Jitendra Singh, Minister for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), believes that the North-eastern region of India has immense potential for film tourism, but it has remained untapped due to logistical problems. The minister was speaking after meeting a delegation of officials from Sikkim who met Singh to brief him about the proposed Film City near Gangtok.
The Government of Sikkim is setting up a Film City Complex in the vicinity of the capital in an area over 10 acres. The Film City Complex envisages an acting school, different kinds of film sets including artificial sets, ramps for fashion events, miniplex cinema, amphitheatre, mobile theatre, concert halls, recreation parks, editing studios and sound studios.
Appreciating the initiative taken by the state, Singh said that Sikkim, like Kashmir, has picturesque locations ideal for film shooting. The versatility of Sikkim’s scenic beauty has attracted filmmakers for a long time now, with film personalities like Dev Anand referring to Sikkim as one of his favourite locations to shoot, the minister reminded, citing the fact that a major portion of Dev Anand’s blockbuster ‘Jewel Thief’ was shot in Sikkim.
There are several scenic locations in Northeast, particularly in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, which have remained under-utilised due to lack of infrastructure. The government has sanctioned a Film and Television Institute for Arunachal Pradesh already and with the proposed Film City in Sikkim, these challenges will be addressed to a large extent, he said.
Movies shot at domestic locations can help introduce the audience across the country to the diversity and unique features of different locations in India. That will help boost domestic tourism by showcasing attractive destinations which are in no way less beautiful than European destinations, Singh said.