The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) is planning to set up a Film Commission to put in place a single window clearance mechanism for film shooting in India.
The proposal seeks to replace the current requirement of multiple on-ground permissions and clearances that results in huge loss of potential revenues to the film, tourism and ancillary sectors. The Ministry of I&B and Ministry of Tourism signed an MoU to work together to promote India as a global film shooting destination, said Mr Uday K. Varma, Secretary, Ministry of I&B, at the inaugural session of the three-day FICCI Frames 2012.
Mr Varma said that in order to combat piracy in the film industry, there is an urgent need to have an effective legal mechanism and creation of public awareness about the effects of piracy on the economy. “We, therefore, propose to carry out an all-encompassing multi-media campaign during the 12th Plan period involving all stakeholders from the film and music industries,” he said.
Earlier at the event, Mr Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, announced that the Government is coming up with a plan to set up a new film city in Kolhapur as an alternative film shooting location. To promote it, fiscal incentives would be offered to encourage shoots there, he added.
The I&B Ministry has notified the dates mandating digital addressable transmission in phases, beginning with the four metros which will switch over to digital transmission on July 1. The entire country will go digital by December 31, 2014. “This will have a long term beneficial impact for all players, increase transparency in the sharing of distribution revenues and help improve both the quality and variety of content,” Mr Varma said.
He also announced the Government's proposal to set up a National Film Heritage Mission to archive India's celluloid history by undertaking frame-by-frame picture and sound restoration of over 2,500 films.
The STAR India CEO, Mr Uday Shankar, expressed concern at the industry's lack of preparedness to transform or find new business models for the digital media. He said digitisation has become a reality and the industry needs to respond to the challenge with a positive mindset. “Digitisation will create niche channels and promote decentralisation of content creation,” he added.
Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman, Motion Pictures Association of America, termed India as one of the largest entertainment markets. He said that the Hollywood Studios have understood the business potential and are increasingly collaborating with Indian production houses. He, however, cautioned about the perils of piracy and said strong laws are needed to curb content theft.
Source: The Hindu Business Line