To ease filming in railways, India’s Film Facilitation Office (FFO), set up in the National Film Development Corporation, and Ministry of Railways have created a single-window mechanism to streamline and make efficient the permissions needed for filming across Indian Railways’ premises.
Railways have always been a part of the cinematic experience of India and many films have beautifully captured the Indian Railways on celluloid.
The FFO, set up with a view to ease filming in India and promote the country as a preferred destination for filmmakers from across the world, is a unit administered by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).
The FFO web portal is the single-window facilitation and clearance mechanism for filming across India as well as the one-stop digital repository of information for filming in India.
Until now, international and Indian filmmakers or their representatives had to visit offices of the Chief Public Relations Officers of 17 zonal Indian Railways and Railway Board to submit applications seeking film shooting permissions. But the FFO portal has helped mitigate the problems faced by filmmakers who can submit online applications for filming at various railway locations falling under jurisdiction of even more than one zonal railways in a centralized way.
Once the application has been submitted, the officers concerned in the zonal railways offices would be notified and the permissions would get uploaded after due process of approval. This portal also provides a platform to the applicant as well as the permission granting authority to raise and address any queries regarding the application for transparent and timely execution of the shooting permission request.
The objective of the integration is to reduce the number of windows that producers have to access to get permissions for film shoots.
Suneet Sharma, Chairman & CEO, Railway Board, said, “Indian Railways share a long association with Indian Cinema and it has always lent support to Indian Cinema for shooting of various movies, songs and documentaries. Indian Cinema has suitably reciprocated by showcasing Railways in a proper and aesthetic manner. This new ecosystem will service filmmakers across geographies. We welcome filmmakers to apply online for filming in various Railways premises and hope that the Railways will continue to be featured as a vibrant character in screenplays and narratives”.
In this regard, Apurva Chandra, MIB Secretary said, “The idea is to create value for filmmakers by way of easing filming across various jurisdictions like the Railways, which offer unique, distinctive locations that enhance the filming narrative. Our effort to integrate with various stakeholders is towards this endeavor.