The Akhilesh Yadav government is all set to roll out several sops to attract Bollywood in the state. Under its new film and entertainment policy, which is likely to be cleared in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the state government has decided to increase the cash grant to Rs 2 crore to a production unit shooting at least 50 per cent of its film on locations in UP, said Navneet Sehgal, Principal Secretary, Information and Public relations.
Previously, the state government used to give producers Rs 1 crore if they shot at least 75 per cent portion of their films in UP.
Interestingly, the government will give additional Rs 25 lakh to producers if the film cast includes actors from UP. The grant would double up (Rs 50 lakh) if the entire cast happens to be from the state.
If that still does not make the Hindi film industry throng the state, UP government will give another Rs 25 lakh to a film whose subject is based on this northern state, and, then, another Rs 25 lakh if the processing of the film is done here.
The producer/director will have to apply for the grant, the final decision on which will be taken by the state government’s “screening committee”.
Officials claim the move will attract Bollywood producers who, with their films, will bring to the state employment opportunities and help UP brand itself well. In the recent past, several films — Saif Ali Khan-starrer ‘Bullet Raja’ and Madhuri Dixit-starrer ‘Dedh Ishqiya’, to name a few — had collected the Rs 1-crore grant from the state government by fulfilling the criteria. Among the upcoming films, Parineeti Chopra-starrer ‘Daawat-e-Ishq’ is not only shot mostly in UP, it weaves Lucknow’s culture into its romantic storyline as well.
This association with Bollywood extends to other spheres, too.
Prior to the Lok Sabha elections, the Samajwadi Party government hired music composers from the film industry to compose party’s election campaign song, Mann Se Hain Mulayam. Bollywood experts were also hired to make a promotional film ‘UP, the land of Taj’. In more such instances, director Muzaffar Ali was given Rs 25 lakh for organising Nawab Wajid Ali Shah show in Lucknow. The present regime’s inclination towards Bollywood was visible during its previous (Mulayam’s) stint at the office, too, when it had formed UP Film Development Council with Jaya Bachchan as its office-bearer.
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