Roerich hitch: Mysuru film city plan alive

The Roerich and Devika Rani Estate on Kanakapura Road near Bengaluru. DH file photo

The state government has not shelved Mysuru as a possible location for a big-ticket film city project, with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s plan to set one up at the Roerich and Devikarani Estate facing a legal tangle. 

In fact, the tourism department has identified Mysuru as the ideal location for the project. 

According to a report that global consultancy Ernst & Young had prepared for the Tourism department, a film city on a 110-acre plot already identified in Immavu village of Nanjangud taluk in Mysuru can produce 23 films every year. Also, Mysuru offers filmmakers at least 16 shoot locations within a 100 km radius, allowing the film city to double up as a tourist location, the report states.

“We are aware that much work has already gone into the Mysuru film city plan. We are still considering it,” Tourism Minister C T Ravi told DH.

“As far as the Roerich estate plan goes, the chief secretary has asked the advocate-general for a legal opinion. The estate must be used only for purposes as was desired by the family,” he said, hinting at possible obstacles.

“But Mysuru or Bengaluru, we want to have a film city nonetheless.” 

A draft feasibility report on the Mysuru film city was submitted in March 2018. Earlier this year, the firm gave a project status update in which Mysuru is reiterated as a “favoured location”.

According to the existing plan, the Mysuru film city will cost about Rs 380 crore and it will provide direct employment during peak operations to 1,700 people.

The film city is to have production and post-production zones for filmmaking, a hospitality zone, a film training/experience zone and an entertainment zone. In terms of area, the Mysuru film city can surpass Pinewood Studios, London, and Universal Studio, Singapore. 

Even as the Mysuru plan took shape, the H D Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition announced a film city in Ramanagara. Last month, Yediyurappa proposed setting up an international film city at the 468.33-acre Roerich estate.

“We had everything planned. It was to be a circuit where tourists can experience adventure sports in Ramanagara and then head to Mysuru. Traditionally, the problem with Mysuru has been that tourists don’t stay over. A film city in Mysuru would not only give professionalism to the cinema industry, but also give tourists a reason to spend a night there,” former tourism minister Priyank Kharge, who anchored the plan when in office, said.


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