Seeking to promote Delhi as a shooting destination for global filmmakers and production houses, the city’s tourism department is participating in the ongoing Cannes film festival in France, saying the capital offers a multitude of stories worth telling on screen.
A senior official of the Delhi Tourism Development Corporation, who is in Cannes, said, Delhi with its layers of history and iconic monuments, is a perfect setting for “creating cine-magic”.
“These (filmmakers at Cannes) are some of the best storytellers in the world, and Delhi has a multitude of stories worth telling. We are committed to enabling creators craft their narratives, staged on the ever inspiring platform of Delhi,” said Sudhir Sobti, Chief Manager, Public Relations at the DTTDC.
Delhi is home to three iconic World Heritage sites -- Qutub Minar, Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb, alongside numerous other historic monuments, and the city offers a sumptuous banquet of history and heritage, seamlessly in tune with its transformation as one of the world’s fastest growing and largest metropolis today, he said.
“As civilisations have arrived and left an everlasting mark on Delhi, we wish the fraternity of creators, at the Festival de Cannes and beyond to help the Indian capital carve its space in the hearts and minds of cinematic denizens and film buffs,” he said.
The Delhi government has been taking steps to promote the national capital among the filmmaking community and has facilitated shooting of various films in the last few years, including Raanjhanaa and other productions.
“Today, as the capital of India, Delhi continues to hone and nurture cultures, ethnicities and riveting narratives that have time and again inspired national and international filmmakers to shoot here,” Sobti said.
The Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) along with the government of Delhi have been working towards making the capital a “film friendly city”.
“Apart from coordinating with various stakeholder agencies on a regular basis, the corporation also has a dedicated page on the website to guide the filmmakers on numerous locations and facilities available in the city. We look forward to inviting the filmmakers and producers to this endearing city and showcase the ‘Delhi Cinemagic’ to one and all,” Sobti said.
Asked what are the advantages of shooting a film in Delhi, he said what the city provides is a potent canvas for effective and emotive storytelling and the logistical support required to facilitate the process of narrating the story.
“The infrastructure that Delhi proffers includes hotels, transport, communication, film shooting equipment and film processing. Delhi’s IGI Airport ranks No.1 in the world when it comes to service quality and is capable handling chartered flights,” he added.
In terms of other resources, trained manpower in the field is readily available in Delhi with disruptively low production costs, the official said.
“Binding the resources available and the procedures involved in acquiring them, the Delhi government facilitates all your permissions to aid production in Delhi. Any filmmaker can send in their applications directly to Delhi Tourism stating the desired locations to shoot at, and the Film Shooting Facilitation Cell, Delhi Tourism will do all the groundwork for you,” Sobti said.
Besides, Delhi offers new talent, lower production cost, international connectivity and more than 200 locations to shoot at. Delhi Tourism itself has a few properties which can be used as ideal location for shootings, he said.
“The Festival de Cannes for us translates into the opportunity to present Delhi and its unrivalled creative potential and logistical ease to the esteemed fraternity of creators. Marking our place in the ever-expanding filming universe, we wish to mutually benefit in terms of the creative and tourism discourse,” the DTTDC official said.
Asked if Delhi Tourism has a mechanism in place for film producers in case they face problem during a film shoot, he said, DTTDC is the nodal agency working towards permissions for shootings.
“Once any producer reaches out to us, we further connect with the requested stakeholder agency and guide them in obtaining necessary permissions. Delhi Tourism is also part of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC), Film Facilitation portal that enables producers to directly reach out to us and seek our assistance for permissions and logistical solutions,” he said.