Panaji, July 10: Filmmakers who want to shoot in Goa will now have to pledge not to tarnish the Indian resort's reputation, a state government agency said on Wednesday.
The Entertainment Society of Goa, which licenses films being made in the former Portuguese colony, said all companies now had to submit a synopsis and a declaration “assuring that the movie will not spoil the image of Goa”.
Submission of a synopsis has been ESG policy for the last two years but the declaration is new and follows outrage at a recent Bollywood crime thriller that portrayed the state as a haven of sex, drugs and crime.
Tourist officials criticised “Dum Maaro Dum” (Take a Drag), starring top stars Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Bipasha Basu, for presenting the state in a bad light.
ESG chief executive Manoj Srivastava said: “The idea is to be a little cautious. While we welcome everyone, it should not be taken for granted that you can do anything in Goa.”
Goa, which attracts nearly 2.5 million tourists every year, about 400,000 of them from overseas, is a favourite destination for filmmakers, who often use its long sandy beaches or Portuguese-era mansions as backdrops.
But the state has suffered from negative publicity in recent years after a spate of high-profile crime, including the death of a British teenager and damaging allegations of links between police and drugs gangs.
A film on Scarlett Keeling, the 15-year-old Briton whose body was found in north Goa in February 2008, is being made into a film called “Anjuna Beach”, promising to tell “the real story” of what happened.
The Indian lawyer for Keeling's mother last week said they had not been consulted and warned that the studio behind the film risked legal action if they distorted the facts.
Srivastava said that a police complaint could be filed against the production company amid reports that it was shot in Goa without permission and without paying the 10,000-rupee ($225) daily fee. AFP