New shooting rates: Boost to filmmaking in Delhi

- May 3, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has slashed rates for shooting in the Capital, offering relief to many filmmakers

TROIKA OF STARS: A part of the 2009 film '3 Idiots' featuring (from left) Sharman Joshi, Aamir Khan and R Madhavan was shot in Delhi PHOTO: GETTY

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) decision to reduce shooting fees in the national capital, has sparked relief and enthusiasm among line producers.

The MCD has set the rate at Rs 15,000 for an 8-hour time slot, irrespective of the kind of building or areas chosen for shooting within their jurisdiction and Rs 25,000 for the 24-hour shoot.   

Previously, MCD used to charge a flat rate of Rs 75,000 per day, irrespective of the time used for shooting, at its locations including heritage sites, parks, hospitals and others.

Under the new shooting policy, a refundable security deposit of Rs 25,000 shall be payable for utilising MCD properties. 

Parking charges will be levied for vehicles and vanity vans of the crew.

“The Commissioner MCD reserves the right to modify the above rates or decide so for any particular location. Change of tenure or date may be allowed by Commissioner, MCD or any officer authorised by him,” the order reads, a copy of which is with Patriot

The policy mentions that MCD reserves the right to deny permission to shoot at any location within its jurisdiction.

“The system generated permission will be issued online from Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, an undertaking of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (e-film clearance system, an online single window system for providing film shooting permissions in Delhi),” it states.

Further clarifying the rules, the policy states that the applicant must apply to the MCD in the requisite format for permission to shoot in any building, area or location under MCD’s jurisdiction.

“It covers all buildings and open areas such as heritage buildings of MCD, private properties like farmhouses, malls, hospitals, theatres, among other places. MCD will provide permission subject to the necessary NOC from all departments concerned like traffic police, ASI or any other department,” it reads. 

“The applicant will be responsible for no nuisance and a smooth flow of traffic. He shall be liable for security, tax, fines and penalties. The applicant will be responsible for all losses and damages to the MCD properties, if any, and the same will be recovered from the security deposits,” it further stated.

The new policy does not mention shooting rates for landfills like Ghazipur, Bhalswa and Okhla. Earlier, MCD charged Rs 2 lakh per day for shooting at Ghazipur landfill. Officials say that these spots have been restricted due to safety concerns.

The MCD sent a copy of the new shooting policy to Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) recently and asked them to implement it. The policy has been enforced by the DTTDC, the primary and only government body looking after the film shooting permissions and Delhi Film Policy, 2022.

The move has triggered excitement among line producers who are now able to shoot their new projects at a reduced rate.

“The new rates have brought relief. Filmmakers were hesitant to shoot in Delhi before because of the high rates. DTTDC is helping us to obtain the permissions under the new shooting policy,” says Rajesh Patni, line producer at Darpan Productions.

He highlighted the cumbersome process of obtaining permissions for shooting, stating, “It takes us 20-25 days to get permissions from various departments. We would be happy if it could be reduced to 10 days because there are many projects that are to be done quickly as per filmmakers’ requirement,” he said.

“The rates of shooting at Delhi Metro, airport and ASI [monuments] are very high. We request a reduction in those as well,” he added. 

Ayub Malik, another line producer, welcomed the new rates issued by the Delhi government. 

“We recently did a French TV reality show titled Picking Express at reduced rates. We are currently holding the shoot of a web series starring Mona Singh,” he said. 

He emphasised the need for other government departments to consider concessional rates.

In May 2022, the AAP government launched the ‘Delhi Film Policy-2022’ to promote the city as a hub for movie production through a slew of measures.

The film policy aims to promote artistic, creative and cultural expression, to brand Delhi as a vibrant film shooting destination by easing approval processes for movie shooting, and to develop and support local talent by providing a skilled ecosystem in the city.

Filmmakers are planning to shoot in the national capital again thanks to the reduced rates. Renowned filmmaker Mani Ratnam is currently in Delhi shooting with actor Kamal Haasan for the film Thug Life. Rajkumar Hirani will also shoot with actor Vikrant Massey soon in Delhi for a web-series. An Amazon film is also scheduled to be shot in the city in the coming days. Actor Aamir Khan is also likely to shoot in the national capital next month.

BOX OFFICE SUCCESSES: Most of the 2007 hit film ‘Chak De India’ and 2012 flick ‘Vicky Donor’ were also shot in Delhi

In the last few years, more than two hundred films have been shot in Delhi. These include Rang De Basanti, Chak De India, 3 Idiots, Dev D, Band Baja Baraat, Agent Vinod, Vicky Donor, PK, Kill Dil, Kick, Rockstar, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, 12th Fail, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Yodha among others.

Film Policy officials say that since the launch of the policy in 2022, they have received shooting requests for 74 locations. Permission for 37 locations was granted out of which 21 projects have been completed.