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Jubilant J&K: Film Policy will revive Film Tourism, boost economy, promote local talent in J&K


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Much to the benefit of economy, Bollywood is again turning its eyes and cameras towards its once favourite shooting destination ‘Kashmir’ following the launch of Film Policy in Jammu and Kashmir. Like the increase in footfall of tourists, film crews are also returning to Valley to capture the picturesque, shooting friendly locales which will give a huge fillip to UT’s economy besides giving new dimensions to Film tourism here.  The residents in the valley are excited over the return of Bollywood which in its heydays during the ’70s and ’80 saw several mega hits like ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’, ‘Kabhi Kabhi’ being shot in the exotic locations of the valley. “This will bring in enormous profits for the government and for us,” said Ghulam Ahmad, a driver by profession while appreciating the government for launching its film policy envisaging creation of a vibrant film ecosystem for all stakeholders.  India is a country where people live and breathe Bollywood; shooting movies, advertisements, serials, series become a source of economy from Ponny walla to hotelier to artist of a place besides a powerful tool for tourism promotion as the locales used in big hits see a significant boost in tourist arrivals soon after the films’ release.  “This is the reason J&K government is wooing large production houses to shoot their big projects and offering fiscal incentives to the film makers,” an official said. “The Government has been making an earnest bid to woo back Bollywood’s movie czars to the J&K.” Prior to militancy in Kashmir, Bollywood wove its celluloid dreams in the sylvan settings of Kashmir which was one of the most sought after destinations and filmmakers were saved from going abroad for lush expanses and snow covered mountains for their outdoor shoots.The Jammu & Kashmir Film Development Council (JKFDC) has taken several initiatives to promote the UT as a leading destination for shooting and production of all feature and non-feature content films, digital content and television shows. The list of deliverables for producer of incentivized films would include incorporation of logo of the Jammu & Kashmir Film Development Council, proof of which shall be enclosed along with the documents for subsidy.  According to the Film Policy, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir is identifying catalogue and developing promising potential shooting locations that have aesthetic and cinematic appeal. “These locations will be developed in synergy with the Tourism Department and private investors. The Tourism department will, on a regular basis, identify and develop the places having abundant backdrop of natural beauty, enriched cultural traditions and historical monuments in the UT for the purpose of outdoor shooting besides ensuring their wide publicity through short films, brochures and other publicity material. Special emphasis will be laid on motivating the private sector for setting up of hotels, motels, restaurants and camping facilities at these locales,” it reads.  The Policy also lays thrust on harnessing the local talent in the field of movie making in J&K and creation of employment opportunities for the youth in the field.  For this, a complete database of the available local talent in J&K is being prepared for hosting on the website enabling the film makers interested in shooting their film in the UT to utilize their services.  “Since every film production is the meeting place for creative artists in the field of dance, film fashion, acting, choreography and advertisement, it will open new avenues of employment for the youth of J&K. Besides, there is also a requirement of people adept in cinematic tools like camera, editing, sound recording, set designing, lighting etc,” it reads. Opening avenues for the youth, the framing of Jammu and Kashmir Film Policy has now made it very convenient for the region’s talent to work in the film industry. While promoting the scenic beauty of the union territory (UT), the policy envisages providing a platform for the local talent to prove themselves on the national level. The new film policy of Jammu and Kashmir has generated fresh hope among local artistes that the policy would generate employment opportunities for them and rejuvenate old connections with Bollywood when filmmakers would make a beeline to the beautiful locales of the valley. The framing of Film Policy reflects the commitment of the present administration in J&K to support filmmakers, provide work opportunities to local talent which relied completely on Doordarshan and Radio where most of the work for the artistes has stopped.   Meanwhile, the Srinagar city will witness first of its kind National Film Festival of Jammu & Kashmir (NFFJK), a grand event to be organized by J&K Film Development Council (JKFDC) in association with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) in Srinagar from June 15 to 20th June 2022. The idea behind this film festival is to highlight the film, music and creative ecosystem in J&K, along with’ natural and socio-cultural beauty that Jammu and Kashmir has been blessed with, to the world. Indian filmmakers are invited to submit their original films – fiction, documentary or shorts and music videos–for the 1st National Film Festival of Jammu & Kashmir.

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