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Panaji, May 11 Goa's forts and churches, offering a mix of modern and old European architecture, as well as palm-covered beaches have often served as a backdrop for Hindi films. And now the tourist paradise is pulling in film producers as well as reality show makers from all over India.
The trend started with Farhan Akhtar's 'Dil Chahta Hai'. Successful films like 'All The Best', 'Golmaal' and 'Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd' also used exotic Goan locations.
'There has been a significant increase in business over the years. There were around 133 days of shooting in 2007, which increased to 300 days in 2008. In 2009, it was much more,' Manoj Shrivastva, CEO, Entertainment Society of Goa, told.
'This is largely because of the Society's help through a unique 'single window system' for granting clearances and permissions for shooting anywhere within the state of Goa.
'Earlier, it was just Bollywood films that were shot here, but Goa is now also becoming popular among Tamil, Kannada, Khasi and Marathi filmmakers,' he said.
Old-time films like 'Bobby', 'Sagar' and the Shah Rukh Khan-Aishwarya Rai-starrer 'Josh' were all shot in Goa. Even though sometimes the stereotypical portrayal of Goan culture in Hindi films has not gone down well with the local people, filmmakers have been parking themselves here in hordes for their projects.
Three films are currently being shot in Goa - the Ajay Devgn-Kareena Kapoor- starrer comedy 'Golmaal 3', Hema Malini's home production 'Tell Me Oh Khuda' and a Marathi film.
The movies that have completed shooting are Abhishek Bachchan's 'Dum Maaro Dum' about drug-peddling in Goa, Shah Rukh's sci-fi superhero movie 'Ra.One', Hrithik-Aishwarya-starrer 'Guzaarish' and period drama 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey' where Abhishek will play Bengali freedom fighter Surya Sen.
The most popular locations for shooting are beaches like Baga, Promenade, Anjana and Mandovi.
According to reports, the filmmakers also enjoy shooting in Panjim, especially at the old GMC building, and they have to pay somewhere about Rs.10,000 per day to shoot in the city. The Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) also charges a fee for shooting in Panjim.
The lovely destination has also attracted reality show sponsors - an increasing number of reality shows like 'MTV Splitsville' and Imagine TV's 'Pati, Patni Aur Woh' have been shot in Goa.
Currently the crew of UTV Bindass is parked here to shoot the reality show 'D3 Commando Force: Dadagiri Against Terrorism' on a river island in Kolwel on the outskirts of Goa.
Foreigners are also queuing up - the shooting for an Austrian TV reality show is on here. In October, shooting for the Italian version of 'Big Brother' will commence too.
According to Swapnil Naik, tourism director in the Goa government, the increasing popularity of the state as a shooting destination has led to a surge in tourism.
'With the increasing popularity of Goa through cinema, a lot of people have been coming here and showing keen interest in visiting places where shooting takes place,' Naik told IANS.
'Some film stars have even bought properties here,' he said.