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Satish Sharma urges CM to extend film policy to web series, digital releases

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By OUR STAFF REPORTER 

DDEHRADUN 11 Jul: Editor of Garhwal Post and former Member of Uttarakhand Film Development Board, Satish Sharma has urged the Uttarakhand Government to extend the benefits of film policy of the state to web series and also to the films being released on digital platforms.

Satish Sharma called on Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat at his office on Friday and submitted a memorandum on behalf of the film makers interested in shooting their films in Uttarakhand, demanding extension of policy to cover digital films and web series too. The CM assured a sympathetic consideration of the demands by the government. It is also worth mentioning here that Uttarakhand is one of the few states in the country where the film policy provides for subsidy on films to be shot here. During the meeting, Sharma brought to the notice of the CM that due to widespread prevalence of Corona pandemic in Mumbai and Maharashtra, Bollywood producers were eager to move out of Maharashtra to shoot their films in suitable green zone areas of the country. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand were good options for most filmmakers. Many filmmakers had shown interest in Uttarakhand in this regard and were in touch with him (Sharma) in this connection.

The ongoing lockdown due to Corona had led to interim closure of cinema theatres across the country. For this reason, producers whose films had been completed were now releasing them through digital medium. Since films were being watched and appreciated by viewers on digital platforms too the future of digital format seemed to be bright. Sharma said that in Uttarakhand, the producers wishing to produce films had demanded that the subsidy be applied to the films released on digital platform too. In the current film policy of Uttarakhand, the films being released on the digital platform were not being subsidised. Apart from this, parallel to the films, the web series had also become a big industry and this format was rapidly gaining popularity.

Currently no subsidy is applicable to the web series. Well established filmmakers associated with the film industry are demanding that the subsidy be applied to the web series as well. Apart from this, the cost of film production has increased rapidly due to various reasons. Therefore, there was a reasonable demand of the film industry to increase the maximum subsidy on films from Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 2 crore. Sharma felt that his step of the government could definitely prove to be a major contribution in making Uttarakhand a favourite location for films.

On this occasion, Sharma also presented a copy of the Silver Jubilee edition of Garhwal Post to CM in the presence of his father veteran journalist Upendra Sharma.

Satish Sharma has been bringing film makers from Bollywood to Uttarakhand for shooting and has been actively promoting Uttarakhand as a suitable location for films for past 15 years. Apart from journalism, he has keen interest in acting as well and has so far acted in 12 Bollywood films including “Sultan”, a Salman Khan film, directed by Ali Abbas Zafar. His upcoming film is “Bole Chudiyan” starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Tamanna Bhatia in which he plays a stellar role, has been directed by Shamas Nawab Siddiqui.