Indian film industry welcomes Union Budget 2019

The Indian film industry has welcomed the central government's announcement of single-window clearance for Indian filmmakers to shoot their films – a provision that was earlier available only to international filmmakers and has hailed the move to initiate anti-camcording provision.

Indian film industry welcomes Union Budget 2019
Piyush Goyal, image credit ANI

The Indian film industry has welcomed the central government's announcement of single-window clearance for Indian filmmakers to shoot their films – a provision that was earlier available only to international filmmakers and has hailed the move to initiate anti-camcording provision.

Following the announcement, film-maker Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted: "Welcome move by @narendramodi Government for initiating Anti-Camcording provision in the Cinematography Act to fight Piracy and Single window clearance for Film Shootings. This will help the Film Industry in a Big Way. #Budget2019."

Anand Surapur, director of ‘Fakir of Venice’, said that the move will give independent filmmakers a much-needed boost and recognition that was earlier there, but was stopped in between.

Preetham Daniel, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing - Asia, Harkness Screens, too felt it is an inclusive budget, saying, "In relation to the entertainment industry, single window clearance for filmmakers is a good move as it will remove the hurdles in content generation.”

Daniel further added, “Anti-piracy initiative by the government is a big step forward. Moving from smart cities and digital villages will pave way for better penetration of content in all formats. India has an average screen density of one screen per 1,55,000 population . Such positive measures in fiscal budget for entertainment industry coming along with GST rates rationalisation for film exhibition sector will certainly add steam and bring impetus to the growth pace of Indian Entertainment Industry. We are now well positioned to see the industry flourishing.”

Vikram Mehra, MD Saregama India and Producer at Yoodlee Films for the budget, said: "We welcome the move wholeheartedly. This is a step in the right direction in enabling filmmaker’s like us at Yoodlee Films to make even better content-driven films."

Filmmaker Anees Bazmee of films such as 'Singh is Kinng', 'Ready' and 'No Problem' fame added, "I feel it is a great decision for filmmakers as it will reduce the levels of permissions leading to ease at the production stage. Elimination of piracy is definitely a need of the hour, it has been the root cause of losses and before that it is unethical. I hope this change is executed and accepted by all."

Sunir Khetrepal, CEO, AZURE Entertainment, spoke on the single window clearance, saying, “Obtaining permissions from various authorities have been very time-consuming. Single window clearance will not only save time but also eradicate the hidden costs involved in the procedure.”

Speaking about anti-camcording provisions he added, “Hoping that anti-camcording provisions terminate piracy as a whole and the offenders are punished. This can be executed only with the support of exhibitors. This will also help the films to collect better revenues.”

Producer Anand Pandit said, "First of all I want to congratulate Shri Narendra Modi's government and Shri Piyush Goyal for giving us a fantastic budget for 2019. As a member of the film industry and a producer, I believe that the single window clearance that is being given by the government in this budget to filmmakers is an extremely welcome move. It will make the ease of getting shooting permissions very accessible and a lot less time will be spent in getting the same.”

Pandit went on to say, “I believe this budget looks at filmmakers and the industry as a major force in the country and I congratulate Shri Modi ji for his vision in understanding our problems and finding a solution for us. By streamlining the process, producers like myself will be able to make films far easier and in shorter amount of time."

Notably, the single-window clearance is a trade facilitation idea that enabled international traders to submit regulatory documents at a single location and a single entity. The single-window clearance increases efficiency through time and cost savings for the filmmakers in dealing with government authorities for obtaining relevant clearance before starting with any shoot.

Follow @_aBoxOffice