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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



RIFF, 08, 2022, 11: Regional language films create investment platform and boost tourism

RIFF, 08, 2022, 11: Regional language films create investment platform and boost tourism

On the fourth day of Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF) on Monday, a talk show on "Culture and Tourism Promotion Through Cinema" was also organised. Indian Cinema's trade analyst Komal Nahta, film-maker and director Rajendra Gupta, film-maker N.R. Godha, actor Charles Thomson and producer-director-editor-exhibitor N. Chandra shared their views in this talk show.

Komal Nahta said that film is the best way to promote tourism and investment. The message can be easily conveyed to the general public through films. People sitting across the seven seas are also attracted to the state after watching films shot there. He revealed that many states are running various schemes to promote regional films, but still the Rajasthan government is not taking effective steps to promote Rajasthani films. He added that if the state government promotes regional language films, not only tourism will get a boost, but investors will also be attracted here.

Film director and producer Rajendra Gupta shared that a few days back a delegation had met Rajasthan State’s Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, and soon the state government will announce an attractive policy for those shooting films in Rajasthan. He indicated that the Rajasthan government may decide to give a subsidy of 15% to film-makers shooting in Rajasthan and 50 per cent discount on hotel and restaurant stays, provided by the tourism department. The government has recently introduced a single window policy system, which has benefited the filmmakers to a large extent.

Actor Charles Thomson said that even today the only Taj Mahal and Khajuraho caves are promoted abroad, while there are many attractive tourist places in the country. There are many such palaces and forts in Rajasthan which attract tourists. For this, the Government of India and the Government of Rajasthan should make collective efforts so that domestic and foreign tourists can be attracted. Children's film director N.R. Godha said that as yet, films related to children’s subjects are not being promoted properly in the country, while the government should give special concession for this genre. Giving the example of the Karnataka government, he said that while the Karnataka government gives subsidy of Rs. 10 lakh to other film-makers, a subsidy of Rs. 25 lakh is given for making films related to children. He advised the state government to give an assistance of Rs.50 lakh to the film-makers making films related to children, so that the culture and civilisation of the state can reach the children too.

N. Chandra said that for the last 70 years, the film industry has been working to promote tourism. He confirmed that the Maharashtra government has done a lot to keep the Marathi film industry alive. Efforts have been made to provide special subsidy to Marathi film-makers, 50% discount on shooting in Film City, tax free screenings and screens made available, which have yielded positive results. He said that the Rajasthan government should also take similar steps.

Tourism department officials told Sharad Vyas that the Rajasthan government is making continuous efforts to promote the shooting of films in the state. After the implementation of a single window system, many producers have been attracted towards Rajasthan. Besides, he added that soon the work of building a film city in Sumerpur of Pali district of Jodhpur division is also going to start, and soon the people of the state will get the gift of a full-fledged film city. RIFF director Somendra Harsh conducted the talk show while co-director Anshu Harsh honoured the guests with mementos.

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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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