Single window clearance for film shootings soon: Tewari

Mumbai, Oct 19 (IANS) The proposed single window service for promoting Cinema Tourism in the country is set to become operational soon, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said here Saturday.

With a rich heritage and diverse geography, India has great potential as a destination for film shooting. However, the current system of multiple clearances at various levels has made it unattractive, he observed.

"Increasingly, most Indian filmmakers have gravitated towards foreign destinations for outdoor shoots. Any lost opportunity is a revenue loss for the country," Tewari pointed out, addressing the Cinemascape 2013 Conclave here Saturday afternoon.

To facilitate the single window clearances for film shootings, the government has set up a Committee on Promotion and Facilitation of Film Production in India, comprising senior officials from various departments like I&B, external affairs, home affairs, tourism, culture, railways, civil aviation, defence and revenue.

The state governments have been asked to nominate their nodal officers for film clearances, and Standard Operating Procedures are being developed to accord clearances for film shooting by domestic and foreign filmmakers in India, he said.

Speaking at the conclave, noted filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt welcomed the single window clearance proposal and said that in all, 76 different permissions have to be obtained for film shooting in India.

"Indian producers are given a red carpet welcome in some of the cine-tourism nations like Switzerland, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore," Bhatt said.

Tewari also emphasised the need for a sound legal architecture for promoting cinema as a form of creative expression.

"There is an urgent need to update laws relating to film certification and exhibition. A committee headed by Justice M. Mudgal has submitted it recommendations along with a model bill to replace the existing Cinematograph Act, 1952," he said.

The recommendations would be published on the ministry's website for wider public reactions. Tewari assured that by mid-2014, India would have a contemporary law for Indian cinema.

Later in the evening, Tewari is scheduled to present the first Yash Chopra Memorial Award to veteran singer and Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar at a function to be attended by Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel and other dignitaries.

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