Post-Covid, international tourism boards woo Indian filmmakers

Anurag Basu receiving the IIFTC award from Mikael Svensson at the IIFTC. Photo: Proton Communications.

Film Tourism Boards of as many as 20 countries recently came to India to participate in the India International Film Tourism Conclave (IIFTC) to meet, interact with, understand and offer sops to Indian filmmakers to shoot in their respective countries. Producers and directors from across the country joined the conclave to meet the tourism boards.

“Post Covid, international shoots are back with a vengeance. Almost every production house is having a busy slate with multiple projects, making up for the two years lost due to the pandemic. This year’s show is dedicated to the human spirit and determination that drives all of us from the creative industries and especially, our filmmakers. Each year we are trying to improve our offering to create greater value for the global film community and local productions visiting the show,”Harshad Bhagwat, promoter, IIFTC, is quoted saying in a press release.

Film tourism is very popular among Indian travelers and with this thought, the IIFTC honored filmmaker, Anurag Basu, for his outstanding contribution to world tourism through his cinema.

“Today, I realized how Indian movies have contributed to tourism in a big way. I love traveling and making movies, I never thought that I’ll receive an award for doing both together,” Basu said. Awards were also given to Warda Nadiadwala, and Sri Lankan singer Yohani.

“IIFTC is a great initiative to bring all the countries together on one platform. It feels great to know that Baaghi 3 contributed to Serbian tourism,” Nadiadwala said. Yohani, whose song, Manike mage hithe, is trending on the charts and is being used in the Hindi version in the Diwali release Thank God, said “It’s an honor to represent my country Sri Lanka on the global stage. I would love to thank India for all their support”.

Sri Lankan singer Yohani. Photo provided via Rajiv Vijayakar

Awards for Cinematic Excellence were also presented to the makers of Vaazhl (Tamil), Disco Raja (Telugu), Kotigobba 3 (Kannada), Thaali Pogathey (Tamil), Sardar Udham (Hindi), Baaghi 3 (Hindi), and Annabelle Sethupati (Tamil) for showcasing global locations to Indian audiences.

Over the years, in addition to organizing the international locations market, IIFTC has also striven to become a knowledge platform. The IIFTC Knowledge Series is a 90-minute tightly-packed session featuring well-known industry speakers addressing an international audience on a variety of industry issues.

This year’s knowledge series featured film commissioners from Norway, Abu Dhabi, Azerbaijan and Sweden. The production houses that joined them in the discussions were Reliance Entertainment, Eskay Movies, Roy Kapur Films, Lyca Productions, Juggernaut Productions, Balaji, Ding Infinity and others. T

Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur indicated his success mantra was, “Follow your gut.”

“Whichever films I have made, I was in love with the scripts irrespective of what others said. When we decided to produce Rang De Basanti, many people warned us that the film may not work well as in the ending the cast dies, but we followed our gut. As far as choosing locations is concerned; we as filmmakers want to be true to the script and hence prefer to shoot at the actual locations as in the script. However, budget sometimes plays a role and if we get something that may not look like a force fit and still be in our budgets, we select that location,” Roy said.

Commenting on the South Indian film industry Roy Kapur added, “The South Indian cinema is having its renaissance moment. The audiences have started accepting and appreciating such films.”

On this surge of south Indian films; Ashish Singh, CEO of Lyca Productions, said, “I strongly believe that we should not be differentiating between the north and the south and should be addressing it as the Indian film industry. I feel that good content and story would be a success, irrespective of from which part of the world it comes.”

Among the countries participating in the event were Azerbaijan, Abu Dhabi, Krakow, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Norway, Oman, Panama, Poland, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Yas Island to name a few.




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