The Assam government has started to facilitate filmmakers from outside the region with incentives and other logistic support to shoot in the state. Already three films are being shot using the facilities provided by the Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ATDC) in various parts of the state.
“We are assisting filmmakers to shoot in Assam. We have provided them vehicles and other facilities along with location know-how (local guides) to ease their shooting experience. We have two small caravans for 25 to 30 people which are available free of cost. Also, they can stay at any hotel in Guwahati. We have 10 air conditioned rooms,” ATDC managing director Kausar Jamil Hilaly told The News Mill on the sidelines of the 5th Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival in Guwahati on Saturday.
Hilaly promised to expand the initiative so that it will inspire more filmmakers from Mumbai and beyond to come and shoot in the region. “It’s a very small initiative… bigger incentives will come soon as the tourism policy is finalized. And hopefully, we will be able to expand it… It depends on how much support we get,” he added.
Already three movies are being shot with the help of ATDC — one at Kaziranga and another at IIT Guwahati. Filmmakers from Mumbai and New Delhi are making these films.
Hilaly added that the procedure to take assistance from ATDC is very simple. “The filmmaker just needs to write a letter to us mentioning the names of the places he or she wants to shoot and it’s done,” Hilaly said.
The ATDC is also thinking of setting up a film-city in the Dima Hasao district to help the filmmakers.
“There was a proposal from the autonomous council for a film-city. It’s a huge investment. But we will have to bring the people first and then we can think of the infrastructure. This is just a thinking that has started. But it’s not a commitment as I said,” Hilaly added. The ATDC managing director participated in an interactive session on promoting the region as a film tourism destination at the Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival.
Shillong’s Ronnie Lahiri who produced popular films like Pink, Piku and Vicky Donor etc. said that awareness is also important among the filmmakers in Mumbai and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, prominent film personalities from Mumbai and across the region have arrived in the city to take part in the festival which started from Friday. Several award winning films are being screened during the three-day festival besides a host of events including panel discussions involving experts.
On the opening day, director, producer, script writer and music composer Vishal Bhardwaj, filmmaker Abhishek Chaubey, director Nagesh Kukunoor, award winning filmmaker Sanjay Bhutiani whose latest film ‘Mukti Bhawan’ has been appreciated globally and noted Assam actor Adil Hussain who plays protagonist in ‘Mukti Bhawan’ among others were present.