Even as Delhi is the only Indian state or Union Territory (UT) with representation at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2019, the Film Producers Guild of India feels they do not get any incentives from the Delhi government for film production.
The producers say they are happy that they receive all types of facilities from Delhi Tourism during film production in terms of logistics, the infrastructure that Delhi offers, such as hotels, transport, communication, film shooting equipment and film processing that ensures a streamlined film shooting process. However, when it comes to incentives, they say, Delhi has no such policy.
“Delhi government has no plan to incentivise the producers. UP government pays Rs 3 crore, Jharkhand pays Rs 2 crore, Odisha gives Rs 5 crore and many other states incentivise us. But in Delhi, there is no such facility,” said Kulmeet Makkar, CEO, Film Production Guild of India.
Sudhir Sobti, Chief Manager PR, Delhi Tourism & Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) admitted: “Yes, as of now, there are no cash incentives. But shooting in Delhi is comparatively cheaper than other states.”
Recently, there has been a trend in the foreign market where film producers receive tax rebates, cash incentives and much more to attract film makers to shoot in their country.
Film production incentives have become popular. Many states offer different types of incentives, which could be monetary or non-monetary in nature. By investing in film production incentive programmes, the states also receive many direct and indirect economic benefits.
“But Delhi is still far from that. We expect Delhi government also to come up with some incentive plan. We had also written to the Deputy Chief Minister in the last few couple of years but nothing concrete has happened,” added Makkar.
He added, “Delhi does not have a film policy and with the multiplicity of agencies, it becomes difficult for us to select Delhi for film shooting. There should be one single window clearance system.”
Sobti said, “We totally understand the industry’s requirements and we will take it forward. Besides, we are in the process of introducing ‘single window clearance’ for film-making facility so that the legal formalities to shoot in the city can be completed by visiting only one government office.”
He added, “Delhi Tourism is showcasing the capital’s numerous offerings as a creative canvas as well as a facilitator.”
An average of 30 films are shot in Delhi every year. In the last five years alone, over 200 films have been filmed partially or fully in Delhi, out of which 2018 saw a good number of films being shot in Connaught Place.
On the international front, Chandni Chowk has been in extensive demand due to its cultural authenticity. The availability of new talent, lower production cost, international connectivity and more than 200 locations to shoot at are the key offerings Delhi puts forth to filmmakers and producers at Cannes 2019.