The Trivendra Singh Rawat-led Uttarakhand government has received requests for two film shootings daily on an average since permission was allowed in the hill state after the coronavirus disease (Covid-19)-induced lockdown restrictions were lifted, officials said.
KS Chauhan, the nodal officer of Uttarakhand Film Development Council (UFDC), said, “We have approved 98 requests for different kinds of shoots since the end of June, when shooting was allowed in the state. We are receiving more requests that are being processed on a daily basis.”
State government officials said Uttarakhand has emerged as a preferred choice for filmmakers because of subsidies in shooting, lodging and also rebates in the payment of State Goods and Services Tax (SGST).
“Uttarakhand is blessed with natural scenic beauty, which offers filmmakers breathtaking locales for shoots. There are several other benefits as well such as no additional charges for shooting, 100% online process for approvals, which reduces red tapism, and a 50% discount on lodging of film crew if they stay in government guest houses. There is a 30% refund on SGST on prices of tickets for films that are shot in Uttarakhand among others,” said Chauhan.
“The state government gives an additional security of up to five police personnel without any charges to any film unit on request,” he added.
The Uttarakhand Film Policy aims “to popularise the state as a major tourist destination. The Uttarakhand government has exempted all films shot in the state from shooting charges.”
“Based on merit, films having more than 50% or more outdoor shooting in Uttarakhand will be made tax-free,” it added.
Altogether, 475 films have been shot in the state since the policy was initiated in 2015.
So far, 148 films have been shot this year, including 98 after the Covid-19-induced lockdown restrictions were lifted.
On Sunday, Bollywood actors Shahid Kapoor and Mrunal Thakur thanked the state government and tweeted for the latter’s support during the shoot of their upcoming film, Jersey.
“It’s a wrap on this schedule of Jersey. I would like to thank the Uttarakhand government for supporting and putting in place efficient policies that enabled us to safely shoot and wrap the schedule of our film in many beautiful locations of the state,” Kapoor tweeted.