I&B ministry to hold workshop with filmmakers, state secretaries in Delhi

Panaji, Nov 22 (IANS) Information and Broadcasting secretary Sunil Arora on Sunday said the ministry has all its focus on expediting the process of turning the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) into a single window for filmshoot clearance.

He said an “indirective workshop” will be held in Delhi next month with some “iconic filmmakers and state chief secretaries” to understand the demands of the film industry and states and reach greater understanding.

“We have been doing some in-house thinking as well and have come to a conclusion that the eco-system is far too diverse and different areas need to be harmonised and synergised. So we will be holding an indirective workshop in the end of December in Delhi, where filmmakers will be requested to attend and share ideas.

“State chief secretaries will also be invited for the workshop and then we will see how can we carry forward the learnings,” Arora told IANS on the sidelines of Film Bazaar.

Taking the first step in setting a one-stop clearance destination for permission of film shoots, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore announced a Film Facilitation Office, housed by National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), at the annual film market, which is held alongside the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

The office will be the central agency to contact for filmmakers — Indian and global — to help in obtaining permissions.

Eminent filmmakers like Shyam Benegal, Ramesh Sippy, Anubhav Sinha, Prakash Jha, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Kabir Khan have taken the baton to be messengers of the film industry and lay down what they expect from the office.

And for the same, several sessions are being held at the ongoing annual film market.

Arora, a 1980-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, asserted that discussions were in depth and will definitely help them carve the right path to form the single-window clearance idea.

“We had discussion with filmmakers, who have given some iconic films and with other stakeholders. In the very beginning, Shyam Benegal made an observation and said if there is no degradation of the environment, no damage to the environment and no security issues then let creative people do their job,” he said.

Arora gives a thumbs-up to Benegal’s request, saying that “best governance is least governance”.

If formulated well, the Film Facilitation Office will create an easier channel for gaining permissions for film shoots eliminating the hurdles of bureaucracy, red-tape, multiple stops to get permission and middle-men.

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