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Film Facilitation Office a step towards single-window clearance: Rathore

MUMBAI: Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has said that the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) set up by the government was a step towards facilitating single-window clearance for filmmakers, promote India as a filming destination, and provide a platform for film tourism in the country.

Rajyavardhan RathoreWhile inaugurating the India Pavilion at Cannes Film festival, Rathore said that the initiative also addressed the requirement of prospective filmmakers who were keen to utilise India’s platform for filming purposes.

The FFO would act as a facilitation point for film producers and assist them in obtaining requisite permissions, disseminate information on shooting locales as well as facilities available with the Indian film industry for production/postproduction.

Elaborating further, he said that the primary objective of the FFO was to create an environment that inspired filmmakers and tap the vast talent available in the Indian film industry.

The FFO would also identify and recommend such policy changes at the central and state levels, which would make India a more film-friendly destination.

The minister also outlined the steps being taken by the ministry to streamline the process of permission in the states. In this regard, he mentioned that the ministry had requested state governments to appoint a nodal officer for the purpose of promoting and facilitating film shootings in their states. He added that the FFO would regularly engage with these nodal officers to remove any roadblocks and ease out the process of permissions as well as promote the states internationally through initiatives such as conducting familiarisation tours for foreign filmmakers, participation at international markets.

In his address, the minister specifically highlighted the government’s recent initiative of instituting the ‘Most Film Friendly State’ award as part of the National Film Awards, with the objective to encourage the state governments to support the film industry.

He stated that the award aims to sensitize the Indian states to film tourism, advantages of bringing in foreign filmmakers to shoot in their states, promote India as a preferred filming destination, as well as encourage the growth of the film industry.

The minister touched upon the criteria for the award, which included a single-window clearance facility, state government-backed film studio complexes, incentives offered by the states, a dedicated web portal, database of facilities, efforts to develop talent for the film industry, connectivity in the states and international marketing initiatives.

The minister said that there would be a dedicated web portal to take the application process online in the next few months. The portal would not only enable online submission of application and enlist guidelines of key central government ministries/departments regarding shooting of films in one place, but also create a location guide and a service providers’ directory, in order to offer a single window for the international film community who were looking to shoot their films in India.

Rathore also spoke about the proposed National Centre of Excellence for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming & Comics. He stated that, while the government would focus on providing land and infrastructure, private partners were invited to utilise this initiative with investment, technology and faculty.

He also unveiled the official poster and brochure of the 47th International Film Festival of India to be held in Goa in November 2016.