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India aims to give film tourism a boost


(TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)
(TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

Exotic foreign locales have become part of Bollywood movies. It is not uncommon to see the lead pair of a Bollywood movie frolicking in Switzerland’s snow or canoodling on a Gondola boat in Venice.

But not many Indian locations are featured in international movies. Yes, Hollywood movies such as Eat, Pray, Love, Jobs, The Hundred Foot Journey all featured the subcontinent, but these are few and far between.

India Inc wants to change that and for that India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Tourism have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote film tourism.

According to the agreement, the Ministry of Tourism will provide financial support for identified film festivals and offer single-window clearance permission to shoot films, reported Moneycontrol.com. This is expected to highlight India as a suitable filming destination for domestic as well as foreign film producers.

India also has top-notch post production facilities that foreign producers can make use of. For instance, visual effects company Prime Focus is a hot favourite for a number of Hollywood producers, having extended their services to a number of box-office blockbusters such as Avatar, New Moon and GI Joe.

The company has offices in Los Angeles, London, Vancouver, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Goa.

“The country has world-class post-production capabilities including VFX, 3D and animation, which has led to an increase in outsourcing of post-production services to it,” a report by FICCI on film tourism said, reported Moneycontrol.com.

Besides providing these facilities, India should use Bollywood to promote exciting locations, believes filmmaker Ramesh Sippy. “Bollywood is a trend setter and people are fascinated by anything we show in our films. We should use that to promote destinations in India,” Sippy was quoted as saying by the media outlet.

“The media and entertainment industry is growing 15%-16% whereas tourism is up by 20% and I am looking at better numbers in the near future in both the sectors. Combined efforts by both will definitely shoot up numbers,” Sippy added.