Film shoots in Ooty decline due to strict rules and overseas attractions
The southern hill station of Ooty, once a hugely popular destination for film shoots across India, has seen a drastic decline in the past few years. The reasons for the downturn are twofold: stringent rules and regulations for filming, and the allure of foreign locations.
The Raj Kapoor connection
Even as far back as 1962, directors and producers were finding inspiration in the lush landscapes and fresh air of Ooty. One famous example comes from Raj Kapoor’s classic love story, Sangam, which featured the song “Yeh Mera Prem Patra”. The film’s director, D Thiagarajan, wrote in his book Misty Memoirs that Kapoor “took utmost care to protect the enchanting lawns and flower beds of the Government Botanical Garden in Ooty” during the filming.
The decline of film shoots in Ooty
Despite its long-standing status as a filmmaking hub, Ooty has seen a drastic decline in the number of film shoots in recent years. One major factor has been the introduction of stricter rules and regulations surrounding filming permits. As a result, filmmakers are finding it increasingly difficult and expensive to secure the necessary permissions to shoot in the area.
Another issue is the growing appeal of foreign locations, which offer unique and diverse landscapes that cannot be found in India. With increasing numbers of producers and directors looking overseas for inspiration, the allure of Ooty’s natural beauty is no longer enough to attract them.
The future of filmmaking in Ooty
Despite these challenges, however, all hope is not lost for Ooty’s potential as a filmmaking hub. In recent years, the state government has taken steps to make it easier for filmmakers to obtain necessary permits, and there are ongoing efforts to promote the area’s unique beauty and charm to the wider film industry.
As the allure of overseas locations eventually fades, filmmakers may once again turn to India’s diverse and enchanting landscapes, including the stunning vistas of Ooty.