Bangalore: Historical locations across Karnataka could soon be out of bounds for the film-makers. The state government has decided to apply tough criteria for permitting film-makers to shoot at such locations like Hampi, Bidar fort, Badami cave temples and the like after several instances of violation of permit conditions were reported to them. Both the Karnataka government and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been unhappy about these alleged violations, and the issue has been taken up by the state’s Tourism Minister R.V. Deshpande.
It has been alleged that the filmmakers often shoot beyond the areas for which they are granted permission. Moreover, they also shoot songs that are perceived to be in bad taste and vulgar. Considering all of these issues, minister Deshpande has suggested regulations for shooting movies at such places. These restrictions are being incorporated in the latest tourism guidelines that will be announced by the year end.
When implemented, the rules will be applicable to film industries of south India and Bollywood as well. The local Kannada film industry has already sought relief, but the government is in no mood to listen to the film-makers. The ASI officials in particular are upset with the filmmakers; they say the filmmakers are habitual offenders. The violations by the filmmakers are of two categories. “Firstly, they seek permission to shoot at a particular historical fort or site. But they end up shooting in the core area of the protected site using heavy equipment, such as cranes, jimmy jib and even noisy generators. These can cause severe damage to the monuments which are delicate,” pointed out a senior ASI official.
In most of the cases, the ASI found out that songs shot at Hampi and Badami cave temples were in poor taste. “The songs have vulgar lyrics and the dance steps are provocative. Yes, people may say that we are conservative. But our view is that these historical places should be presented in the right manner in the movies. If they want to shoot such songs, they can always use artificial sets. Is it worth the value to permit filmmakers to shoot at the historical sites? We do not think so,” he added. A specific fee has been fixed on a per-day basis to shoot movies at these historical locations. Under the new guidelines, a committee formed by the ASI officials will evaluate the script before granting permission to shoot at the historical sites. The committee will comprise historians, academics and film-makers.
“Permission will be granted only if the song or the scene is complementary to the location. If a Bollywood filmmaker wants to shoot a random dance number for commercial movies, permission will not be granted,” the ASI official said. In the past, several period movies in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil have been shot at the historical locations of Karnataka. Some of the hit Hindi film songs, such as Dhadang Dhang (in Rowdy Rathore) and Ishq Sufiyana (Dirty Picture), were shot in Karnataka which is one of the favourite destinations for Bollywood filmmakers. The historical sites are jointly managed by the Karnataka government and the ASI, but both are accused of poorly maintaining them.