Karnataka to provide incentive to filmmakers for showcasing state’s tourism spots

Under a new Karnataka Film Tourism Policy 2018, approved by the Cabinet, the State will provide a financial incentive of up to INR 2.5 crore to filmmakers whose movies showcase popular tourist destinations in Karnataka.

Krishna Byre Gowda, Law Minister informed after the Cabinet meeting that the policy is inspired from similar incentives the filmmakers are given overseas for promoting tourism.

“We have seen tourist destinations abroad attracting visitors after having been featured in movies. This policy is aimed at promoting tourist destinations in Karnataka by providing incentives to filmmakers,” Gowda said.

To become eligible for the incentive under the policy, a film must be shot on a budget of more than INR 5 crore, the tourism department stated. The films will be evaluated on a scale of 100 by a committee headed by the additional chief secretary will evaluate films on a scale of 100. The parameters used for evaluation are the percentage of tourist destinations showcased, filming at tourist spots, reflecting Karnataka’s culture and heritage among others.

A film must showcase at least three out of 319 tourist destinations that the government has identified in its Tourism Policy 2015-2020.

Films will get an incentive of up to INR 2.5 crore that will score 90 and above (Category A) while the films scoring 75-90 (Category B) will get up to INR 1 crore.

“It was discussed in the Cabinet that this incentive can be misused. Officials assured us that it will be implemented in a transparent manner,” Gowda added.

The government has already earmarked INR 12.5 crore for the incentive and wants to offer it to at least eight films – three films under Category A and five under Category B.

Gowda also clarified that the policy would not ease the restrictions applicable in the forest and protected sites. “Filmmakers will still need to get necessary clearances for shooting,” he stated.

In addition to this, the State Government has also put restrictions on the filmmakers while shooting at protected sites. The state government, in addition to the restrictions imposed by the Archaeological Survey of India and state archaeological department on sites, has restricted filmmakers to shoot the sites and their surroundings. But it was also mentioned that the designated sites should be clearly visible and should not be damaged while shooting.

“There is no restriction on the duration of filming the sites, but care has to be taken to ensure that no structures are erected and all ASI rules are adhered to,” said the Tourism Minister Sa Ra Mahesh. He also added that filmmakers will also have to ensure that the chosen sites are prominently shown in the film.

The policy states that the on-screen time of the chosen destination should be at least three minutes in a song and five minutes in a movie sequence and imposed restrictions on the crew and their type at the site as well. At least 10-20 people of the crew members should be from Karnataka, it said.

Golden Chariot along with 20 destinations has been listed by the film tourism policy where film shooting can take place which includes lesser-known destinations and the ones which need to be revived. The list includes Devanahalli fort, Malkhed fort, Banavasi and Lakkundi.

T K Anil Kumar, Tourism Secretary said, “The idea is to showcase lesser-known destinations and make them popular. The department has gone by the list available. Any additions or suggestions to the list and the policy are welcome as this is the first time such a policy has been framed in Karnataka.”

Golden Chariot has been included after Indian Railways agreed to share the haulage charges. The full train or coaches can be rented out for film shooting and the interiors or exteriors can also be changed depending upon requirement, unlike at other sites, informed Mahesh.