Madhya Pradesh bags most film-friendly state award

Ironically, the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh was one of the few states which had imposed a ban on the public screening of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavat within its jurisdiction.

Madhya Pradesh has bagged the best film-friendly state award, beating 15 states, including Karnataka, which were in the race for this category of the national film awards.

A jury, headed by eminent filmmaker and Padma Shri Ramesh Sippy, has unanimously selected the state for the national award in recognition of "its efforts towards easing filming in Madhya Pradesh". 

The jury announced its decision on Thursday.

Ironically, the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh was one of the few states which had imposed a ban on the public screening of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavat within its jurisdiction amid protests by Rajasthan's Shri Rajput Karni Sena and other outfits over the story of the film which continued for several months since September last year.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced in November that the film will not be allowed to hit cinema halls in Madhya Pradesh, observing that it had "distorted facts" about Rajput queen Padmavati.

"This year Madhya Pradesh where a lot of filmmakers have shot over the years has won the award due to the ease of filming that the state offers along with excellent on ground support and filmic infrastructure, an informative website and incentives for filmmaking," Sippy said.

To ease filming in the Madhya Pradesh, the state government created "a well-structured" website and film-friendly infrastructure.

It also offered incentives and maintained databases besides undertaking marketing and promotional initiatives.

"Madhya Pradesh also received positive feedback from established filmmakers who have shot
there," the jury noted

The jury members also "lauded the continuing efforts" of the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat towards for creating "a film-friendly eco-system" in their states, Sippy said.

Uttarakhand was named for giving a special mention certificate to recognise the efforts made by the state government "towards creating a film-friendly environment". 

The 65th national film awards, announced by the respective juries recently, will be conferred on the winners by President Ram Nath Kovind at a function on May 3, the government said.

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