India opens facilitation office to speed up approvals for international filmmakers: Javadekar

The minister inaugurated the virtual ‘India Pavilion’ at the 74th Cannes Film Festival.

New Delhi: India has opened up a facilitation office to attract more international filmmakers to India and ensure that they get all permissions in one go, said the union minister for information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday.

Javadekar was addressing the virtual inauguration of the ‘India Pavilion’ during the 74th Cannes Film Festival, organised by the ministry jointly with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

“This is the second year when the pavilions are virtually organised but the business is real including the creativity, talent, technology, and India offers the best of these. The virtual India pavilion can become a meeting place to meet and discuss the future of the world of cinema,” said the union minister, adding that he hopes “the world comes out of the pandemic very soon and people come back to theaters once again”.

Highlighting India’s increasing contribution to world films, Javadekar said, a lot of Hollywood movies like Lion King, Jungle Book, Avatar have got their VFX animation done in India. Many of the international films are being filmed in India with over 500 sites available, he added.

India is participating in the Cannes Film Festival 2021 virtually due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic. At the virtual pavilion, India will focus on celebrating the birth centenary of the legendary filmmaker, Satyajit Ray, promoting India as an important shooting destination and improving co-production between Indian filmmakers and foreign counterparts, said FICCI Film Forum co-chair, Uday Singh.

Balaji Telefilms, joint MD, Ekta Kapoor highlighted that India weaves a lot of local inbuilt flavours in its storytelling. "India is known as a content creating nation. Indian content has always been the soft ambassador of India and it has a lot of appeal in the international market. Collaborations are the way forward for any company and there are a lot of opportunities in India," she said.

According to CBFC chairman, Prasoon Joshi, Indian cinema along with the filmmakers are going in the right direction today along with the focus on regional cinema. “Indian audiences today are more active seekers and the pandemic has given more acceleration to explore the world of cinema. There is a churn in Indian cinema,” he added.

Cannes Film Festival, one of the most prestigious movie galas in the world, was initially scheduled to take place in May but was pushed by two months due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Last year's edition was cancelled due to the pandemic and replaced by a low-key event in October, showcasing short films but without the A-list movie stars, directors and producers.

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