Thursday, September 3, 2009

Goa : Bollywood's beach-eyed baby

For Bollywood, Goa has been a favourite destination to camp for shooting since the sixties when Bollywood producers and directors seem to have woken up to a landslide beauty next door to Mumbai. The trend therefore began in the sixties with the legendary Manoj Kumar  shooting "Ghum Naam"  and since then there has been little looking back for the bollywood film industry which has found Goa to be the ideal foil to most of their plots

Goans will not forget the presence of their Goan beaches in the unforgettable romantic tragedy titfilms shot in Goaled " Ek Duuje Ke Liye" which starred Kamal Hassan and Rati Agnihotri in the lead pair, with the beach of Dona Paula as their favourite haunt and the stories of that beach being woven around the storyline of that movie. Of course, in recent times there have been blockbusters such as "Dil Chahta Hai" and "Josh" to name a few.

Over the times, it has not only been Bollywood, but also the south Indian film industry which has caught the fascination for Goa and other vernacular film industries have taken good notice of the Goan touch and beauty to ensure that their shooting schedule has Goa as their favbollywood in Goaourite stopover. Besides, Hollywood has also shown keen interest in the state of Goa for shooting their movies. Therefore Goa now sees itself as a hotspot fro all film shootings, serials, documentaries , video clips for advertisements, calendar shoots, portfolio shoots, Photography clinics etc.

Earlier, Goa had no special body to grant licences for film shoots. However after Goa began hosting the "international film festival of India" since 2004, the ESG or the Entertainment Society of Goa took birth and it is now the body to grant the permission for any shooting to be done in Goa.

How to undertake film shooting in Goa

To carry out film shooting in Goa, Line producers who are the initiators of the shoot should contact the ESG and give details of their schedule with dates and the locations of the film shooting in Goa. Thereafter, depending in the type of location chosen, the ESG contacts the departments concerned surrounding that particular location. For instance, if the location is a beach, the tourism department is contacted. The concerned department gets back to the ESG and upon the compilation of all the necessary permissions and grants, the ESG prepares one main slip which okays the shooting. The entire procedure takes a period of about 10 days.

The ESG also states its clauses and conditions of the shooting in Goa and these are mentioned in the permission slip given to the line producers. The major conditions being that there should be no hindrance to the flow of traffic or human activity at the places of shooting, no shooting to be undertaken inside an archaeological structure, no nudity and no garbage to be left behind. Generally most beaches in the Vasco-da-Gama area of Goa are banned due to the naval presence in the area. The ESG is expected to enforce these conditions strictly and any contraventions by the shooting team are to be penalised.

Film shootings in Goa are therefore more organised now than before and the government of Goa works together with the ESG in a co-ordinated pattern ensuring that the filmmakers find the experience of obtaining permissions and shooting in Goa to be a very pleasant one. Goa naturally has an interest in film shootings as it only helps to showcase Goa to the rest of the world as a tourist destination thereby increasing its market potential and as a result adding to the revenues of the state.

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