World Cinema

UP’s Dream of ‘Filmisthan’

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Significance of Film City in Noida and its potential benefits for UP state

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi is keen to set up a film production center in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida. Yogi Adityanath has also revealed the blueprint for the yet-to-be-launched Film City that is expected to be made over 1000 acres area. The proposed Film City when developed may not only give tough competition to Mumbai’s film industry but provide a big boost to the surrounding reality markets in Noida.

The Film City is expected to come along the Yamuna Expressway at Sector 21 of Yamuna Authority of Noida and provide a strong boost to the economic base of the entire Uttar Pradesh region and generate employment opportunities as well. The project will also provide good growth to the Agra-Mathura-Vrindavan tourism apart from enhancing the economic activity in the area, claims associate director valuation, and advisory services at Colliers International India, Ashutosh Kashyap.

Earlier last year in December, Yogi Adityanath also flew to Mumbai where he held a meeting with various leading film personalities regarding the project. Uttar Pradesh already has a privately owned film city in Noida sector 16- A namely Noida Film City. 

It is interesting to note that the strong crime rate and several gangsters have already inspired many films in Bollywood. Also, a large number of web series have also been shot in the state’s cities that may include Mirzapur in Lucknow and Varanasi, Aashram web series again in Lucknow, Faizabad, and Ayodhya.

How UP’s new Film City will benefit the film industry?

Before the announcement of setting up a Film City in Noida, several films had already been shot in Uttar Pradesh. And, the trend of shooting films in UP has registered a strong rise in the last few years. It has necessitated the need of developing logistics for film production in an effort to attract filmmakers to Uttar Pradesh. A large section of people from the film industry was already questioning the monopoly of Mumbai over the film trade post restrictions due to coronavirus and actress Kangana Ranaut’s ugly spat with Shiv Sena.

The initiative to set up Film City in Noida will provide strong benefits to the film industry. The Uttar Pradesh government has offered to provide a subsidy of Rs 2 crore for those films that have been shot 75 percent in the state. Apart from this, Uttar Pradesh also provides entertainment tax relief for these films.  Many eminent Bollywood personalities have welcomed the initiative. Meanwhile, a large number of film artists and filmmakers have urged the UP government to have its own film production hub as it will not only help in boosting regional language cinema but also attract A-listers from Bollywood to shoot in the region.   

Bollywood films are increasingly based on the themes of UP and Bihar and UP will provide a natural backdrop for such films. These two factors have encouraged filmmakers to head to UP for the shooting of their films. 

Mulayam Singh Yadav’s regimes in Uttar Pradesh made efforts to set up Film City in Noida

It is worth mentioning that prior to Yogi Adityanath, several state governments made efforts to set up a Film City in Noida but their efforts did not bear any fruitful results. Earlier, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s government made an effort to establish a film city in Noida. Unfortunately, Mulayam Singh’s efforts to build a Film City went in vain. According to notable theatre artist Vimal, we strongly feel that the Yogi Government will deliver on its promise of setting up a Film City in Noida.

Recently, many producers shot their whole film in several locations of Uttar Pradesh. These films may include Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo that starred Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana. Ajay Devgan’s Raid and Satish Kaushik’s Kagaz were also shot in Uttar Pradesh.  The long list also features Akshay Kumar’s Jolly LLB 2, Tanu Weds Manu that starred Kangana Ranaut, Salman Khan-starring Sultan, and Dabangg. These films turned out to be commercially successful and offered a good alternative to filmmakers who were exploring better options in terms of outdoor locations.

The current progress of Film City in Noida

According to reports, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has already instructed the officials for timely completion of Film City so that the shooting of films may start by the end of 2022. Meanwhile, a film institute is also expected to be established on 40-acres of land on similar premises. According to government officials, training will be given in several aspects of films and TV production that may include production, choreography, screenplay, editing, directing, and writing, among others. It will give an opportunity to learn the nuances of acting.

Nearly 80 percent of the workforce and technicians employed in the Mumbai film industry are from Uttar Pradesh. It also indicates that the availability of manpower will never pose a problem. It will help in creating huge employment opportunities and will also boost Bhojpuri film. The move will also bring massive revenue for Uttar Pradesh and promote tourism. 

Work has already begun on the project. The Yogi Government has also appointed CBRE, a leading global commercial real estate services firm as the consultant for the Film City project. CBRE also filed a comprehensive project report to the Yogi Government earlier this year in February.

Meanwhile, Yogi Adityanath has also invited the wrath of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray when he announced the project. When Yogi Adityanath went to Mumbai earlier last year in December, he held a meeting with representatives of the film industry to receive their inputs on this project. However, Uddhav Thackeray said he would not permit anyone to move the film industry out of Mumbai.

The project will include an outdoor location, production studios, post-production facilities, exclusive effect studios, Film universities, workshops, and an amusement park, among others. There will also be a designated area for retail and shopping, hotels, etc. Filmmakers and film producers will also get a data center, pre-production, post-production infrastructure, VFX, and digital technology.

Soon Uttar Pradesh will have its own Film City that will create several opportunities for the state apart from boosting revenue and tourism for the state.

 

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