About Cinemascapes
Why Participate
How To Participate
Press Releases
Review 2011
About The Organisers
Contact Us
Photo Gallery
     
 

More Photos 


The Organisers are also the publishers of
   
Click here to view      Click here to view
Review Back  |   home
 

Cinema & Tourism: The need to connect the dots

Movies are perhaps, the best way of promoting a destination. Film tourism, is in fact, a growing phenomenon world over what with the tremendous growth of the entertainment industry and a big boost in travel sector. Yet, one of the biggest hurdles filmmakers face, especially in India, is to get permissions for film shoots. This along with several other issues points to the fact that there are several gaps that need to be filled to make entertainment and tourism industries mutually beneficial to each other. We take a look at the concerns and the possible solutions…

Lighting the lamp at the inauguration of the 5th edition of Cinemascapes seen from L-R: Mukesh Bhatt, Producer, Vishesh Films; Ramesh Sippy, President, The Film & Television Producers Guild of India & Chairman Ramesh Sippy Entertainment; Vipul Mitra, Principal Secretary Tourism Gujarat; Navin Berry, Coordinator, Cinemascapes; Amit Khanna, Chairman, Reliance Entertainment; Mahesh Bhatt, Veteran Film Maker, Vishesh Films and Kamlesh Patel, Chairman, Gujarat Tourism.

RAMESH SIPPY
President of Film & Television Producers Guild of India & Film Director

"Lack of one window clearance is a huge problem, the industry faces today, One needs to take a number of permissions which take lot of time. No wonder people prefer shooting out of India where one gets single window clearance." 

Filmmaker Yash Chopra popularized Switzerland among Indian tourists with his movies so much so that the country honoured him by renaming a train and one of their lakes after Chopra.

Tourist footfalls to New Zealand increased about four times after the release of ‘Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai’ in 2000.

Very recently, film ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ has done wonders for Spain tourism.

There are a plenty of examples like these to show that cinema and tourism share a deep-rooted relationship and films have a considerable influence on travellers when choosing a holiday destination. The examples establish that movies are actually the best travel brochures.

Yet both haven’t been able to realize each other’s true potential. Issues like too many permits, red-tapism, lack of a film-tourism policy and many others have often discouraged filmmakers to look at alternatives like creating a set.

With a focus on such issues and concerns Cinemascapes, held its 5th edition in Mumbai at The Leela Hotel in October this year. The event is a B2B conference and exhibition with an aim to synergize the vastly underutilized resources of the entertainment and tourism industries from the Indian perspective.

AMIT KHANNA
Chairman, Reliance Big Entertainment

"Bollywood has the largest audience all over the world but unfortunately the revenues don't show that. Indians are travelling abroad a lot more than before. The tourist inflow to Switzerland increased tremendously after Yash Chopra's films. Yet we haven't been able to realize the full potential." 

Issues covered
The two day event, with eight sessions, covered topics - A Film Tourism Policy for India, What Makes Films a Success - How a Location can Contribute?; One Window Clearance; Making Budgets for Outdoors and Locations; Locating & Locking in Success Finding the Right Ingredients; The Advertisers Perspective on Location and Regional Cinema: Bhojpuri Films Take the Fast Track

The sessions had eminent names like Ramesh Sippy, President of Film & Television Producers Guild of India; Mahesh Bhatt, Film-maker; Mukesh Bhatt, Film Producer; Rohan Sippy, Film Director & Producer; Amit Khanna, Chairman, Reliance Big Entertainment; Vipul Mittra, Principal Secretary, Gujarat Tourism; Raj Tilak, Film Director to name a few.

The industry unanimously agrees on addressing the issue of having single window clearance. “Lack of one window clearance is a huge problem, the industry faces today. One needs to take a number of permissions which take a lot of time. No wonder people prefer shooting out of India where one gets single window clearance,” said Ramesh Sippy.

Several countries have friendly policies to help filmmakers shoot at ease. “Even though it’s a paranoid nation, in New York you just have to approach one office and they take care of all the permits. Whereas in Maharasthra you need some ten clearances,” pointed Amit Khanna.

Talking about the hassles, permits create for film shoots, veteran filmmaker, Mahesh Bhatt narrated an incident. While shooting for Jism in Pondicherry early in the morning, the unit was asked to stop shooting as the Governor wanted to take a walk. Though the Governor was upset with his security people to do so, it shows the need to address the issue. “Movies touch upon the desire to visit a location. We film-makers can do a lot for you and you can do a lot for us. All business engagements have to build upon mutual gratification. We are all the time looking for new experiences for the audience. Help us do that,” he said.

While the representatives of film industry spoke of the issues, Vipul Mittra, Principal Secretary, Gujarat Tourism, presented the government’s point of view. Gujarat is one of the few destinations in India that offers film friendly policies. The government has off late been proactive in attracting tourists as well as the filmmakers. “I agree that films are best door to tourism. Gujarat has a pro-active decisions making process. We have created a cell to get you a single window as fast as possible. Also, the people there are disciplined which means hassle-free shooting with crowd. You’ll see the difference once you come there,” he said.

MAHESH BHATT
Filmmaker

"Movies touch upon the desire to visit a location. We film-makers can do a lot for you and you can do a lot for us. All business engagements have to build upon mutual gratification. We are all the time looking for new experience for the audience. Help us do that." 

Need for a film tourism policy
Even though Bollywood is the largest movie industry, there is no cohesive policy that would help the industry realize its full potential. “Bollywood has largest audience all over the world but unfortunately the revenues don’t show that. Indians are travelling abroad a lot more than before. The tourist inflow to Switzerland increased tremendously after Yash Chopra’s films. Yet we haven’t been able to realize the full potential,” said Khanna.

Ramesh Sippy poignantly stated that a cohesive policy, that would benefit entertainment as well as tourism industry, is need of the hour. “As moviemakers we are very passionate about what we do and that translates into movies but often we find that the same passion is not shared by the authorities. What starts out as great passion ends up in frustration because of the sheer number of permits to be taken and makes you think of going overseas instead. It’s sad for a country with so much potential. Perhaps, the bureaucrats don’t see it from film makers’ point of view but when Governments all over the world can why can’t ours?,” he said.

“When I go abroad for film festivals, I get a lot of queries on how to go about shooting. I am asked if there is one place where we can get to know how to get permissions. It will be a good idea if the Government, I&B and tourism boards join their hands and realize the amount of money the industry can get,” agreed Sunil Doshi, CEO & Director at Alliance Media.

MUKESH BHATT
Film Producer

"Where Bollywood goes, tourists follow... People normally have aversion to advertisements but when they see the locations in movies it works as an attraction. The tourist departments not only in our country but all over the world too should understand the power of Bollywood."

Significance of a location
“Sholay, the movie wouldn’t have been the same if it hadn’t been shot in that location. There was nothing but the rocks but the scenery lent so beautifully to the movie. The scenery is perhaps running in your mind as I speak and you can picture Gabbar sitting on those rocks,” said Ramesh Sippy. That speaks about the significance of locations in a movie. And it is these locations that draw tourists. Movies are, perhaps, the best form of advertisement for a destination.

Mukesh Bhatt aptly summed up the importance of locations in cinema to films as well as tourists: “Where Bollywood goes, tourists follow… People normally have aversion to advertisements but when they see the locations in movies it works as an attraction. The tourist departments not only in our country but all over the world too should understand the power of Bolywood,” he said.

“Marrying frozen moments in a film with picturesque locations makes for a memorable movie,” said Vinod Pande, Film Director. “However, it is not easy to find the right location. When we were shooting for the (controversial) movie Sins, we found so many suitable locations for the movie but each time we were asked for film script. We did not get permissions and had to look for alternatives,” he added.

Often filmmakers resort to alternatives like creating sets. While getting permissions is an issue, the challenge also lies in presenting an old location in new light. Several locations like Goa, Mumbai have been used in movies so often that they seem repetitive. Rohan Sippy recently attempted showcasing Goa in a manner no filmmaker had earlier. Dum Maaro Dum, the movie re-invented the destination that has been a filmmaker’s darling for a long time. “The greatest adventure of cinema is ability to give people a cinematic experience and transport people into that experience through visuals. Creative use of locations helps us do that. About 80% of the places shown in the movie (Dum Maaro…) were new ones. We wanted to explore and bring some thrill to the scenic beauty of the place which is world-known,” says Sippy.

RAJ TILAK
Film Director

"There is a huge disconnect between creative people and those marketing a film. We need to think where the gaps are and fill those. For instance. when multiplexes came in, single screens stopped investing instead of finding out a way. We need research on various issues like rights, location, distribution, marketing etc." 

Making a budget for outside locations
While exotic locations look splendid on 70mm, shooting overseas comes at a cost. In fact, time is money when shooting abroad given several kinds of costs involved like accommodation, catering, local crew hiring costs et al. Aashish Singh, Vice President (Production), Yash Raj Films pointed out various costs involved. “You could make a low budget movie and earn revenues and make a high budget movie but still not make revenues. You just have to work out your costs effectively. For instance, you can check your costs for excess luggage and get aiver for visa fee by applying to consolate earlier. Also, keep in mind the fluctuations in currency. You can get concessions at hotels by getting in touch with tourism boards,” he suggested. Also, it is a good idea to know about how unions work internationally. Usually, the crews do not exceed 11-12 hours shift.

Talking about his experience of shooting in Europe for Jhoota hi Sahi, Madhu Mantane, Producer & Co-founder of Cinergy, said: “Nothing in Europe works last minute. You need to take care of times spent and the turnaround time. Time is of essence when you are shooting abroad.”

Shooting in India, naturally, works out cheaper than abroad. However, there are certain advantages. According to Purva Naresh, Head of Production, Reliance Entertainment, “Whenever you go for a shoot out of Mumbai your budget gets inflated. However, the benefit is that you have focused and concentrated energies of the entire unit. Also, in many locations you get the benefit of extended daylight.”

VIPUL MITTRA
Principal Secretary, Gujarat Tourism

"I agree that films are best door to tourism. Gujarat has a pro-active decisions making process. We have created a cell to get you a single window as fast as possible. Also, the people there are disciplined which means hassle-free shooting with crowd. You'll see the difference once you come there."

Need for research on films?
An interesting topic covered in the event raised the question whether we need research on what could make a film work? Can a survey on what the audience is looking for help the script-writer write a great story?

Ketan Dewan, Managing Director, KRD Vision made a case for carrying a research before making a film. “If you are investing in a film you have to make sure it succeeds. Movie makers are like entrepreneurs per movie. They need to find the right ingredients like goal, productions, marketing and distribution to make the movie a success. This is where film research can help.”

As per Film Director Raj Tilak the research can work at the macro level, “There is a huge disconnect between creative people and those marketing a film. We need to think where the gaps are and fill those. For instance, when multiplexes came in, single screens stopped investing instead of finding out a way. We need research on various issues like rights, location, distribution, marketing etc.”

Agreed Vinta Nanda, Film & TV Producer/Director/Writer - Creativeland Pictures: “A creative person can not be given specifics on the basis of a research. However, at a macro level, research can help in showing where to go. You can’t tell what the character should be like that will robotize the character but research can help in knowing what the audience is demanding.”

Regional cinema on a fast track
An interesting session on regional cinema concluded the two-day event. ‘Bhojpuri Films Take the Fast Track’ saw participation from Deepa Narayan, Singer & Producer, Raj Kumar Pandey, Director & Producer, Sharon Thomas, Actress, Mahavir Jain, VP, Western Film Producers Association. Talking about the fast growing Bhojpuri film industry the speakers asserted that it was high time Bhojpuri cinema got its due.

The first Bhojpuri film was made 50 years back. Since then the cinema has seen a sea change. The film budgets have gone up, Bollywood stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan are acting in Bhojpuri films and the films are now being shot in foreign locations as well. However, the industry still lacks complete support. “So many Hindi films have Bhojpuri influence especially in songs like Munni, Sheila etc. However, the Government hasn’t realized the power of Bhojpuri film industry. It should be given incentives like tax rebate,” suggested Raj Kumar Pandey.

Conclusion
Clearly, there is a long way to go before the worlds of cinema and tourism establish a mutually efficient relationship. There’s need for a film tourism policy and a less bureaucratic approach. Also, there is a need for more research into film tourism.

 
 
Partners 2013
 

Partners for 2014 will be on website closer to the event

© Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved with CROSS SECTION MEDIA   |   site by: