Free of cost security, financial & Admn help likely
*Aim to boost tourism
JAMMU, Feb 16: With a view to encourage national and international film makers in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory Government will shortly announce comprehensive Film Policy, which will be first of its kind in J&K under which a number of sops including free of cost security arrangements, financial assistance etc will be offered for shooting.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government believes that return of Bollywood to Kashmir which used to be their favourite destination for shooting in sixties, seventies and eighties before onset of militancy in 1989 will encourage tourism and send message of peace in the Union Territory especially in the Valley.
“The draft Film Policy is almost ready. However, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has decided to include suggestions of top Bollywood filmmakers in the Policy. The draft Film Policy is likely to be released after including suggestions of the filmmakers to whom Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha met a day before in Mumbai,” official sources told the Excelsior.
They said the leading film Producers and Directors who met Sinha in Mumbai and those who spoke to him on telephone have also offered certain suggestions for inclusion in the draft Film Policy. Once the suggestions are received, the draft Film Policy will be released, they added and said the filmmakers will be submitting their suggestions within a week’s time.
In the draft Film Policy, the Jammu and Kashmir Government is considering to provide free of cost security to the filmmakers till completion of their shooting in the Union Territory.
“The filmmakers will be provided security right from start of their shooting till culmination without charges. The step is aimed at boosting morale of the film unit including their Actors, Producers and Directors,” sources said, adding that security concerns of some of the Producers in Bollywood would be addressed to maximum possible extent with this.
The Government also proposed to set up nationally competitive structure.
The Government might also offer administrative assistance to ease filmmaking in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, sources said.
They added that the first-ever Film Policy might also offer attractive schemes of financial support and exemptions to the filmmakers.
“The Government will also offer local talent to assist in film making,” according to the sources.
However, they said, the Government has conveyed to the Bollywood that they are likely to include more suggestions offered by them in the draft Film Policy before finalizing it. The Government, they added, is open to the suggestions from the concerned quarters. It, however, is expecting to receive the suggestions within a week so that draft Film Policy is cleared followed by the final Policy well before the onset of summer when filmmakers prefer shooting in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Government will also like not only national but even international filmmakers to visit Jammu and Kashmir for shooting, sources said, adding efforts to woo them have also been initiated simultaneously.
It may be mentioned here that Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha was in Mumbai the other day where he had met top Bollywood personalities and spoke to others on telephone to encourage them for shooting in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Government is confident that Bollywood will respond favourably.
It may be mentioned here that last year it was virtually zero tourist season because of COVID pandemic and even annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji couldn’t be conducted. Mata Vaishno Devi Ji yatra was also at its lowest. Prior to that, the tourists were very few because of abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, a fact which the Government has also admitted in the Parliament.
Because of militancy also, very less tourists have been visiting Jammu and Kashmir.
However, with return of near normalcy after abrogation of special status, the Government is hopeful that there will be influx of tourists in Jammu and Kashmir including pilgrim tourists. The Government is making arrangements anticipating six lakh yatris for Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage. Rush to Mata Vaishno Devi Ji shrine has already started picking up.