Despite higher projection, its revenues are nowhere comparable to many other nations

India’s film industry is set to grow at 11.5 percent year-on-year against the 10 percent CAGR in the last couple of years with revenues expected to touch USD 3.7 billion by 2020, according to a study by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its knowledge partner BnBNation, which also highlighted the growth impediments faced by the industry.

While the Indian film industry is the largest in the world in terms of number of films produced, the revenues are nowhere comparable to the countries such as U.S. and Canada.

“The gross realization of Indian film industry is USD 2.1 billion versus gross realization of film industry in U.S. and Canada is USD 11 billion even though they produce only 700 films as opposed to 1,500-plus films produced in India,” the report said. The report was released on Saturday at the film tourism conclave — ‘Promoting Destinations through Films’.

The Indian film industry had the second highest footfalls in the world in 2015 after China 

The lower revenue is mainly due to low ticket realizations, occupancy levels, lack of quality content and rampant piracy.

Facing challenges

Despite producing more than double the number of films than many other countries,, the report highlighted several challenges the Indian film industry is facing.

According to the report, the film industry faces multiple challenges on regulatory fronts such as about 70 approvals and licenses from as many as 30 authorities are required for shooting films in India.

“Delays in approval process often results in film maker going to other destinations despite cost advantage in the country. Due to hurdles in obtaining licenses, India has lost at least 18 big budget movies to other locations in the last four years,” the report stated.

The report says while India is gaining traction as a film shooting destination, particularly after the success of India-based movies such as Slumdog Millionaire, which prompted several international studios to consider shooting a large portion of their films in the country, often, foreign producers are faced with unclear rules and regulations in terms of obtaining permissions making the process inefficient and expensive. Shooting of foreign feature films in India require the prior approval of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) while a documentary needs approval of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) . The script of the film has to be approved by the MIB, which is a time-consuming process, it says.

Tourist safety

The report recommended that States should undertake various initiatives like setting up surveillance cameras, tourist police, 24x7 help lines, and compulsory registration of tourist guides operators, etc. to ensure safety of the tourists as well as the film crew.

It also highlights inadequate infrastructure acts as the biggest hindrance to the Indian film tourism industry, and has been affecting its growth since past several years which is leading to cost escalation. There is an urgent need for investment in infrastructure linking roads, railways and airports, to curtail the losses.. – The Hindu