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MPs push for fresh guidelines to promote India as film destination

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NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) Arun Jaitley said that all efforts need to be taken to give the concept of India as a film destination a strong ‘Brand Push’ to promote India as a soft power.

The branding could be undertaken by creating and promoting a capsule that incorporated the key features of India’s professional ability, that is skills, human resources, diverse locales, filming support from institutional structures and core strengths of India’s film industry. This capsule needed to be showcased at all major international film festivals as part of the efforts to promote the ‘filming destination concept.’

The Minister was chairing a meeting of the Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament attached to the I&B Ministry to discuss the issue of “India as a soft power - As a Filming Destination.” Minister of State Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was also present in the meeting.

Jaitley said the topic for discussion was extremely important in view of the efforts being made to project India’s ability and standing as a soft power and a filming destination. The concept would not only facilitate the contours of growth of the film industry but would also promote the diversity of India to the world through the medium of films and cinema. This initiative and proactive stance would boost the inflow of tourism in India from other countries. Jaitely also emphasized that there was a need to simplify procedures and rules in order to promote the idea in letter and spirit.

A presentation was made on behalf of the Ministry giving an overview of the steps and initiatives undertaken so far to promote India as a soft power. The presentation provided an overview of the processes involved to promote filming in India with reference to the multi pronged strategy adopted by the Ministry. Specific references were made to promotion to film festivals and film bazaars, co-production units, the proposed legislative framework and policy initiatives to promote skill development in the film industry.

Members of the Committee gave suggestions to ensure that the concerns of the stakeholders were addressed and the idea was implemented in totality. It was emphasized that skill development was a critical area and necessary measures needed to be taken by the Government and the industry together.

It was also suggested that rules and guidelines for promoting the destination concept required a relook. Laws and rules needed to be in sync with contemporary technological tools. It was also mentioned that the concept required collaboration and partnership between the ministry and the state governments and other stakeholders.

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