The gross state domestic product (GSDP) of Punjab was US$ 54.1 billion in 2011-12. The average GSDP growth rate between 2004-05 to 2011-12, was about 14 per cent.
In the recent past, the city has witnessed its fair share of films and tinsel town stars. Over a dozen Hollywood, Bollywood, Pollywood (Punjabi cinema) movies have been shot in the picturesque locales of Chandigarh last year.The Punjab government has invested approximately Rs 100 crore for the media and entertainment industry this year.
Hollywood’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ was shot at PEC University of Technology, Sector 15 and in Manimajra in 2012. Besides, Bollywood’s ‘Son of Sardar’ or upcoming movie ‘BhaagMilkhaBhaag’ were also shot in the city last year.In the past, movies like ‘Joker’ starrer Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha, ‘Mere Brother kiDulhan’ starring Katrina Kaif and Inmran Khan, Sadian, Namaste London, Dosti, Shortcut, Fashion, Singh is King, Veer Zara were shot here and in the nearby areas of the city.
Interestingly, the City Beautiful is not only attracting film-makers but telefilms, TV serials, albums, documentaries, Ad-films, reality shows are also being shot here now.
With mountains, lakes, alluring gardens, wide roads, five star hotels and striking buildings, the City Beautiful has all locations for shooting. And, some of the favourite locations for shooting in Chandigarh are Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP), Sukhna Lake, Leisure Valley area, Panjab University, Sector-17 Plaza, Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, Airport, various roundabouts, markets, Sector-41 Hockey Stadium and nearby villages.
The city is a potential destination for film shootings and UT aims to capitalise on the booming cinema tourism industry in the country.
The setting up of Bollywood Facilitation Cell in 2009 has also eased the toilsome process of getting shooting clearance at various locations of the city.
Interestingly, Punjabi films are now also being released in other states such as Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh due to UFO digital technology bridging the geographical divide.
This has helped expand the audience base for Punjabi films and also encouraged several well known Punjabi film producers and actors to come forth and re-enter the industry with big ticket film offerings.
With the platform of almost 115 cinemas in the Punjab and surrounding regions of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, theatre owners are also reaping the benefits of the digitisation of films including higher footfalls in the theatre premises and enhanced advertising revenue earnings.
Punjabi film industry is currently churning out 40-45 films a year and getting growing recognition as the industry is witnessing a revenue growth of over Rs. 50 crore in recent years.
Punjab alone has 99 heritage sites. All these sites have been opened for shooting at nominal rates with a single window clearance. The state government provides 50% entertainment tax exemption for all films produced in Punjabi.Apart from this cinematic tourism, the administration will also promote religious tourism, freedom movement tourism, eco-tourism and heritage tourism and adventure tourism.
According to industry sources, in 2011, only 10 Punjabi films were released. This grew to more than double in 2012, when as many as 24 Punjabi films were released. And it is expected that as many as 40 Punjabi films are expected to be released in 2013.
Cinematic Tourism ,an emerging form of tourism is one of the most effective ways of redistributing wealth, by moving money into local economies from other parts of the country and overseas. It brings income into a community that would otherwise not be earned.
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