Filmmakers have to submit scripts for shooting approvals in new Jammu and Kashmir Film policy

Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant General Manoj Sinha announced a new Film Policy for the Union Territory recently on August 5, 2021. The event was attended by Aamir Khan and Rajkumar Hirani who had shot 3 Idiots in Ladakh in 2008. The policy was aimed to bring back filmmakers to the valley and see the location once again feature in films. Sinha said, “It will transform Jammu Kashmir into the most preferred destination for the entertainment industry, reviving its halcyon days of being a cinematographer’s delight and bringing back the golden era of film shooting.”

Aamir had expressed thanks for the policy and said, “I want to congratulate Manoj Sinha and am also thankful to him for this film policy. It is a moment of happiness for the film industry and we will get several facilities and it will make shooting films here easy. I think it will be a great opportunity for the youth of Kashmir to enter the creative field and learn about it. Also, like we see in other states, we will want to see Kashmiri films as well. We would like to see an industry come out of J&K.”

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However, there is more to the policy than meets the eye. The policy on JKFDC’s website cites that ‘synopsis and script of the film with dialogues’ should be submitted by filmmakers for seeking shooting approvals and availing subsidies. The website clarifies that the “script will be evaluated by an expert from a panel constituted by the Union territory of the Jammu and Kashmir Film Cell”. Afaq Rasool Gadda, a Films Officer at Jammu Kashmir’s Department of Information and Public Relations said, “We have to see that nobody is doing any deshdrohi (anti-national) work these days. You get my point?”.

It further read that “in exceptional cases”, a director “may need to show the completed film” to a “representative of the Film Cell before its release anywhere in India/world” to “ensure that the film has been shot in accordance with the evaluated script” and that it contains “nothing objectionable from the point of view of presentation of a correct and balanced perspective on the topic”.

Shooting in J&K have always been a tad difficult for the filmmakers as compared to other Indian states as they had to take permissions from the Army and local authorities but never had to submit scripts for approval.

(Source: The Wire)