Colleges get movie space, revenue from ‘lights, camera, action’

Colleges get movie space, revenue from ‘lights, camera, action’

Symbiosis, SP, BMCC, Agri college campuses favourite locations for film and ad shoots.

A fim shoot in progress at the College of Agriculture, Pune. (Source: Atikh Rashid)
A fim shoot in progress at the College of Agriculture, Pune. (Source: Atikh Rashid)

College campuses in Pune have been attracting filmmakers enticed by the grandeur of edifices of the buildings. The movie shoots in turn provide a source of revenue for the colleges.

College of Agriculture, Symbiosis International University (Lavale Campus), Brihan Maharashtra Commerce College (BMCC), Deccan College, Sir Parshurambhau College, and Film and Television of Institute of India earn lakhs of rupees every year by making campuses available for film shoots.

The college authorities said filmshoots are scheduled to not intervene much with college schedule. The shoots are popular among students as they get to see their favourite film stars and also a chance to appear in movies as extras.

An RTI query with College of Agriculture by Pune Newsline showed that the college earned Rs 30 lakh in five years from shoots of movies and ads. As per information provided by the college authorities, since January 2009, a Hindi movie, a Marathi movie and three ad films were shot there.


“The college charges Rs 2 lakh per day for shoot of a Hindi film or advertisement and Rs 1 lakh per day for a Marathi film/ad. Permission depends on convenience and seeing (to it that) the shoot doesn’t adversely affect students,” said an official with the Establishment Department of the college.

The most recent film shot at the college was Akshay Kumar starrer Gabbar in March. The college is said to have been paid Rs 14 lakh for a seven-day shoot and Marathi blockbuster Duniyadari — produced by Dreaming Twenty Four Seven — which had a 10-day-shoot earned the college Rs 10 lakh. The college gained popularity after the 2003 movie Munnabhai MBBS.

The movie was shot at the college for about 40 days in 2002.

Symbiosis International University’s Lavale campus is another favourite destination. Campus sequences in Salman Khan-Karina Kapoor starrer Bodyguard were shot there. The college is learnt to have charged Rs 25,000 per day for the shoot that lasted more than a month.
Sources said apart from Bodyguard, ad films and movies have been shot at the sprawling campus.

Several movies and documentary films — especially Marathi — have been shot in Brihan Maharashtra Commerce College. According to college principal C N Rawal they allow shoots only if they do not affect college schedule. “We generally allow shoots in vacations,” said Rawal adding that permission depends on subject of the film /documentaries. If the subject is in public interest the college allows it. He said although they charge a ‘nominal amount’ for the shoot, earning revenue was not the driving motive. “For us it’s not a commercial activity. We have an old heritage building. Naturally, filmmakers are attracted. A few students approached us for making a documentary some time back, we didn’t charge any money,” said Rawal.

Movies, short films and documentary shoots proved a source of income for Pune-based Film and Television Institute (FTII). According to officials, charges for location and equipment are comparatively lower at FTII, several filmmakers, especially those who shoot short films with shoestring budgets or films without any financing, prefer it. “We allow shoots at building complexes inside campus and other locations at a rate of Rs 2000 per eight hour shift. The rent for studios is Rs 8,000 to 9,000 per shift. The institute provides lighting, set and furniture and services of staffers at a nominal rate. The average earning from location and studios is around Rs 10 lakh per month,” said an official.
Fergusson College officials have said that they used to allow film shoots earlier but have stopped it as a “policy decision.”