Newly-made blockbuster ‘The Kashmir Files’ might have hit the headlines for multiple reasons, and a section of filmmakers and experts have also joined the debate. At the official level, the Government of the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir is “trying to make the best possible efforts towards creating a vibrant film ecosystem”. Official sources said efforts are being made to “create a suitable environment” and promotion of film production in Jammu & Kashmir.
The Jammu and Kashmir Film Policy of 2021 was formally accorded sanction in August 2021. Towards the vision of establishing Jammu & Kashmir as the first choice of film shooting destination for filmmakers, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir has set out a multi-pronged strategy.
One objective of the new Film policy is to develop Jammu & Kashmir as an essential destination for film production by providing beneficial incentives to film producers. Encouragement to boost job avenues and development of all-weather locations in Jammu & Kashmir for the shooting of films would be encouraged. “To provide opportunities for local talent of the UT in acting and filmmaking by sharing their details through a Local talent directory on the Single Window portal,” sources say.
To realize the objectives of the J&K Film Policy, the UT government will also set up a Jammu & Kashmir Film Development Council (JKFDC). Steps will be taken to create and develop “ancillary business opportunities that co-exist with film making”. Notably, the Jammu & Kashmir Film Development Council (JKFDC) shall be the single point of contact to achieve the objectives of the Film Policy. It shall be authorized to make and issue detailed guidelines, rules, checklists and all required formats and agreements essential to implement the Film Policy, including procedures for the disbursement of the subsidy /financial incentives.
The new policy will, of course, seek to attract additional capital investment in Jammu & Kashmir through the film industry. “The film policy will also provide opportunities for local talent of the UT in acting and filmmaking by sharing their details through a Local talent directory on the Single Window portal,” sources said. Notably, appropriate security and safety arrangements are to be made free of cost to enable the filmmakers to complete the shooting.
“Permission to shoot shall include police clearance and be granted within one month of receiving an application from the applicant. The Security team will be specially trained/ oriented for film shoots, “sources said. The film policy also states that on producing the film on the story/ script based on the UT of J&K, with a view of Special Branding (J&K Specific Film), a special grant of 50% of the Cost of Production of film or Rs 5 crores, whichever is less, shall be provided. The JKFDC shall decide on such subsidies on a case-to-case basis.
Moreover, it also says that if J&K is prominently featured in a feature film with more than 75% shooting; days in the UT, then the tourism sector of the UT gets the direct benefit. Such a film shall be given an additional subsidy of Rs 50 lakhs which the JKFDC shall decide on a case-to-case basis. The policy also says that if the filmmaker provides work opportunities to the local artists of J&K, an additional subsidy of Rs 50 lakh shall be provided.
The films produced to patronize the feeling of “One Nation, Best Nation” (Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat) and on specific other themes as decided by JKFDC shall also be encouraged. Sources said children and women empowerment-related films should be given an additional 25% subsidy. Sources said that the Government of Jammu & Kashmir would promote and facilitate the creation of infrastructure in the private and joint venture mode required for making films. It also states that the Film Festivals would be organized every year, providing a platform for the people of Jammu & Kashmir to experience international, national and regional films.