Gorkhatimes

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Meghalaya to be next Bollywood destination: Chief minister

Posted by Ramesh Khati on November 4, 2009

Mumbai, Nov 3 (IANS): Meghalaya Chief Minister D.D. Lapang has agreed to come on board the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI) so that his state becomes the next Bollywood destination for shooting films.
Manoj Rastogi, managing director and chief executive officer of Television Media and Communications and event associate of the 11th Mumbai Film Festival, had taken the initiative to approach Lapang.

“This initiative was taken during the ongoing 11th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) to promote the underutilised location of Meghalaya as worldwide film tourism,” Rastogi told IANS.

Rastogi explained that Meghalaya was not exploited by the film industry as there wasn’t proper infrastructure in the state.

“This place remained untouched by the industry as there wasn’t proper infrastructure or communication system. Now the infrastructure has improved manifold so instead of shooting in foreign destinations, they can use the virgin beauty of India as their shooting destination,” said Rastogi.

Lapang is planning to build a committee or task force, keeping some renowned names from the industry as its members. He mentioned that this task force is essential as it is not easy to get into Meghalaya and shoot films.

The chief minister also aims to open an office in Mumbai so that any production house interested in shooting a film in Meghalaya can approach them.

“I am looking forward to make Meghalaya the next Bollywood destination. I am not directly involved though, Manoj and Anish Gandhi (advisors to chief minister) are in talking terms with renowned celebrities of Bollywood,” said Lapang.

When asked to name whom he thinks fits best as the committee member, he said: “I have Yash Chopra and Shabana Azmi in my mind, but I couldn’t speak to them in my last visit to Mumbai. Once the committee is formed I will sit with them in Meghalaya.”

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