10 Indian films in Berlinale, Bimal Julka meets stakeholders to promote India as film destination

NEW DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry is to enter into negotiations with countries for promoting the platform of Co-production Audio Visual Agreements in an effort to ensure that India emerges as a viable Filming Destination.

While a number of agreements had been signed, the broad framework of outlining such agreements had been shared with a number of countries, I&B Secretary Bimal Julka said in his deliberations with key stakeholders representing different film platforms at the Berlin Film Festival. 

In his interaction with various film bodies and makers, Julka gave an overview of the Single Window Clearance mechanism drawn up in view of constraints faced by agencies for obtaining permission for film shooting in India. Julka said this platform had been created with the objective to establish a single window for film makers seeking permission for filming of feature films, short films and TV programmes. A Standard Operating Procedure had been put in place to facilitate the process and discussions were on to establish a dedicated web portal for this mechanism. 

Julka said India’s co-production agreements were unique as they offered multiple benefits to foreign film producers. Any agreement to this effect enabled foreign producers to harness the strengths of India’s film prowess namely its technically qualified manpower, pool of talented actors and a multitude of shooting locations.

Co-production agreements also enabled the films to be treated as National Films and thereby be eligible for National Film Awards and the Indian Panorama Section of the International Film Festival of India. The release of such films through Indian distribution network enabled coproduction to open up to Indian consumer market to the foreign producers. The Indian films industry also benefited by the profiling of shooting locations, generation of direct employment and encouragement to film tourism. 

On the objective of participation and showcasing the industry at the India pavilion, Julka said it was to promote Indian films across linguistic cultural and regional diversity so as to forge an increasing number of international partnerships in the realms of distribution, production, filming in India, script development and technology, thereby accelerating the growth of film sector in India. Several networking sessions keeping in mind the future roadmap of the film industry had been planned. These included coproduction, single window clearance for filming in India, animation, gaming and visual effects, role of film schools in development of cinema and documentary movement in India. 

Regarding the India Film Guide released during the Festival, he said the publication was an effort to brand the identity of the Indian film industry and commemorate the celebration of 100 years of Indian Cinema. It provided an opportunity for various stakeholders to understand the nuances of the Indian film industry and international players at the European film market. This publication was an effort to reiterate the role of the Ministry as a facilitator keeping in mind the liberal policies in the media and entertainment industry. The publication also outlined the key policy initiatives and processes under the ambit of the film sector. 

Ten Indian films will be screened in the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. Indian films screened officially at Berlinale include Imtiaz Ali`s Highway (Panorama), Jayan Cherian`s Papilio Buddha (Panorama), Pushpenra Singh`s Lajwanti (Forum), Jessica Sadana and Samarth Dixit`s Prabhat Pheri (Forum), Avinash Arun`s Killa (Generation), Gaurav Saxena`s Rangrez (Native), and two films Mount Song, Blood Earth (Forum Expanded) among others. The iconic Satyajit Ray`s Nayak (Berlinale Classics) and Mani Kaul`s Ghasiram Kotwal (Forum) will be screened at Berlin in restored prints. In addition, Overdose is in the Co-Production Market and three people in the Berlinale Talent section. 

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