SMALLER IS NICER FOR NEW-AGE BOL­LY­WOOD

Films high on emo­tional con­tent draw upon the dis­tinc­tive set­ting of non-metro cities and towns

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Yashika Mathur yashika.mathur@htlive.com

Nov­elty is the name of the game in the show busi­ness. And a film’s set­ting is an in­te­gral part of that. Non-metro cities and smaller towns in In­dia are at­tract­ing more and more Bol­ly­wood film­mak­ers for their dis­tinc­tive set­ting, nicer land­scape, and in some cases, shoot sub­si­dies of­fered by the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

Film­maker Aanand L Rai, who has pro­duced Nil Bat­tey San­nata (2015) and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, be­lieves that while cinema, in gen­eral, is not de­pen­dent on sub­si­dies, a small-bud­get film can re­ally ben­e­fit from such perks. Rai says, “I don’t work on sto­ries for sub­si­dies and I have my own rea­sons for plac­ing my sto­ries in small towns. How­ever, when we try to make a film like Nil Bat­tey San­nata — where you put up a cer­tain fight to reach your au­di­ence — and (this year’s) New­ton, then a cer­tain kind of sup­port from the au­thor­i­ties is re­quired.”

For Bareilly Ki Barfi direc­tor Ash­wini Iyer Ti­wari, the land­scape and emo­tions in a non-metro city are very dif­fer­ent. “The most im­por­tant thing is the emo­tion. A story [set] in metro cities is dif­fer­ent from that in a smaller town,” she says. “An­other im­por­tant thing is that the land­scape in heart of the country is more beau­ti­ful than in the met­ros.”

With sev­eral new-age films shot in Ut­tar Pradesh, we look at the sup­port it of­fers. Gau­rav Dwivedi, vice-chair­man, UP Film Devel­op­ment Coun­cil, men­tions a sin­gle-win­dow clear­ance for per­mis­sions that a shoot­ing team needs, and also sub­si­dies of up to `2 crore if a cer­tain per­cent­age of the film is shot in the state.

That amount, says Toilet: Ek Prem Katha direc­tor Shree Narayan Singh, who has shot in Hoshangabad, MP, and Nandgaon, UP, isn’t a big enough lure for films that al­ready have a bud­get of, say, `20 crore. He adds, how­ever, that even a small sub­sidy can cover some of the pub­lic­ity spend re­quired for a film.

But trade an­a­lyst Atul Mo­han says, “The thought of get­ting a sub­sidy is cer­tainly there on a film­maker’s mind. Oth­er­wise, why would a film sud­denly be shot in a state like Ut­tar Pradesh? Even if the sub­sidy is 10%, it makes a lot of dif­fer­ence. It def­i­nitely helps a pro­ducer; that’s why we have so many film teams shoot­ing there.”

Stills from Be­hen Hogi Teri (right) and Bareilly Ki Barfi (be­low), both of which have been shot in Luc­know, UP. Film­mak­ers get some sub­sidy from the UP govt

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