In a significant development towards establishing J&K as the first choice of film shooting destination for filmmakers, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha launched the much-awaited J&K Film Policy-2021 in a star-studded evening with renowned actor Amir Khan & film maker Rajkumar Hirani, among others at SKICC.
Terming the day as historic for J&K, the Lt Governor observed that J&K Government is creating a vibrant film ecosystem to bring back the golden era of filmmaking in J&K, and transform the UT into the most preferred film destination.
Among one of the best in the country, the new Film Policy will transform Jammu & 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”, said the Lt Governor.
The government has set up Single Window Clearance mechanism; prepared Equipment, Location & Talent Directories, besides offering a host of incentives for filmmakers coming to the UT. The new policy also aims at maximizing the potential of promising local talent & creating livelihood opportunities for many, he further added.
The Film Policy has been drafted after consultations with the experts and in-depth study of progressive film policies of other States/UTs and aboard. 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.
The Lt Governor noted that the presence of the likes of world-renowned names of the Film Industry on this occasion would provide a big boost to the new initiative of the government to promote the film-making sector in the UT.
J&K Film Policy is not just a government document. 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, said the Lt Governor.
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. 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, added the Lt Governor.
As far as security is concerned, 10 lakh 52 thousand tourists coming in July alone itself shows that there is no concern from the security point of view, said the Lt Governor.
While highlighting some of the key endeavours of the government to add more attraction to the film sector and introducing J&K’s long association with the films to the new generation, the Lt Governor said that 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.
The installed signage boards will also have some interesting information related to the film for the attraction for the tourists, he added.
Recalling the era of 60s and 70s, the Lt Governor noted that there was a time when J&K and Hindi Film Industry were complementary to each other.
The majestic beauty of J&K has been captured through the lens and showcased on the silver screen. Renowned films makers and film personalities like Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Dilip Kumar in the 60s, and later, big names like Yash Chopra, Rahul Rawail, Mani Ratnam, had their deep association with Jammu and Kashmir. The world will once again get to see and experience the same scenario after decades, the Lt Governor observed.
The Lt Governor recalled his meeting with Bollywood personalities at Mumbai including Ekta Kapoor, Nitesh Tiwari, Imtiaz Ali, Mahavir Jain, Sanjay Tripathi, Ashwiny Iyer who shared their desire to shoot the upcoming ventures in J&K.
The Lt Governor also cited the historic connection of J&K with rich tradition of art, theatre and music, and mentioned about the origin of Indian Classical Music in its modern form from Kashmir. ‘The rich legacy of music and its unitary journey begins in 1187 from Sodhal of Kashmir and his son Sharang Dev, and reached other parts of the country’, he added.
Speaking on the new era of development being witnessed by the UT, the Lt Governor said that the Jammu and Kashmir is progressing rapidly. We are also completing decades-old projects now on priority basis. In the last one year despite Covid pandemic, we have created a new record by completing 16,000 projects under District Capex budget and 9514 projects in UT sector budget.
We are working with a mission and dedication to fulfilling the aspirations of the young generation and citizens of the UT to build a strong and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir, the Lt Governor further added.
Film Actor, Amir Khan also shared his views on the Film Policy and said that the J&K possesses a huge growth potential in film sector.
On the occasion, famous producer Mahaveer Jain announced his next film to be shot in J&K. Another web series by talented Vir Hirani will also be shot in the UT.
Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, while speaking on the occasion, said that the purpose of this new policy is to explore thousands of scenic tourist locations similar to other popular destinations of the UT.
Sh. Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Information Department highlighted the salient features of J&K Film Policy-2021.
Sh. Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor, in his Vote of Thanks address, invited the film fraternity to come and explore J&K as a preferred film making destination. Sh. Rahul Pandey, Director, Department of Information and PR delivered the inaugural address.
Pertinently, J&K Film Policy-2021 has been worked out to facilitate the overall growth of J&K Film Industry; setting up of Jammu & Kashmir Film Development Council; providing hands on access to Website for Talent Pool and all shooting destinations; development of shooting locales, infrastructure for film screening; revival of closed cinema halls; upgradation of existing cinema halls; encouraging setting up of multiplexes and cinema halls; destination marketing for J&K; organizing J&K Film festival; restoration and preservation of J&K Films and many more.
Sh. Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar and Sh. Baseer Khan-Advisor to Lt Governor; Sh. Dilbag Singh, DGP; Vice-Chancellors of various Universities; Administrative Secretaries; Sh. Pandurang K. Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Sh. Vijay Kumar, IGP Kashmir, and local artists in large numbers were present on this historic occasion.