During a two-hour-long marathon meeting with over 20 film directors and producers, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday unveiled his government’s plan to set up of a dedicated infotainment zone or ‘Film City’ in the state, saying the “need of the hour is that the Indian film industry should get a new platform”.
The government said that the ‘Film City’ will be set up in 1000 acre area in Sector 21 of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), close to the upcoming Jewar airport on Yamuna Expressway.
Speaking about the significance of the location of the proposed ‘Film City’, Adityanath said, “We have proposed this film city in Hastinapur region of Bharat, the son of Shakuntala, after whom the country is also referred to as Bharat. Bharat ki pehchan ka prateek banega. Yeh Ganga-Yamuna ke beech ka bhubhaag (This will become the symbol of the country, this land between Ganga and Yamuna rivers)… Uttar Pradesh is the land of the birthplace of Ram to Krishna.” He also said that the proposed site is just an hour drive from New Delhi.
“The city is not just only close to Agra, the city of Taj, but also Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna, and also near the proposed logistic hub in Noida. With Metro also proposed till Jewar, the connectivity would not be an issue at all for the city,” he added.
Assuring all assistance to the filmmakers, the CM sought suggestions from them as he spoke at length about the need for the film industry to make people aware about the culture and history of the country.
“Bhartiya cinema ko ek naya manch mile, yeh samay ki awashyakta hai… Humare maan mein bhartiyata honi chahiye…. Is bhav ke sath hum karya karenge to Uttar Pradesh sarkar ismein bharpur sehyog karegi,” (It is the need of the hour that Indian cinema gets a new platform… The essence of Bharat should be there in our mind and we should not deter from it. If we work with this feeling, then the UP government would give its complete support,” the Chief Minister told the filmmakers and artists.
Those who attended the meeting included Vivek Agnihotri, Ashok Pandit, singer Kailash Kher, Manoj Joshi, Nitin Desai, Vinod Bachchan, Vijayendra Prasad, Pragya Kumar, Udit Narayan and Anup Jalota.
Saundarya Rajnikant, Anupam Kher, Atul Agnihotri, lyricist Manoj Muntasir, Satish Kaushik and former BJP MP and chairman of Pune Film Institute Paresh Rawal also joined the meeting through video-conference.
While Udit Narayan sang a version of ‘Mitwa’ song from the film Lagaan in praise of Chief Minister Adityanath, Ashok Pandit, chairperson of Film Producer Association, suggested that one should look beyond Hindi films. Saundarya, however, requested the CM to also focus on the animation industry. While Anupam Kher emphasised on the training part and said that it was time for celebrations, singer Kailash Kher said that he felt “ashamed”of what has become of the film Industry in “the past 70 years”.
“This should have happened a long time back… We wonder when Telugu film industry is in Hyderabad, Tamil in Chennai, Bengali in Kolkata, then why the Hindi film industry is in Maharashtra? Though there is nothing wrong in it… but there is an issue of affordability for those talented in Hindi heartland going to Maharashtra,” Vivek Agnihotri said, adding that he has been a supporter of the view that “Hindi films should be made in Hindi heartland”.
Film producer Vinod Bachchan, however, said that this should not become “Maharastra versus Uttar Pradesh”. Hum who saari suvidhayen den ki Maharastra ke log aake kaam karein.. Unhone bhi humein support diya hai, ijjat di hai, rakha hai, khilaya hai pilaya hai..Woh log yahan aaye, hum tumhein apni jameen dete hain (We should give all our support so that people from Maharashtra come here and work. They too supported us, gave us respect, fed us. They can come here and will give them our land),” he added.
Art Director Nitin Desai offered to set up the entire ‘Film City’ on the lines of Mumbai, maintaining that about 80 per cent of technicians and workforce in Mumbai film industry is from UP. Sandeep Singh of Vistas Media — a Singapore-based company offered to set up a film academy with an initial investment of 10 million US dollars, and sought 30 acres land for the same.
As per the proposed plan, the ‘Film City’ will be divided into five zones. Zone 1 to have office, power station, three and five-star as well as budget hotels and a shopping conplex, while Zone 2 is likely to have a food court, outdoor rides, indoor rides, outdoor locations etc.
Zone 3 will have sets of village, bungalows, city and a ground. Zone 4 to have a clubhouse, servants quarters, purification plant, while airport office, warehouse, fuel house etc have been proposed in Zone 5, according to the government proposal shared to mediapersons.
The project will also have an amusement park and special effect studios.
A Bollywood museum has also been proposed to be set up, which will showcase the film industry to attract tourists.
A university on film making has also been proposed to be set up in the ‘Film City’.
Studios will have state-of-the-art facilities, green screen halls, video editing rooms, sound and mixing rooms, recording studio rooms, a blue screen hall and a workstation. “From film sets to post-production and special effects studios, everything will be available. We are going with this model so that the entire film can be made in one area and filmmakers will not have to keep travelling,” said an official of YEIDA.
Outdoor locations include a number of sets such as places of worship, metro stations, and a court. Studios will have underwater stages to facilitate water filming.
Chief Minister Adityanath said that concessions and benefits provided under the existing industry policies and film policy would be extended to those interested in setting up studios in the proposed site.
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