Special visa for foreign filmmakers in offing?

Special visa for foreign filmmakers in offing?

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) In a major move to make India a global film shooting hub, the information and broadcasting ministry has urged the home and external affairs ministries that a special category visa be created for foreign filmmakers who want to visit India and scout for shooting locales in the country.

While the suggestions were made to the ministries of external affairs and home separately to facilitate travel within India of foreign filmmakers, official sources said the matter may be initially referred to a panel of officials from the concerned ministries and departments.

“There are various issues involved. Foreign nationals visiting north-eastern India require another permit called Restricted Area Permit (RAP) besides the necessary passport-visa. All these need to be examined,” an official said.

In fact, the matter may be referred to the union cabinet also, sources said.

Meanwhile, official sources said that a proposal has been prepared under which the central government may provide assistance to an Indian film competing for the Oscars.

An assistance of Rs.1 crore may be given to films in contention for an award at Cannes or Rs.50 lakh for films at Venice.

The I&B ministry is working on a proposal to create a fund for the same and this assistance may be used by the filmmakers for travelling, exhibiting their movies and hiring of halls and other logistics in different countries.

“Such moves are afoot as the government and the ministry believe that when Indian movies win more international awards, it will help in giving a boost to the country’s entertainment industry globally,” a source said.

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