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India’s NFDC to Launch Film Facilitation Office

A system to cut through the bureaucracy that surrounds obtaining filming permits in India will be launched this week.

The Film Facilitation Office will be operated by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), the government-backed film support organization that seeds some productions and operates the Film Bazaar co-production market.

India’s Information & Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore will formally announce the move of the ‘single window clearance’ system on Nov. 21, at the upcoming Film Bazaar in Goa (Nov. 20-24).

The move follows years of lobbying by filmmakers from inside India who face a fragmented, labyrinthine and sometimes corrupt system involving ministries, local authorities and police departments.

The Bazaar will host a symposium where key permission givers including the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of I&B, the Archaeological Survey of India, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Railways will participate.

One of the Bazaar’s key objectives this year is to promote film tourism and India as a filming destination. The target is international film producers and local ones, who sometime shoot abroad because of simpler shooting permit systems. There will also be presentations from the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Puduchery and Daman & Diu.

Besides the previously announced 19 projects in the Bazaar’s co-production market, 11 projects will participate in the Works in Progress Lab including Shankar Raman’s “Gurgaon”, Alankrita Shrivastava’s “Lipstick Under My Burkha”, Avani Rai’s “Raghu Rai: An Unframed Portrait” and Rahul Jain’s “Machines”.

The NFDC will also feature 156 projects in various stages of completion in its Viewing Room and recommends some 32 of these, including Prasanna Jayakody’s “Leopard Do Not Bite”, Nicholas Kharkongor’s “Mantra”, Bauddhayan Mukherji’s “The Violin Player”, Surya Balakrishnan’s “Right Forward” and Alka Raghuram’s “Burqa Boxers”.

Potential international buyers for these projects include Bazaar attendees Arte France, Samuel Goldwyn and Zeitgeist Films, and distributors and sales agents Fortissimo, Magnolia Pictures, Focus Features and Alpha Violent.

Also mining the Bazaar for potential gems will be representatives of several international festivals including Cannes, Locarno and Venice.

Nina Lath Gupta, Managing Director, NFDC India said: “With NFDC connecting Indian and international film fraternities, Film Bazaar will again discover and significantly support upcoming talent from all over. We look forward to addressing key concerns of the world film community in the dynamic domains of film development, production, and distribution.”

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