Though Mumbai might be home to Bollywood and, more and more films are getting shot in Delhi, the capital city of India, as compared to Mumbai. Recently, Anupam Kher revealed that nowadays more Bollywood films are shot in Delhi, whereas most of the television serials are filmed in Mumbai, and that too in film City.
So what makes Delhi attractive to filmmakers, compared to Mumbai and other cities in India?
Delhi has an ancient India charm, has many historic monuments, old, archaic havelis and lakes, and more attractive spaces. The city also acts as a transit to exotic hill stations in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and is closer to other popular locations in Rajasthan, Kashmir, Agra and Amritsar.
Another major reason is its infrastructure! Delhi’s wide roads, metro, and even the by-lanes are being used for filming. Besides the roads, scores of minarets in Old Delhi or the sprawling lush green avenues in South Delhi also are popular shooting locations for filmmakers, who prefer shooting full length scenes and songs at these locations.
It seems filmmakers are going to find it more expensive to shoot in the Capital city of India. New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has doubled their rates. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) used to charge Rs 5000 per hour, this is proposed to go up to Rs 50,000 and for premium locations like Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar this will increase to Rs 100,000 and police security has gone up by 300%.
This development is however not likely to affect the shoot of big budget films (starring Aamir, Salman or SRK – Dangal, Sultan, Fan). On the other hand, producer Boney Kapoor feels Delhi’s more than just NDMC and ASI, and there are other places to shoot as well, However, for some filmmakers, Delhi is integral to the film (India Gate, Red Fort, PM’s office, Qutub Minar) and will have to bear the additional expenses. The most affected are the smaller films, who’re exploring other cheaper options away from the city.
B-Town guys are also jumping in to capitalize the cold weather of Delhi, the cool wind and the fog that paints the canvas of Delhi. Delhi’s weather, especially winter, also appeals to most Indian filmmakers.
Besides, Delhi is home to the National School of Drama, so filmmakers can use the artists available.
Movies filmed in Delhi
Agent Vinod: Shot at Tolstoy Road, Barakhamba Road and Janpath.
Rockstar: Shot at Central Park, Delhi University and nightclubs like Cibo, Buzz and Hard Rock Cafe.
Mere Brother Ki Dulhan: Shot at Connaught Place, Pataudi Palace and Humayun’s tomb
Other recent movies filmed in the Capital: Yeh Saali Zindagi, No One Killed Jessica, Band Baaja Baraat, Tanu Weds Manu, and many more are lined up for shoot.
Mumbai’s Loss, Delhi’s Gain?
Despite filmmakers flocking to Delhi, many want the infrastructure to be upgraded, to facilitate film shootings. And the Delhi Chief Minister is more than happy to oblige.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal wants to make filmmaking easy in Delhi. Working towards the purpose, the Delhi government are working to have a single-window clearance process to shoot in the capital city.
In the last few months, Kejriwal has met several film producers and eminent personalities from the Hindi film industry to discuss how to make Delhi cinema-friendly. Film producers from the Hindi film industry were more than happy to meet the Delhi CM, as they’re apparently fed up of shooting in the Bollywood capital Mumbai and its surrounding areas due to the multi-layered tedious permissions required for the process.
Mukesh Bhatt said shooting in Mumbai is a nightmare for filmmakers. “Hundreds of different permissions are needed for shooting in Mumbai, which invariably involves greasing the palms of different authorities. We are hoping that things become easier for us in Delhi,” he said.
Actor and politician Shatrughan Sinha, has also suggested Kejriwal to set up a film city in Delhi, to encourage art and culture in the capital, and also to boost tourism and employment.
At present shooting a film in the capital requires permissions from Delhi police, the Delhi traffic police, landowning agencies, the Archaeological Survey of India, the Delhi archaeological department, PWD among others. According to sources, the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) will be serving as the nodal point for giving out all required permissions.