Tourism and cinema have an indelible connection with inspirational exchange since times immemorial. The India International Film Tourism Conclave (IIFTC) felicitated few Indian filmmakers for their impact on tourism today.
The wizard of urban romantic cinema, Imtiaz Ali, the man who made every Indian girl feel like a ‘Queen’, Vikas Bahl and Rohit Shetty, for all his toppling cars around the world and a song that nurtured the saffron colour at its best, received the IIFTC Impact Award for their contribution. Imtiaz was quoted saying that his first shoot abroad was for ‘Love Aaj Kal’ in London, although, he still wants to shoot the streets of Russia, his maiden trip out of India. The cinematic experience he gathered from all his trips and his lessons learned since he stepped in Mumbai in the early 90s remain the source of inspiration and encyclopedia for his works. His latest film ‘Tamasha’ introduced Corsica to the Indian household unless the viewer had earlier read Guy de Maupassant’s Happiness.
4 countries in 52 days
Imtiaz Ali was born in Jamshedpur and was not exposed to heavy travelling until his films took him out of India. However, when asked about his ideas and his notion of different films, the award-winning director told an Indian daily that people keep asking for ‘different’ because they want our movies to be that way. “What makes me feel honoured is that this award is so different and impactful, since, it encourages tourism promoted by movies and vice versa,” Imtiaz added.
In mid-August 2016, the filmmaker, with his lead pair Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma, took off for their longest international shooting schedule till date. It was a 52-day-long schedule during which Imtiaz shot three songs across four countries for their upcoming romance-drama, tentatively titled, ‘The Ring’. Now, back in Mumbai and wrapping up the final schedule, shooting only nights, Imtiaz reminisces the picturesque locations he filmed at for the movie.
Czech Republic, Portugal, Hungary and the Netherlands were the four countries where the protagonists of Imtiaz’s film travelled. From the majestic early mornings of Prague to the maze-like alleys of Lisbon, from the Liberty Bridge in Budapest to the old stone bridges across the city of Amsterdam, Imtiaz tried to cover the popular as well as the lesser known places of these four countries with an elegance that will certainly allure more Indians.
IIFTC – recognising cinema impact
Vikas Bahl, who shot in Paris and Amsterdam, his film, ‘Queen’, starring Kangna Ranaut, will also get the IIFTC Tourism Impact Award for cinematic excellence. Rohit Shetty’s banner and Red Chillies Entertainment received the award for the film ‘Dilwale’, which captured the beauty of Iceland in one of the songs, ‘Gerua’. V Creations got an award for ‘Kabali’, while Krish and First Frame Entertainment got it for their two Telegu films ‘Kanche’ and ‘Gautamiputra Satakarni’.
IIFTC, a three-day mega film tourism event, kicked off at JW Marriott in Mumbai. Bringing together India’s biggest production houses under one roof and offering an exciting opportunity for foreign tourism boards, film commissions and production services companies to showcase their locations and present their offerings – an event that promises to be the one-stop platform for recognising the impact of cinema on tourism.
International representatives from countries such as Portugal, the UAE, Spain, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Finland, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Jordan, Cyprus, Sweden, South Africa and Kenya are the partners of the conclave and keep a keen eye on the Indian film industry that has now acquired a fame to inspire and allure travellers seeking unique experiences.