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Bollywood Calling

March 16, 2024
kashmir ki kali

Kashmir’s Bollywood connection has been deeply ingrained in the history of Indian cinema. The beautiful locations of the Kashmir valley have long been the backdrop for numerous iconic Bollywood movies. Bollywood’s love affair with the picturesque Kashmir dates back to the 1960’s and 70’s. Back then, scores of films were shot in the Valley. However, political unrest and security concerns in the region had later, for a long period, led to a decline in Bollywood’s presence in Kashmir. Now, with the recent resurgence of film crews returning to Kashmir and the approval of the new Jammu and Kashmir Film Policy, there is renewed hope for Kashmir to reclaim its status as Bollywood’s favorite destination. The Jammu and Kashmir Film Policy-2024, approved by the Administrative Council under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday, aims to position Jammu and Kashmir as a hub of cinematic creativity. This policy, which supersedes the previous J&K Film Policy-2021, provides a comprehensive framework to facilitate and incentivize filmmaking in the region. One of the key aspects of the policy is the provision of time-bound administrative assistance and the establishment of a Single Window Cell for filmmakers. This streamlined process for granting shooting permissions will ensure a hassle-free experience for film crews, encouraging more filmmakers to choose Kashmir as their filming location. Additionally, the policy offers a package of financial assistance, including subsidies for films, TV serials, shows, and web series. The maximum subsidy for regional languages of J&K is set at Rs. 1.25 crores, with a Film Development Fund of Rs. 500 crores allocated for disbursement of subsidies over the next five years. This financial support will not only attract filmmakers but also nurture local talent and promote the growth of the regional film industry. To qualify for subsidies, films must meet certain criteria, including a minimum of 20 days of shooting in the region and a minimum production cost of Rs. 10 crores. For domiciles of J&K, the minimum production cost is reduced to Rs. 50 lakhs, and this step is aimed to support local filmmakers and encourage indigenous filmmaking. Moreover, the policy emphasizes the creation of nationally competitive infrastructure for filmmaking, including the establishment of bodies like the Film Development Council, J&K Film Division, and Script Screening Committee. These initiatives will not only elevate the quality of filmmaking in Kashmir but also enhance its reputation as a preferred filming destination. The Jammu and Kashmir Film Policy-2024 also recognizes the potential of film tourism in boosting the region’s economy. By attracting filmmakers and tourists alike, Kashmir can capitalize on its natural beauty and cultural heritage to create employment opportunities and stimulate economic growth. Furthermore, the policy’s emphasis on branding and promotion through film festivals will showcase Kashmir’s rich cultural tapestry to a global audience. By providing incentives, streamlining administrative processes and investing in infrastructure, the policy has laid the foundation for the development of a vibrant and thriving film industry in the region.

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