One of India’s celebrated filmmaker R. Balki shared some valuable insights on the art of filmmaking and its intrinsic connection to the selection of suitable locations at the 10th edition of the India International Foreign Tourism Conclave (IIFTC).
With a visionary perspective and a passion for authenticity, Balki stressed the significance of ideal filming locations and urged film commissions to prioritize the essence of a place over economic incentives.
During an engaging session on the second evening of the three-day mega film tourism event, Balki presented a compelling case for a more comprehensive approach to location selection. In a fireside chat, he expressed, “Incentives are secondary; the primary concern is the right location. Film commissions should stop offering incentives as a way to market to filmmakers. Instead, they should focus on preserving the authentic character of the location. Rather than only economics, one should look at locations holistically.
Balki shared his aspiration to shoot in an old-school theme park and during train journeys. He explained, “It’s my dream to shoot in an old-world theme park with those rickety roller coasters; I am planning a film that will be 60% based in the theme park.”
The director also highlighted the importance of addressing the needs of film crews, including their culinary preferences. “Film commissions can also be sensitive about the food patterns of the crew,” he said, acknowledging that such attention to detail contributes to a smoother and more productive filming process.
He underlined that Indian filmmakers often lead the way in shooting films on an international scale and stressed the significance of convenience, such as direct flight connections, when selecting a location.
The inaugural evening of IIFTC featured over 50 international companies from more than 20 countries converging on Bollywood and Mumbai to attract Indian filmmakers. Participating countries included Azerbaijan, South Africa, the USA, Spain, Lithuania, Kenya, Canada, France, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Serbia, the UK, Australia, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Netherlands, and Ukraine, among others.