Film Tourism Boards of as many as 20 countries had come to India to participate in the India International Film Tourism Conclave to meet, interact, 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.
Commenting on the occasion Harshad Bhagwat, Promoter, IIFTC said “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 2 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 & local productions visiting the show.” Film tourism is very popular amongst Indian travelers and with this thought – the IIFTC honored filmmaker, Anurag Basu for his outstanding contribution to world tourism through his cinema.
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Commenting on the occasion Anurag Basu said “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” Awards were also given to Warda Nadiadwala and singer Yohani. Warda Nadiadwala said “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.” Singer Yohani whose song ‘Manike Mage Hithe’ is trending on the charts 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”. 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 strived to become a solid knowledge platform. IIFTC Knowledge Series is a 90-minute tightly packed session featuring a series of stellar 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 which joined them in the discussions were Reliance Entertainment, Eskay Movies, Roy Kapur Films, Lyca Productions, Juggernaut Productions, Balaji, Ding Infinity, etc. Topics such as the role of film commissions, cultural challenges in shooting abroad, the importance of locations in storytelling, the process of location selection, challenges and learnings from shooting in live locations, opportunities for foreign destinations, and incentive models for OTT web series were discussed.
Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur gave out his success mantra to the discerning audience at the IIFT– ‘Follow your gut’. Commenting further he said “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 in 2005 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, then we select that location.” Commenting on the South Indian Film industry Siddharth said “The south Indian cinema is having its renaissance moment. The audiences have started accepting and appreciating such films.”
Commenting on the 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 which part of the world it comes from. It is not always the larger-than-life adventure or fantasy or drama – but films with a good storyline that hit the bull’s eye. Good content is the only formula if any for drawing audiences to the screens. Whenever we plan a film, we plan it for the Indian audiences at large and not specifically for the south or the north Indian audiences.”
The event saw participation from countries including Azerbaijan, Abu Dhabi, Krakow, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Norway, Oman, Panama, Poland, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and Yas Island to name a few.