BHUBANESWAR: Picture Akshay Kumar romancing Sonakshi Sinha with the gorgeous Chilika lagoon in the backdrop! Or even a high octane action scene from a Rohit Shetty film being shot in the State! With a saturated Mumbai prompting filmmakers and producers to seek greener pastures in the country, this could be a possibility as Odisha appeared to have caught their eye with its virgin locations, good infrastructure and cost-effectiveness.
A group of producers from Bollywood turned up at the Make In Odisha Conclave, which made all the buzz about big buck investments, to explore possibilities of setting up a Film City in the State. The group comprising Mushtaq Nadiadwala and Ketan Desai held talks with Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda and Secretary GK Dhal about the prospects of setting up the film city.
While the group spoke about the need for at least 100 acre for setting up such a facility, Chilika lagoon with its pristine beauty and excellent connectivity advantage has grabbed their attention.
“We have had a preliminary round of meeting with the State Government which has a location in its mind near Chilika lake. It is too premature to say anything but such a facility should have studios and a film institute,” said Mushtaq Nadiadwala who is Director of Studio One, and brother of famous producer Firoz Nadiadwala.
Interestingly, while the film city project is still at its nascence, Nadiadwala has already committed to the State Government to shoot at least two of his upcoming films in the State. Both will be action flicks.
Desai, son of iconic filmmaker Manmohan Desai and a producer himself, said Mumbai has already reached a saturation point. “For such projects, additional land is required apart from beautiful locations. More land would mean more facilities.
We are definitely looking at Odisha because Mumbai is bursting at its seams,” he said. Desai, who designed a film studio in Dubai, wants to recreate such a facility in the proposed film city.
“Land is not available near Mumbai or any metro-cities. In the 1960-70s, films used to be shot in big bungalows of Mumbai. Now those bungalows have given way to highrises. The permission for shooting on roads is not given by the police these days. Besides, outdoor shooting at night is not allowed because of security issues,” Desai said.
The locales in Odisha provide a perfect setting for outdoor shoots given the virgin beaches and absence of crowd, he said. “Why should we spend in Switzerland, London or US when we can find abundant natural beauty in States like Odisha,” he added.
Minister Panda said, the producers have submitted an initial proposal about the film city. Nadiadwala said, they will come back to take the issue forward.