SRINAGAR: For the second time in the past thirty years, the Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to re-open the shut cinema halls and establish new multiplexes.
This has been stated by the Jammu and Kashmir Government in its new Film Policy 2021, which has been released after filmstar Aamir Khan held several interactions with LG Manoj Sinha.
“The government of Jammu and Kashmir shall encourage and incentivise owners to reopen closed cinema halls. All the incentives to such units shall be governed under the provisions of J&K Industrial Policy 2021,” the policy states.
The government’s initiative has come at a time when everything associated with cinema has changed in the world. From being the only main source of mass entertainment, cinema is now available on streaming services on phones. Re-opening of theatres will come with many challenges, the most important one to make people return to cinema theatres to watch movies. The government’s earlier attempt in 1999 had not proved successful.
“For promoting film viewing in the cinema halls, it is important to modernize and upgrade the facilities and technologies available in the existing cinema halls. The government of J&K shall encourage the owners of the Cinema Halls to create modern amenities by way of various incentives,” reads the policy document.
The document has acknowledged that television and other means of entertainment are vying with films to grab the attention of viewers, which has resulted in a sharp fall in the number of filmgoers and has forced the closure of many cinema halls, while many existing cinema halls are on the verge of closure across the country.
“To bring back the public into the cinema halls it is imperative to have high-grade facilities in film screening hall,” the policy has suggested.
“The modern Cinema Theatre should be able to provide a unique experience which otherwise is not available while watching movies at home. To this effect the following three-pronged strategy will be adopted:
“JKFDC will create an ecosystem for making Jammu & Kashmir a preferred destination for filming, build a well-strategized and focused branding of UT in the films and in the narratives surrounding those films, facilitate the overall growth of J&K Film Industry, take measures to promote film tourism through financial intervention and provide a mechanism for disbursement of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives,” the document says.
“Jammu and Kashmir Film Development Council (JKFDC) will be constituted to make the policy a reality. It will be a High-Powered Committee headed by a senior officer of the rank of Principal Secretary to the Government and shall comprise, besides other senior officers, eminent personalities of the film industry and others related to the industry,” it says.