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Bollywood Calling: Stakeholders give thumbs up to proposed ‘New Film Policy’ in J&K

Srinagar: Faced with several hurdles during shootings in the Valley, the stakeholders have given thumbs up to the government’s decision to introduce a ‘new film policy’ for Jammu and Kashmir.

Though film and television shooting crews have started returning to Kashmir of late, Valley-based line producers said they were facing problems ranging from getting permissions to procuring equipment from outside the union territory.

“The decision to have a new film policy is a good step and will benefit both filmmakers from outside as well as the locals associated with the film productions. We already had a couple of meetings with the government officials during which filmmakers from outside and local line producers were present. We discussed several issues like getting No Objection Certificates (NOCs),” Navigator Productions’ line-producer Sheikh Abdul Wahid told The Kashmir Monitor.

Giving details of the problems faced, he said: “For example, we get permission from the Tourism Department easily but if we want to shoot at Pari Mahal, it comes under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Then, we have to take yet another permission. Similarly, we have to take permission from the Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) as well if we want to shoot in Gulmarg. There should be a single-window clearance system as a lot of time gets wasted in getting permissions from different offices.”

“There are other issues of getting heavy cameras and vanity vans and getting them here poses a big risk due to security and other concerns. Also, we do not have people here who are trained to operate equipment like big cranes, etc. We have discussed these issues and we were assured that all our problems will be addressed through the new film policy,” he added.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had on Monday said the government would bring out a new film policy within 10 days ‘to bring back the golden era on the silver screen.

“We have been reading and hearing that Kashmir used to be the favorite Bollywood destination of the filmmakers in the ’60s, 70’s and 80’s. We as a team will work to bring back the same culture,” Sinha had said further during a seminar titled ‘Tapping the Tourism Potential of Kashmir – Another Day in Paradise’ held here.