Life in Gurgaon

Reel good news: Filmmaking accorded status of industry in Haryana

the state is introducing a single window system where applications, seeking permissions for shoots, will have to be decided within a week. The policy is likely to benefit Gurugram as it is preferred by filmmakers due to its proximity to Delhi.

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Filmmaking in Haryana is likely to get easier as the state is introducing a single window system where applications, seeking permissions for shoots, will have to be decided within a week. The provision is part of the Haryana film policy that the state cabinet approved on Wednesday giving filmmaking the status of an industry and entitling it to subsidies and incentives available under the Enterprise Promotion Policy.

The film policy, which has been in limbo since September 2016 when chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced it, is meant for the development of cinema in the state and boost tourism.

The policy, according to field experts, is likely to benefit Gurugram and its nearby areas as they are preferred by filmmakers due to their proximity to Delhi.

Gurugram offers urban settings in the form of Cyber city, Kingdom of Dreams and the Golf Course Road. For rural areas, the filmmakers prefer Mangar Bani, Farrukhnagar, Pataudi, Sohna, and Tauru.

In 2017, a production house, JAR Pictures, made ‘Gurgaon’, a crime thriller set and filmed in the city. A 45-minute revenge drama ‘Gurugram’, based on crimes against women, was also shot in the city. Besides, the city’s high-rises and nightlife found space in ‘Tamasha’ in 2015, ‘Piku’ in 2015, and ‘Bewakoofiyaan’ in 2014.

“There are many urban and rural locations in Gurugram, Farrukhnagar, Mewat (Nuh), and Mahendergarh for filming movies. Filmmakers have to be made aware of these facts and the policy will help in this regard. There will be incentives to filmmakers and subsidy for Haryanvi films,” said noted filmmaker Satish Kaushik, who hails from Dhanonda village in Mahendergarh district.

Kaushik, co-chairman of the committee, welcomed the policy approval as a step for promotion of cinema and entertainment facilities in the state.

“Single window system will ensure speedy disposal of applications for permissions and filmmakers will not have to go to multiple authorities. The policy is aimed at attracting more people to filmmaking to Haryana. There will be various concessions for films involving Haryanvi people, content and background in the movies,” Sameer Pal Srow, director, Haryana directorate of information and public relations, said. Srow is secretary of the committee that prepared the policy.

At present, permissions have to be sought from the deputy commissioner’s office and non-objection certificates have to be obtained from the police department and the local civic bodies for shooting movies.

Srow said popular movies such as ‘Dangal‘ and ‘Sultan’ featured Haryanvi background but they were not shot in the state. “The policy will streamline the process, paving the way for filming such movies in the state,” he said.

The policy also has a provision for a Film Fare Festival likely to be held in Gurugram or Faridabad. “Gurugram is a tailor-made location for such a festival. The festival may coincide with Surajkund festival in Faridabad,” Srow said.

During the festival, films would be awarded in three categories — awards of excellence for Haryanvi films, best film promoting Haryana as a destination and special acknowledgement for technical excellence in Haryanvi film making.

The policy proposes to classify films in seven categories, including Haryanvi film, non-Haryanvi film, international films, mega projects, short film, documentary film and debut film. As per the policy, 50% of the total budget will be allocated for the Haryanvi films but not more than 12 films will be given financial assistance in a year.

An official privy to the policy said there is also a proposal for setting up a film academy at Sohna or near Manesar in Gurugram. Srow, however, said the proposal would be considered later as focus is on implementing the policy first.