Celebrities support plan to establish film city in Chandigarh - Hindustan Times
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Celebrities support plan to establish film city in Chandigarh

May 08, 2023 09:17 PM IST

Chandigarh Music and Film Festival opened with celebrities calling for the establishment of a film city in the region to create jobs and promote filmmaking. Attendees included actors Rakul Preet Singh, Binnu Dhillon and Yashpal Sharma, as well as director Vinay Pathak and lyricist Shamsher Sandhu, among others. Chandigarh University Chancellor Satnam Singh Sandhu said that India should focus on becoming a global content creation hub. The festival, which is in its third year, aims to promote the art of filmmaking and music in the region.

The third edition of Chandigarh Music and Film Festival kicked off in the city with renowned personalities of the Hindi and Punjabi film industry, including actors Rakul Preet Singh, Binnu Dhillon, Yashpal Sharma, Gavie Chahal, Rakesh Bedi, theatre artiste and actor Rajendra Gupta, actor-director Vinay Pathak, filmmaker Ketan Anand, lyricist Shamsher Sandhu, music producer Sachin Ahuja, among others, in attendance.

Actors Yashpal Sharma, Binnu Dhillon, Rajendra Gupta, among others lighting the ceremonial lamp at Chandigarh Music and Film Festival (Photos: Keshav Singh/HT)
Actors Yashpal Sharma, Binnu Dhillon, Rajendra Gupta, among others lighting the ceremonial lamp at Chandigarh Music and Film Festival (Photos: Keshav Singh/HT)

During his opening address, Chandigarh University chancellor Satnam Singh Sandhu said, “Indian film industry is the world’s largest film production industry with over 3,000 films being made annually in over 20 languages. The animation and visual effects industry also commands around 10% of the global market share. So, focus should be laid on making India a global content creation hub.”

“Chandigarh should have its own film city to facilitate filmmaking and promote content creation based on the culture of the region,” he added.

The attendee celebrities backed the idea for the establishment of a film city in Chandigarh as it “will provide new avenues to young talents of the region”. They agreed on Chandigarh, which is a symbol of modern India, due to its unique location and the availability of talent in the region, being a perfect place to have a film city to create more jobs and promote the art of filmmaking.

Actor Rakul Preet Singh emphasised that if regional cinema grows, the quality of work and content will also improve. “The popularity of Indian cinema is gradually increasing at a global level. Regional cinema, in this scenario, provides a platform for young aspiring talents,” she said.

The Chhatriwali actor added that there is so much hype about there being many differences between film industries of different languages, but when you look at it at a basic level, “whether it is post-production or technical work, the basic process of filmmaking remains the same for all – regional, national, or international cinema”.

(L-R): Actors Vinay Pathak; Rakul Preet Singh; and Yashpal Sharma
(L-R): Actors Vinay Pathak; Rakul Preet Singh; and Yashpal Sharma

Bheja Fry fame Vinay Pathak said Bollywood has widely used Punjabi culture, and legendary artistes have risen from the region and produced meaningful content. “So, it is shocking that Chandigarh, which is rich in culture, modernity, art, and entertainment, does not have a film city,” he said.

Rakesh Bedi, known for Shrimaan Shrimati, said Punjabi cinema is well recognised at a global level. “Educational institutions here should prepare trained manpower and a variety of subjects should be offered in film studies so that artistes can create enriched content,” he said, adding that OTT platforms have helped broaden the scope and reach of good content.

Lagaan and Gangaajal actor Yashpal Sharma said, “It’s wonderful to see the passion for cinema among the tricity residents. And as Chandigarh is well connected and serves as a gateway for the neighbouring states, a film city here can be of great advantage for the region.”

Punjabi lyricist Shamsher Sandhu also supported the cause. He said that there is so much talent in every region, but it gets mixed at a national level. “Film city plays a source of big role in supporting regional art and culture and providing a platform to young talents,” he said.

Music producer and composer Sachin Ahuja said OTT has expanded the scope for entertainment content creation. “It has resulted in faster production with a wider teach, but there is a shortage of manpower. A film city in the region can cater to that need and help artists get all facilities locally instead of having to visit different locations,” he said.

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