Madhya Pradesh to float a film city, invites investors

MUMBAI: The Madhya Pradesh government is setting up a film city 20 km away from Bhopal.

Built on 430 acres of land, the idea is to provide infrastructure and attract the entertainment industry from across the country to invest in the state.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan pitched to investors and industrialists in Mumbai, promoting the location over rival projects like Film City in Mumbai and Ramoji Rao studios in Hyderabad.

Attending the meet were film personalities like Manmohan Shetty, Prakash Jha, Sudhir Misra, Boney Kapoor and Raza Murad.

The chief minister pointed out that there were suggestions that the government should enter into a joint venture with film studios or give plots to studios to develop on their own.

So will the idea catch on in the world of Bollywood? Says Manmohan Shetty who is planning to set up an entertainment park in the outskirts of Mumbai, “Right now the plan looks unviable, but only time will tell whether film people would vie for the Madhya Pradesh project or not when there are already film cities in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Jaipur.”

The Madhya Pradesh government is toying with the idea of reducing entertainment tax if 50 per cent of a film is shot in the state. These are just a part of an initial plan and will be incorporated in the final policy.

Not many, however, feel at this stage that these measures will be enough. Says filmmaker Harry Baweja, “I don’t think this plan would be accepted by film folks in general. Who will set up a studio in Bhopal, carry the entire equipment from Mumbai and set shop there? That’s another thing if latest film equipments are available there and the state government gives us enough facilities.”

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