Even as Odisha received dozens of industrial proposals in different sectors during the recently concluded Make in Odisha conclave, the State’s largest ever meet to attract fresh investment, one offer that stood out amongst the lot was the proposal for a film city.
Although the proposal is yet to take concrete shape and size of investment is yet to be announced, the very fact that Odisha has been preferred as a location for a film city for Bollywood movies has thrilled film fraternity and groups associated with tourism.
A Mumbai-based group has evinced interest to set up a film city near Chilika, Asia’s largest brackish water lake, about 130 km from here. The group wants minimum 100 acres of land to think of a project.
“We have just initiated talks with the State government, which has a location for the film city in its mind near Chilika. The proposed city would have different studios and a film institute,” said Mushtaq Nadiadwala, promoter of the group, here over the weekend.
More space for shootings needed
Ketan Desai, son of famous film producer Manmohan Desai, is also part of the group which is keen to set up the film city.
“Mumbai has reached a saturation stage and we want additional space for film shootings. We want natural surroundings and Chilika fits into our scheme,” Mr. Desai said speaking to reporters here.
He has designed a film studio in Dubai and wants to create such facility in the proposed film city.
“Land is not available near Mumbai or any metro-cities. In 1960-70s, we used to shoot films in big bungalows in Mumbai. Now those bungalows have been replaced by high rises. Moreover, from security point of view police permission for outdoor shooting is hard to come by,” Mr. Desai said.
If land is made available, then such settings could be created in the film city, he added.
“Unlike other beaches in the country, beaches of Odisha are pristine and devoid of over-crowding. We need not go searching natural locations in Switzerland or any other foreign country. It is to time to look for such locations in our own country,” said Mr. Desai.
According to experts on tourism, improvement in flight connectivity to Bhubaneswar is another reason behind mooting of such proposal.
The group announced that completion of the film city would take two years once the land was made available.
Finding natural settings around Chilika as exciting, Mr. Nadiadwala, brother of Firoz Nadiadwala, announced that shooting of two Bollywood films would commence in the State soon.
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