Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a press conference held to announce the inauguration of the South Asia Film Festival (SAFF) in Goa from June 26, Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) chief operating officer (CEO) Manoj Srivastava said that the last financial year had seen a big leap in the number of film shooting schedules in the state.
“Till March 31 during the last financial year, we saw 119 film shootings schedules in Goa and we are expecting an even bigger spurt this year,” he said. ESG is the nodal agency for clearance and permission required for shooting films in Goa.
“We are proud to say that Goa is fast becoming a one-stop shop as far as film shooting is concerned. Rajnikantji’s new film, produced by his daughter Soundarya incidentally also titled ‘Goa’, was totally shot in the state, along with another film called ‘Peter Gaya Kaam Se’,” Srivastava said.
The Goa government was looking at simplifying the single window clearance to filmmakers, in order to ease the filmmakers, through bureaucratic red tape, he added.
“We are also trying to rationalise the film shooting fee structure so that local panchayats could also generate revenue by offering locales in their jurisdiction for film shooting,” he added.
Chairman of the SAFF co-ordination committee Jitendra Deshprabhu said that Goa was now beginning to reap the long term benefits of hosting film festivals in the real sense.
“It not only boosts our tourism, but a filmmaker like Mahesh Bhatt has shot three films in Goa, since the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was held here some years back,” he said.
“We have also had Iranian filmmakers come and scout for locations in Goa,” Deshprabhu said.
The four-day SAFF which will be held from June 26-29 in Panaji, will host nearly 60 films from South Asian countries like Maldives, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India. Maldivian film “Yousuf”, directed by Fathimath Nahula, has been short-listed as the inaugural film at SAFF.