Single-window nod for film shooting sought

Written by Rupsa Ray | Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai, Nov 6 | Updated: Nov 7 2007, 06:21am hrs
The sun-kissed beaches at Mandarmani in southern West Bengal or the grand palaces of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh would make ideal locations for shooting films, but obtaining the myriad permissions for a shoot from the respective authorities could be a producers nightmare. For heritage sites, producers will have to take permission from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), and for roads from the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC), highways and flyovers from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). For state-owned buildings like government offices and colleges, one has to get permission from the Mantralaya.

The Film and Television Producers Guild of India Ltd is, therefore, planning to appeal to the government for a one stop window clearance to make their work easier.

Film producers likeVivek Singhania, president and CEO of Picture Perfect (producers of the Himesh Reshammiya starrer Aap Ka Suroor) and Johny Bakshi (who has produced films like the Pooja Bhatt starrer Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi amongst others) say that capturing these locales for their films would not burn a hole in their pockets, if only they would get all the necessary permissions from the authorities through a one stop window.

He added that along with permissions through a one stop window, the state government should also grant them subsidies for film production.

Singhania, who recently shot Aap Ka Suroor in Germany told FE, Outdoor shooting in Mumbai on a magnum opus scale would not be more than Rs 5 lakh per day, compared to the UK or the US where it could be anything between Rs 35-40 lakhs each day, but getting permission in Germany was not as Herculean a task as it is in India.

Supporting Singhanias statements, Bakshi further said, When we have beautiful, archaic locations within India, why shouldnt we commercially exploit it Viewers will also become aware of the various scenic locations we have in India.

However, getting permission for shooting is not restricted to film-makers alone. At a time when even tele serial makers are looking at outdoor shoots, formulating simpler policies is the need of the hour, says Dheeraj Kumar, chairman and managing director of production house Creative Eye. Kumar adds that there are excellent locations in Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and even West Bengal, but permissions should not get caught in red tape.