new Cinema halls in the UT.

“To encourage setting up of Multiplexes and Cinema Halls, all the incentives as envisaged under the J&K Industrial Policy 2021 shall be applicable,” the policy said.

As per the new policy, film production has been one of the focus sectors. “In the present times, television and other means of entertainment are vying with films to grab the attention of viewers. This has resulted in a sharp fall in the number of filmgoers which has forced the closure of the cinema halls, and many existing cinema halls are on the verge of closure. To bring back the public into the cinema halls it is imperative to have high-grade facilities in film screening hall,” it said.

“The modern Cinema Theatre should be able to provide a unique experience which otherwise is not available while watching movies at home. To this effect the following three-pronged strategy will be adopted,” the policy said

All the Cinema halls functioning in the valley were closed after militancy erupted in 1990. An effort by the J&K government in 1999 to open some cinema halls in Srinagar failed after a grenade attack at Regal Cinema in Lal Chowk and elsewhere.

To achieve the objectives of the film policy, the government has decided to constitute Jammu and Kashmir Film Development Council.

The J&K Film Development Council (JKFDC) as per the policy document  will be a High-Powered Committee headed by a senior officer of the rank of Principal Secretary to the Government and shall comprise, besides other senior officers, eminent personalities of the Film industry and others related to the industry.

Under the new policy, JKFDC  will create an ecosystem for making Jammu & Kashmir a preferred destination for filming,  build a well-strategized and focused branding of UT in the films and in the narratives surrounding those films, facilitate the overall growth of J&K Film Industry, take measures to promote film tourism through financial intervention and provide a mechanism for disbursement of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.

J&K Film Division is also being envisaged by the government for running the short/educational films made in J&K in the cinema houses and implementation of the Film Policy.

As per the policy, appropriate security and safety arrangements would be made free of cost to enable the filmmakers to complete shooting in the union territory.

“The films produced, to patronize the feeling of “One Nation, Best Nation” (Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat), and on certain other themes as decided by JKFDC in English and other languages of the country (excluding the films produced in regional languages of J&K), shooting of which has been carried out for a minimum half of their total shooting days in the UT, shall be given 50% of their cost or Rs 50 lakhs, whichever is less, by way of subsidy,” it said.

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