Setting up its web portal, www.ffo.gov.in, Film Facilitation Office, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has further helped international producers cut through the labyrinthine permissions process required to shoot in India
Since its inception in November 2015, the Film Facilitation Office, set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, under the operational aegis of National Film Development Corporation (NFDC),has been working towards promoting and facilitating film shootings by foreign filmmakers in India, with its services now extended to Indian filmmakers as well.
FFO acts as a facilitation point for filmmakers in assisting them to get requisite permissions while disseminating information on shooting locations as well as the talent, resources and facilities available for production and post production.
It proactively works closely with various Central and State Government Agencies to create a film friendly environment in India. FFO accepts application for shooting of feature films, reality TV shows and commercial television series in India.
In an endeavor to further reach out to the filming fraternity across the globe, the Minister of State (I/C) for Information & Broadcasting, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore launched the FFO web portal at the recently concluded International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa.
The web portal www.ffo.gov.in, not only enables online submission of applications for international filmmakers, but also enlists India’s co-production treaties and guidelines of key Central government Ministries/departments, leading to greater ease of navigation, and thereby easing filming in the country.
The web portal has information regarding the Nodal officers of all Indian States and Union Territories, along with their filming policies and guidelines.FFO disseminates a comprehensive list of incentives currently available for filmmakers from across various States.
“We are in the process of updating this information including the prerequisites of obtaining such incentives. This will be available on our portal and for States that do not offer incentives yet, the FFO will endeavour to list other financial benefits available for filming in such States/Union Territories,” says Vikramjit Roy, Head, Film Facilitation Office (FFO).
The FFO, which became operational in 2016, has since assisted some 86 productions, including international films partially shot in India, including Iqbal and the Indian Jewel, Hotel Mumbai, and The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir.
In recent times, FFO has received applications from the UK, France, Bangladesh, USA, Argentina, Italy, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Canada, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Denmark, Spain, Germany Australia, Iran, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and Indonesia.
To further help international producers cut through the labyrinthine permissions process required to shoot in India, the website will act as a single point for all filming related information in the country. “Once a filmmaker applies, there is going to be an automatic transmission of information to all the nodal agencies,” Roy adds.
While the web portal is an endeavour to reach out to the filming fraternity across the globe, the FFO has been proactively creating an enabling ecosystem for filming in India.
All under one roof
The new website (www.ffo.gov.in) is comprehensive, with directions for applying to film in India, a list of locations, filming hubs, trade associations and state incentives. Once a filmmaker applies, there is an automatic transmission of information to all the nodal agencies.
The FFO is currently in the process of integrating the website with Indian States and Union Territories, which will come as a relief to any international producer considering shooting in multiple States, and to Indian producers shooting in States other than their own.
– Vikramjit Roy, Head, Film Facilitation Office, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
- Appointment of Nodal officers in States/UTs and various Central Government departments/Ministries The FFO has been creating an ecosystem of Nodal Officers across various State Governments and within key stakeholder Central Government Ministries/ Departments such as:
- Airports Authority of India (AAI)
- Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)
- Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
- Border Security Force (BSF)
- Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC)
- Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
- Indian Coast Guard
- Ministry of Environment, Forests and
- Climate change (MOEFCC)
- Ministry of Railways (MoR)
- Ministry of Tourism
- Ministry of External Affairs, amongst others.
This ecology has enabled effective governmental collaborations at the policy level as well at the ground level, towards the creation of a film friendly environment.
- Most Film Friendly State Award
The institution of the “Most Film Friendly State Award” by the Ministry of I&B is another endeavour towards the Film in India initiative. This unique Award, which was included in the 63rd National Film Awards in the year 2015, is the Ministry’s endeavor to promote India as a filming destination as well as to encourage the growth of the filming industry. The States of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have been recipients of this Award in the last few years.
- Facilitation of the appointment of Nodal Officers across 29 Circles of the Archaeological Survey of India
Post several follow-ups and one-onone meetings with ASI, FFO successfully facilitated the appointment of 29 Nodal officers across all ASI circles, so as to ease the permission process at various ASI sites across the country.
- Workshops on ‘Ease of Filming’ in India
FFO has been organising workshops aimed towards sensitisation and mobilization of the various State Governments with participation of key industry stakeholders and Nodal officers from the various States. States of Haryana and Lakshadweep have also worked closely with FFO to frame the Filming and Incentives policy respectively.
- Facilitation of ease of issuance of Film Visas through coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)
- Promotion at International Events
The FFO has been promoting Indian locations, its incentives and Co-production treaties etc. at various global platforms such as the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and Videocitta Film Festival amongst others.
- FFO at AFCI’s Cineposium 2018
The FFO is a member of Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) and particpated in their Locations & Global Finance Show in LA in 2016 with a view to promote India as a filming destination and strengthen its international outreach. In 2018, FFO also participated in Cineposium, LA and met with various global majors like Warner Brothers, HBO, CAA, Paramount Studios, Entertainment Partners, Final Draft, and Kodak in an endeavour to discuss the Film in India initiative of the Government of India.
- State Film Offices at Film Bazaar
The FFO has been organising participation of various States at the Film Bazaar with their respective Film Offices with a view to showcase their locations to various filmmakers from India and abroad. The States not only share their updated policies and other film friendly initiatives undertaken by them, but also the challenges they face internally, with a view to work together with FFO and other stakeholders in finding solution to such challenges.