Cinemascapes 2018 edition will continue to consolidate upon its recent gains in proving to be a formidable platform across verticals that brings Cinema and Tourism together, namely the big screen, television, commercial advertising, documentary makers and others. Our format reaches out to professionals, including producers, directors, line producers and photographers – all those who play a role in influencing the choice of locations for cinema shoots. They will engage with promoters of locations from an anticipated 30+ locations in an innovative format, from within the country and across the globe. Locations will have a choice of options to choose from: stand space, panel discussions, product presentations, workshops, and cultural manifestations.
A day-long programme, Cinemascapes 2018 will bring an estimated 500 professionals under one roof. Write to us for more details at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cinemascapes 2017 provided a platform for examining churnings in the cinema industry and its manifestations on the travel and tourism sector. The impact of cinema shoots in generating revenue for countries and destinations, fast-altering consumer preferences, critical factors influencing choice of destinations for shooting and much more was put under scanner in sessions at the event. Seasoned industry professions, representing films, television, advertisement, production houses, NTOs and destination promotion offices, among others, were in attendance.
Industry experts suggested destinations to explore joint marketing campaigns and look beyond cash rebates and incentives to attract production houses. They voiced their preferences, naming affordability, accessibility to a destination, presence of cinema shooting infrastructure, aided by skilled local crew, and liberal policies as their key parameters for zeroing in on a destination.
Representatives from several NTOs gave detailed insight into their nation’s product offerings and USPs. They outlined their expectations from production houses, batting for a shift from being strategically positioned as a brand to becoming integral to the narrative itself.
On the domestic front, Indian states highlighted their products and elaborated on recently undertaken policy initiatives to boost cinema tourism.
The growing clout of Indian television in shaping travel preferences of the outbound was also discussed by industry insiders. Another key takeaway of the brainstorming was how audiences were increasingly preferring new and unexplored destinations, therefore keeping destination promotion boards and NTOs on their toes, making strategic marketing and concerted outreach a non-negotiable aspect of tourism promotion.
Awards ceremony followed panel discussions where Cinemascapes honoured Amit Khanna for his contribution to the cinema and television industry, and conferred him with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Chrome Pictures and the Story Tellers were honoured for their video productions on Jammu and Kashmir and Assam, respectively. Faridoon Shahyar was also awarded for his role as a journalist.
18th December 2017. Mumbai
Who said what at Cinemascapes 2017
Convenience to shoot, air-connectivity and infra influencing the choice of cinema shoots: Amit Khanna, Film maker and Writer On major trends in the world of cinema tourism
Reflecting on major trends in the world of cinema tourism, Amit Khanna delved on how the decision to shoot at a particular destination was being increasing shaped by a handful of factors – convenience to shoot, ease of air-connectivity to the location, hassle-free experience for the production crew and availability of cinema shoot related infrastructure. He shared the example of Switzerland, detailing that a cinema-maker could register the schedule of an entire movie shoot online, thereby implying the need for creating more responsive and transparent access channels. He also made a mention of Reykjavik in the same breath, commending its infrastructure for cinema shoots.
He advocated setting in place mechanisms for smoother coordination between centre and states, municipal bodies and other government bodies involved in matters of policy and implementation.
Calling location critical to any form of audio-visual creative, he elucidated that distant and new destination had long remained integral to the art of cinema making. Reminiscing the role of veteran Indian directors and producers and their role in taking newer destinations in to the mainstream of tourism landscape, he commended the role of Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai and others in the past. Taking stock of trends in an increasingly interconnected digital world, he stressed that new and compelling locations were essential to hold on to audience’s fast receding attention span – which remains a problem for creatives cutting across genres.
An ecosystem to ensure ease of shooting will drive Indian destinations: Vikramjit Roy, Head, Film Facilitation Office, GOI
The experience of ease of shooting in India for foreign filmmakers was a precondition to pushing India as an attractive cinema shoot destination, noted Vikramjit Roy. In a bid to address the absence of an ecosystem to ensure ease of shooting and a seamless experience, FFO had constituted a system of nodal officers, each representing a state or a Union territory, to act as a single-window contact for any filming related issues, he added. The idea has since been assiduously backed by state governments, central government ministries and other agencies, and are beginning to show positive results, he informed.
Giving insight into the mandate behind setting up of FFO, he detailed that the body was tasked with promoting India as an attractive destination for cinema shoots besides creating a film-friendly ecosystem in the country. He shared that taking the idea of national outreach a step further, the ministry of information and broadcasting had constituted a coveted national award to felicitate the best state for cinema shoots, injecting a spirit of healthy competition among states.
The FFO has bolstered its international outreach and has become a member of AFCI (Association of Film Commissioners International), he informed adding that a viable online presence and creating a resource directory of cinema-related assets were next on the national body’s agenda.
Audiences looking for unexplored, virgin destinations; Nepal well-poised to ride the trend, says Deepak Joshi
Deepak Joshi made a strong pitch for Nepal as an attractive destination for cinema shooting, highlighting the geographical diversity and pristine environment of the country. Ruing the fact that the Himalayan state had not been able to court Indian filmmakers, he made a mention of the eighties and nineties when Nepal was considered as an extremely desirable shooting locale, noting that it was perhaps the inability of Nepal’s tourism fraternity in reaching out to the Indian community, to inform and educate them about the scenic destinations on offer, which had led to this downward slide. He argued that location, community, the ease of shooting, and accessibility to the destination remained key factors for choosing destinations for filming.
Examining trends in the cinema industry, he said that audiences were increasingly preferring realism and outdoor shoots than studio-based cinema-making and this shift boded well for Nepal. Describing how Nepal was an apt destination for Indian filmmakers, he explained that the Capital, Kathmandu, was well-connected to Indian cities with affordable flights, adding that the geographically diverse country with several unexplored and virgin destinations made it an ideal destination for filmmakers to cater to the changing palate of the audiences.
He also mentioned that the cinema industry was gaining importance in economic and cultural diplomacy for governments and for NTOs to boost their outreach.
Tectonic shift in way information is consumed; Visual mediums outpacing print, says Khaleel Bacchu Ali
Sharing a short video on Assam and its tourism offerings, Khaleel Bacchu Ali called awareness of tourism destinations a fabulous by-product of such visual initiatives. Taking stock of the changing trends in the marketplace, he noted that there has been a tectonic shift in the way news and information is being consumed, especially in the recent years, with a vast majority of the audience preferring visual mediums over printed documents.
He noted that the idea behind the conceptualisation of ASAP – formed in 2012 – was to bring a semblance of order in an otherwise chaotic industry and engage with the larger stakeholders in the ecosystem, including advertising, brands, creatives, other industry bodies and technicians, among others. He further highlighted that the body comprised of 76 members, all of whom were inducted after a stringent process and their fulfilling all the criterion laid by the body.
Giving an insight into the market specifics, he shared that the Indian commercial market has been witnessing sturdy growth at a 22 percent top line on a y-o-y basis for the last half a decade. Stressing that there could be a confluence between advertising film production and state tourism boards, he singled out areas for mutual association like video production, entertainment before education, respect for the viewer and the target audience space, among others.
Cinema and tourism must be a part of our bilateral cooperation and engagement: Ambassador G. Ganbold
Evoking centuries old ties, cultural and people-to-people, Mongolian ambassador outlined the contours of bilateral cooperation – which was diversifying into newer areas in the last few years. He stressed that cinema and tourism as industries must not remain out of the ambit of the bilateral cooperation, and insisted on acting as a bridge between the stakeholders of the industries in the two countries.
He shared that Hindi movies were rather popular in Mongolia and Raj Kapoor was still the quintessential reference point for Hindi movies.
He mentioned that Mongolia was a sparsely populated land with striking visuals, distinct seasons and geographical zones. Terming the country a blend of modern and traditional way of living, he pointed out that nomadic cultures were present in the hinterland of the vast central Asian country. He noted that the country was a great tourist destination with Tibetan and Buddhist monasteries, now boasting of a dozen or so Indian restaurants too.
He informed that the Indian government had given its consent for code-sharing flights and active negotiations were on for tie-ups between commercial banks of the two countries, indicting a growing relationship between the two countries. Speaking on the road ahead, he mentioned that film companies and tourism office in Mongolia were enthusiastic in building their creative cooperation with their counterparts in India.
Eyeing employment and revenue generation, Odisha mooting a lucrative policy for the cinema industry: Nitin Jawale
Linking cinema tourism to employment generation, stating that it would contribute towards generating revenue and creating jobs on the ground, Director tourism, Government of Odisha suggested that the department was making serious attempts to put Odisha on the national map as a preferred destination for travel and tourism, and had made some leeway in the process. He admitted that the state had been a late starter in attracting cinema-related tourism, but pointed out that several steps had been taken in the right direction, including the state mooting a forward-looking policy with lucrative provisions for the industry. Giving a clarion call to production houses and other stakeholders to explore the state for cinema shoots, Nitin Jawale highlighted that the state had the highest forest cover in the country and was home to several unexplored destinations. He said that Odisha had a distinct ecology and was home to numerous beaches and rivers, and some of the highest mountain ranges in the Eastern Ghats, and therefore offered unparalleled diversity to shoot. He also attracted attention towards Odisha’s rich heritage and monuments.
His address was supplemented by video presentations that outlined Odisha’s varied tourism products and offerings.
Air Canada boosting connect; aggressive promotion to amplify destination outreach underway, shares Arun Pandya
Asserting that Canada was open for business of cinema and tourism, he shared that the North American nation had signed a film co-production treaty with India some years ago, and had been aggressively promoting its destinations in the Indian market since then. He said that Canada partnered the Goa International Films Festival and FICCI Frames in 2017, signalling that the outreach was underway in full measure.
Explaining the advantages of Canada as a filming location, he said that the country was replete with exotic locations and had a skilled workforce to assist production houses in their undertakings.
Backing Amit Khanna’s position on the need for robust air-connectivity, the Country Manager shared that Air Canada was operating non-stop flights four days a week from Mumbai and daily non-stop flights from Delhi, besides four times a week connection to Vancouver from Delhi, playing a significant role in strengthening India’s connectivity to the Canadian shores.
Buoyed by the double-digit growth in tourist footfalls in the country, he said that individual provinces, too, had undertaken a spirited effort to amplify their outreach in the Indian market. Arun Pandya invited industry stakeholders to share their perspectives with a Canadian body, representing officials from the Canadian High Commission and Consul General’s offices.
Lucrative incentives, mature cinema logistics industry make Georgia ideal for cinema shoots: Satinder Pal Ahuja
Georgia, a small nation in the southwest of Europe, was a little-known destination in the Indian mainstream, but the Government of Georgia had been assiduously attempting to create awareness about the destination and its tourism pegs. Explaining the product offering, he said that the country had six climate zones and was home to sub-tropical and coastal areas, alpine mountains, deserts, and forests – all of which could be covered in a span of a day! He added that the country boasted of a unique amalgamation of medieval and modern architecture, lending more aesthetic appeal for cinema industry stakeholders to take advantage of. Sharing more details, he said that public places in the country were easily accessible and were free of charge.
Making a strong case for Georgia, Satinder Pal Ahuja further brought attention to the fact that the country offered cash incentives in tune of 20-25% to not only filmmakers, but to advertisement shoots and television production – where all incentives were settled in the shortest time-frame to lend more ease to production houses. He said that Georgia was a warm, welcoming and a business-friendly country, and had a mature cinema logistics market, available at costs 30-35% less expensive than European countries.
In his closing remarks, he revealed that several major production houses in India were already exploring opportunities on offer.
Focussing on budding professionals, Mukesh Sharma advocates an academic course on cinema tourism
Batting for including an academic course in the under-graduate programme on the nuances of cinema tourism to create awareness among budding cinema directors, Mukesh Sharma shared that he was giving it a serious thought as the head of the Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema and Entertainment.
Reminiscing his stint with the Children’s Film Society, he said that his first experience of co-production happened way back in 1989 with the government of Mauritius. He shared that the film was made in the shortest of duration and ended up winning a National Award. Mukesh Sharma mentioned another anecdote related to his involvement in production, saying that he worked with a German channel and assisted them in shooting, including the post-production, perhaps hinting at the ease with which these projects could be executed. Incidentally, the video was later aired on the national network.
Detailed compendium of cinema resources by states will assist production houses in identifying resources: Shuchi Trivedi
The biggest question posed by industry insiders to destinations and products seeking their participation for shooting activities in their turf was the ways and means in which they were to lend ease to the entire process of shooting for the involved production house. She said that growth of cinema tourism at any destination, domestic and international, was intrinsically linked to the degree of uniqueness it possessed.
She reasoned that industry stakeholders would have preferred to be offered a catalogue or a handbook, in print or in electronic version – an idea already pressed into action by some of the leading exponents of cinema tourism, including countries like Canada and Dubai. She argued that putting in place such a document would make it easier for production houses to identify available locations, besides having a clear understanding of the state of soft and hard infrastructure available to them. She questioned the absence of such a mechanism among Indian states and backed the idea of creating a handbook on similar lines.
Shuchi Trivedi further shared that Ernst and Young had collaborated with the Government of Maharashtra and created a detailed e-compendium of locations and other related amenities for cinema tourism – the handbook was launched recently by the state Chief Minister. She noted that as an analyst, she favoured these ideas and was keen on seeing development on this front.
Single-window clearance, transparent policies and robust infra pushing Gujarat ahead in the race: Sanatan Pancholi
Sanatan Pancholi said that as part of their commitment towards muscling up cinema-tourism outreach, he headed the film shooting facilitation centre, under the aegis of Gujarat Tourism, in Mumbai. He pointed out the government had put in place single-window clearance for cinema shoots, and all the related permissions were being channelled through the state tourism department – which was active in processing these requests. He explained that in case the permission was not granted by the tourism department through a written letter within seven working days, with sufficient reasons to back the denial, production teams were allowed to proceed with their shoots on the eighth day of putting in the application, indicating a favourable climate for production houses in the western coastal state.
He also presented the audience with a detailed video, depicting the diverse flavours of Indian and Gujarati cinema, and detailing how the cinema market, Hindi and Gujarati, was growing leaps and bounds with each passing year, bringing in significant revenue for the country, along with supporting around 20 million jobs.
It is also worth mentioning that the state has already bagged a prestigious National Award for being the best cinema promotion-friendly state; the award was constituted recently by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to foster healthy competition among states. The video also mentioned that Gujarat was a heady mix of ancient heritage and modern-marvels of architecture, backed by uncompromising law and order, and friendly locals, making it an ideal destination for shooting any visual art form.
Keen on partnership opportunities to position Singapore as an integral part of the storyline, says G B Srithar
Sharing his insights on positioning Singapore through visual mediums, he advocated for deeper stories and fresh perspectives. Explaining his assertion, he said after having positioned Singapore as a part of branded content for decades, he was looking at possibilities of working with production houses where in the country could be an integral part of the story or the content. He also suggested that production houses could explore ideas wherein Singaporeans could be intrinsic to the storyline. He made a mention of the country’s partnership approach, most recently with Dharma productions, in producing Hindi cinema ‘Badrinath ki Dulhaniya’ where a key story character was based out of Singapore, allowing them to weave in opportunities to strategically market the country.
He said that Singapore had the good fortune of being associated with some or the other Bollywood or Hollywood film associations since way back in the 1960s, and the association had grown and diversified since then, leading to many more advertisements and television serials being shot in the island nation. He commended cinema actors, cutting across various regions, for helping Singapore establish a profoundly deep connect with the Indian masses.
Crediting cinema-based connect for Singapore’s rise as a preferred destination for travel among the Indian outbound, he shared that the country had already welcomed around 9.5 lakh tourists (.95 million) from India till September this year, establishing India as the third largest source market for Singapore.
Film and Travel Fraternity laud Cinemascapes 2017 as a must attend event for unparalleled insights on industry churnings
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