General Guidelines for Shooting of Films (I & B Ministry)
by Foreign based Film Producers
Proposals regarding shooting of TV/Movie feature film are processed in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. Proposals may be sent either directly or through Indian Missions abroad.
- It is only on the recommendation of this Ministry that other Ministries provide facilities to the film units. Proposals regarding shooting of documentary films are to be sent to the Ministry of External Affairs.
- Four copies of the detailed shooting script along with its synopsis should be submitted for approval. In case any living personality is portrayed in the film as a character, the No Objection from the personality or his/her legal heirs should be obtained and a photocopy of the same should accompany the script. In case of a co – production, the detailed agreement between the Indian and foreign party indicating clearly the role of each party – its responsibilities and liabilities. Is required to be furnished for specific clearance.
- Detailed particulars of the members of the filming team including the number and validity dates of their passports, country of issuance of passport, nationality, permanent and temporary addresses etc., the team’s itinerary into Indian on temporary basis should be furnished to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for specific clearance at least one month in advance.
- On the basis of the scrutiny of the script and other details of the proposal, approval of the proposal will be given by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting subject to certain procedural regulations detailed below. It takes nearly 10 – 12 weeks to convey to give a formal undertaking (Given below) about adhering to these requirements.
- The film should be shot according the script as approved by the Government of India. In case any material deviation is considered necessary, prior permission of the Government of India (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) should be obtained.
- All shooting should be done in the presence of a Liaison Officer who will be provided by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Besides helping the team in obtaining local permission etc., the liaison officer’s duties include ensuring that nothing detrimental to the image of India or the Indian people is shot or included in the film.
Should any disagreement arise in the respect, the matter is to be referred to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, whose decision will be final. The Liaison officer will travel and stay with filming team.
- Shooting on location in India will be subject to permission being granted by respective Controlling Authorities. Request for such permission may, however, be routed through Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
- In case assistance is required to be provided by the Ministry of Defence, Education etc, separate agreement as stipulated by these Ministries will require to be signed with them. Request for such assistance may be routed through Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- The completed film wherein assistance by armed Forces has been rendered should be shown by the Ministry of Defence for clearance before its release for public exhibition.
This is apart from the requirements mentioned below.
- The producer will have to observe all rules and regulations relating to Import/Export and Foreign Exchange in connection with shooting of the film.
- The exposed film/rushes will be dispatched out of the country as cargo and not as part of the baggage.
- The completed film should be shown to a representative of the Government of India or in India Mission abroad, before its release anywhere in the world. In case it is proposed to show the film to any Indians Mission abroad, the Mission should be specified in advance in the undertaking to be given by the producer.
- For release of foreign exchange, the Indian co – producer will have to approach Ministry of Information and broadcasting giving full details of the film crew visiting from abroad, number of days for which shooting will take place and breakup of the estimated expenditure to be incurred in foreign exchange.
- Where expenditure in foreign exchange on the part of Indian co – producer is involved, he is required to give a bank guarantee for repatriation of two times of the foreign exchange to be released and equal to the amount involved in foreign collaborators, technicians/artistes etc., in India.
- The foreign collaborator is not allowed any remittance of commission related either to box office receipts or profit or exhibition of the film in India.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India
Shooting of foreign feature films in India
A step by step Guide
The Government of India invites foreign film teams to shoot their films in India – a country with locations of untold beauty. We have also simplified the procedure for shooting of films by foreigners in India and the ensuing paragraphs, we hope, will answer all your questions regarding the procedure to apply for shooting permission.
What should accompany your application?
You need to send us a simple letter, telling us of your intention to shoot in India, mentioning the dates of shooting, particulars of the cast and crew, and you chosen locations. Please address your letter to the relevant address a month before you planned shooting schedule, enclose four copies of the final, detailed shooting script, a draft/cheque for US$ 225 drawn in favor of Pay & Accounts Officer, Ministry of I&B (MS), New Delhi (that is a fee for scrutiny of the script), the detailed shooting locations and particulars regarding the cast and crew coming to India. No fee is required for shooting documentaries in India.
Your permission to shoot will normally not take more than three weeks to process. The permission letter issued by the Government of India will facilitate your permission from other local authorities, which may, in some cases, need to be obtained directly from these authorities.
In case any living personality is portrayed in the film as a Character, we suggest that you share the script with that personally or his/her legal heirs, before beginning the shooting, and obtain a “No Objection Letter”. This letter will expedite the clearance of your application, and also guard against the possibility of any defamation or libel suits.
If you propose to shoot your film as a co-production, a copy of the agreement between your company and the Indian Party indicating the role of each party, its responsibilities and liabilities, must accompany the application.
If your film requires shooting in the scenic but sensitive areas of Jammu & Kashmir, the North Eastern India or border belts, and your application will be considered for specific approval in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs. In such cases, you would need to allow more time to process your application.
What the Indian Mission in your Country will do for you?
Do submit the detailed particulars of all the members of the shooting team, to the Indian Mission in the Country, from which they would be departing for India at the time, indicating your intention to shoot in India. Our mission will issue those visas in the normal course.
Other things that you may want to know?
An expert from a panel constituted by us for this purpose will scrutinize your script. If considered necessary, to facilitate the shooting a Liaison Officer may be attached to a film shooting team. This officer will help you to get local clearance, and provide an interface with any local institutions. Where a Liaison Officer is so attached to the shooting team, the Government of India will bear his expenses. In exceptional cases you may need to show the completed film to a representative of the Government of India, in India or in an Indian Mission abroad, before its release anywhere in the world. This requirement will apply only to films made on subjects of political, religious or sociocultural sensitivity, and is focused on ensuring that the film has been shot in accordance with the scrutinized script and that the film has nothing objectionable from the point of view of presentation of a correct and balanced perspective on the topic covered.
During the shooting of the film if it is felt that any material changes or deviation from the approved script is necessary, permission may be taken from this Ministry before shooting these scenes.
Send your application for shooting feature films/telefilms in India to:
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
Government of India, “A” Wing, Shastri Bhavan
New Delhi-110 001
Send you applications for shooting documentaries in India to:
The Ministry of External Affairs,
(External Publicity Division)
Government of India, “A” Wing, Shastri Bhavan,
New Delhi-110 001
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,
Government of India,
With reference to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s letter no…………………………… Dated ………………………., we hereby give the following undertakings.
Shooting of the film will be done in locations in India in accordance with the script as approved by the Government of India. If we consider any material changes are necessary in the script, we shall obtain the prior approval of the Government of India for such changes.
We shall furnish the detailed particulars of the members of the shooting team and the exact locations where the shooting would take place in India at least one month in advance of the arrival of the team in India. We note that prior approval of the Government of India is necessary for fixing of locations for shooting in certain areas.
We note that in the case of assistance to be obtained from other Ministries such as Defence, Education etc. separate agreements as stipulated by these Ministries, are required to be signed with them.
We shall shoot the film only in the presence of a Liaison Officer where attached to the team by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
We accept that part of the Liaison Officer’s duty will be ensure that nothing detrimental in the depiction of India or the Indian people shall be shot or included in the film. In the event of any disagreement arising between the team and the Liaison Officer in this respect, the matter will be immediately referred to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting whose decision will be final. We shall ensure that India’s security interests are not compromised in any manner.
We undertake to show our completed film to the representative of the Government of India/the Indian Mission in *………………… for scrutiny if recommended by the Ministry of I&B and we further undertake to delete and destroy the portions of the film that may be found objectionable on such scrutiny by the Government of India, before the film is utilized for public exhibition anywhere in the world.
After the shooting of the film is completed in India we shall provide, in duplicate, to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting a narrative report about the details of shooting done in India.
Guidelines by Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India
Documentary Film making in India, by Foreign Audio Visual Agencies
The completed application form and signed undertaking (placed below) has to sent, preferably by e-mail, to the officer responsible for press and information work in the relevant Embassy or High Commissions of India. The application is processed in India by the External Publicity (XP) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, which issues a clearance for filming in India (a specimen copy is enclosed). Indian missions abroad issue Journalist (‘J’) visa for travel to India for filming on the basis of this clearance.
Documentary filming is not permissible on other types of visas (e.g. tourist/business visas) upon issue of the clearance import of only filming equipment is facilitated. The local representative of the producers can collect a letter for customs facilitation in advance from the XP Division.
APPLICATION FOR FILMING DOCUMENTARIES IN INDIA
1. Title of the Film:
2. Producer of the Film:
(b) Contact Details:
3. Details of Representative in India, if any:
(b) Contact Details:
4. Documentaries made earlier by applicant:
(Attach separate sheet, if required)
5. Any documentary filmed in India:
If yes, details thereof (Attach separate sheet, if required):
6. Has applicant ever refused permission for filming in India?
7. Is any pre-filming visit intended:
(a) If so, itinerary thereof:
8. Is the documentary for public broadcast?
If so, on which network/channel:
LEASE ATTACH THE FOLLOWING:
. Undertaking (as per form provided)
. Synopsis of the documentary
. Exact locations with dates for filming
. List of cinematic equipment to be used
. List/full details of crew members
(Signature of Applicant)
With reference to my/our application to make a documentary film in India, I/we hereby
undertake to abide by the regulations of the Government of India governing the
making of such films.
I/we agree to attachment of a Liaison Officer during the entire duration of filming in
India if the Government of India or a State Government finds it essential to appoint
such a Liaison Officer. In the event of a Liaison Officer being appointed, I /we agree to
meet the expenses for the travel and stay of the Liaison Officer concerned.
I/we agree that where archaeological monuments are concerned, we would furnish the
application in required proforma with scripts/synopsis of the subject and content of the
film and further that the decision of the Archaeological Survey of India on the filming
of such monument will be final. I/we further agree that the team will follow the advice
of the appropriate officer of the Archaeological Survey of India office nearby or on the
spot, where so empowered by the appropriate officer.
I/we also agree to show the film to a representative of the Government of India, if so
requested, at least two weeks before final telecasting/screening, furnishing in advance
a full translation in English of the commentary, where required. I/we further agree to
work constructively with the Government of India representatives to remove
deviations, if any, from the approved treatment/script of the film and thereby achieve a
balanced and accurate exposition of the theme.
Signature of the Producer
Signature of Leader of the Team
27th July 2007 No.XPR/1213/
To Whom It May Concern:
Certified that External Publicity Division, Ministry of External Affairs has no objection to shooting of a documentary film titled “…………..” by ABC Films, UK. Filming is approved at Bhagalpur, Sultangunj, Patna, Vikramshila and Varshali in Bihar, Gazipur Sarnath, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Chunar, Allahabad, Kanpur, Bijnor, Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Rajaji (outside the national park), Deoprayah, Utarkashi, Gangotri and Gaumukh in Uttarakhand, Sagar, Bali Gaur, Gosaba, Kolkata and Murshidabad in West Bengal only, subject to following conditions:
The Producers will obtain prior permission of the local authorities / Railways / Port / Airport Authorities concerned, wherever necessary.
No civil Vulnerable Areas / Vulnerable Points and restricted / protected/ prohibited areas will be covered during the course of shooting.
There will be no deviation from the original synopsis / program submitted to this Ministry.
A Liaison Officer may be attached to the filming team, during the filming.
The Mission / Post may preview the final film before screening / telecast. Producers will favorably consider suggestions from the pre-viewer concerning deviations, if any, from the approved synopsis/theme of the documentary.
Producers will take prior permission from the Archaeological Survey of India, on payment of the prescribed fee, if shooting involves any protected Monument Forts etc under the ASI. The application to ASI for such permit is to be made directly by the Producers of their representatives in India, if any.
Any non-financial assistance rendered to the filming team will be appreciated.
Publicity Officer (PR/TV)