After the launch of the film policy for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir by the government, producers are making a beeline to shoot the scenic splendor of the locales of Jammu and Kashmir. The film policy was launched to incentivize shootings of films in different locations in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Top production houses have visited various locations in the Union Territory having the charming natural beauty and potential of shooting a variety of subjects. Kashmir has been receiving good responses from filmmakers since the opening of tourism here in addition to the regional entertainment houses for shooting song sequences and commercial advertisements," officials of Tourism Department Kashmir said.
Bollywood directors have chosen Kashmir as the filming ground for many of their movies due to its picturesque landscapes. The shooting of many popular movies like Highway, Phantom, Fitoor, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Raazi, Haider, 3 Idiots, and more happened in Kashmir.
In January 2021, Bollywood's big banners arrived in Kashmir giving a major shot in the arm to the tourism sector which was facing huge losses.
The visiting Bollywood team was comprised of a 24-member Bollywood delegation including members of the Ajay Devgun Films, the Sanjay Dutt Productions, the Reliance Entertainment, the Rohit Shetty Films, the Zee Studios, the Adhikari Brothers and SAB (Marathi), the Endemol, Director Raj Kumar Hirani and the Excel Entertainment besides several representatives from the Producers Guild, Mumbai.
Producer Siddharth Roy promises to restore old glory in Kashmir
Noted film producer Siddharth Roy Kapur promised during the Gulmarg winter festival 2021 that the film industry will be back in Kashmir.
"We will bring Kashmir back to the film industry the way it was in the 1960s", he promised during the three-day festival which commenced on February 6, 2021. This event saw the presence of Bollywood celebrities like Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vidya Balan, Neelam Kothari, and Arbaaz Khan.
Bollywood actor Neelam Kothari asserted that she will encourage her colleagues, producers, and directors of the industry to shoot their films in the Kashmir Valley, especially in picturesque Gulmarg.
"Kashmir is very near to my heart as my first picture "Jawaani" was shot in beautiful locations of Srinagar, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam", the gorgeous actress asserted on the sidelines of the "Gulmarg Winter Festival" organized by the Army to celebrate 75th year of Indian Independence "Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav".
She said the Bollywood film industry can shoot their films in the beautiful locations of Kashmir very happily and comfortably as there is no fear or threat and the atmosphere has entirely changed.
Recently, Sara Ali Khan, daughter of actor Saif Ali Khan visited the Valley twice in the last nine months, her January trip being the latest. Sara has been posting her videos and pictures about Kashmir all over social media.
Maiden film policy launched on August 5, 2021
On August 5, 2021, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha launched the Union Territory's Film Policy to facilitate the overall growth of the film industry in the region, including setting up a film development council and revival of closed cinema halls.
The policy, launched at a star-studded event in the presence of actor Aamir Khan and filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, aims at establishing Jammu and Kashmir as the first choice of film shooting destination for filmmakers.
The policy has been worked out to promote the overall growth of the film industry in the Union Territory, setting up the Jammu and Kashmir Film Development Council and providing hands-on access to the website for the talent pool and all shooting destinations.
"I invite filmmakers from across the world to come to J&K and explore the pristine beauty of Jammu and Kashmir. At the same time, also avail a host of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, besides world-class facilities offered by the J&K Government", the Lieutenant Governor said while launching the film policy.
The government has set up a Single Window Clearance mechanism; prepared equipment, location, and talent directories, besides offered a host of incentives for filmmakers coming to the UT. The new policy also aims at maximizing the potential of promising local talent & creating livelihood opportunities for many.