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India seeks profile boost with streamlined filming

India is aiming to boost its international production profile by launching a new government resource intended to ease filming in the country.

Foreign producers have faced challenges filming in India over the years due to bureaucracy and corruption. After several years of discussions, the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) has now been launched as a so-called ‘single window clearance’ resource to help filmmakers planning shoots across India’s 29 states and seven union territories.

The FFO will be run from within India’s National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and will help secure permissions to shoot features, TV shows and commercials.

"The outcome of engaging NFDC is to utilise their expertise towards setting up this specialised single window clearance system, which in the long run will facilitate according permissions for shooting in India by filmmakers with a view to tap the vast talent available in the Indian film industry as well as promoting Indian locales," said Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, India’s minister of state for information and broadcasting.

India is having more success attracting international shoots. Recent productions have included The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (pictured) and its sequel, Disney movie Million Dollar Arm and the upcoming period piece Viceroy House.

However, other high-profile shoots such as Indian Summers and action series Strike Back have chosen to double other parts of the world – in these specific cases Malaysia and South Africa – for India. Authorities will be hoping that the new FFO begins to change this.

For more on filming in India, check our production guide.