With its huge campus and large auditoriums, the Jamia Millia Islamia is increasingly becoming a favourite option for filmmakers to shoot their projects. While the Delhi University continues to be a favourite with Bollywood, the filmmakers say they usually avoid going to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) as securing permissions there is a tedious process.
According to sources, the reason behind the Jamia opening its doors for shoots can also be attributed to fund cuts by the government. They said the varsity administration has become lenient with shoots and that has helped the filmmakers.
Professor Majid Jamil, the secretary of Jamia Teachers' Association, said the varsities have been asked to generate their own funds and efforts are underway to generate own fund resources. "For the last two years, the varsity has been facing issues in paying salaries of teachers. The varsity had to even break its fixed deposits to pay the salaries of teachers. Every university is facing these issues and most of the research and development activities are being hampered," he added.
The grand finale of 'Bigg Boss 12' was shot in one of the auditoriums of JMI, while a film titled 'Doordarshan' starring Mahie Gill was recently shot in the campus.
An advertisement of Subway India was also shot in one of the classrooms of the varsity where the makers spent close to Rs 2-2.5 lakh in renovating the classroom according to their requirement, the sources said.
Filmmaker Imtiaz Ali recently visited the campus for a recce for his film 'Love Aaj Kal 2' since he wanted to shoot a scene in a science laboratory but since the varsity's lab did not fit his requirements, he will now be shooting that particular portion in Mumbai, the sources added.
The varsity will soon play host to Kangana Ranaut starrer 'Panga', the sources said. A Malayalam film was also recently shot in the campus.
"The campus of JMI is huge and we do not have to worry about procuring additional security as we can shoot without worrying about our actors getting mobbed. The varsity has a strong security in place," said Line Producer Javed Khan. He secured permission for shooting the film 'Doorsdarshan' and also the commercial for Subway India. Javed Khan said the varsity provides several options through its auditoriums, classrooms and lawns. "Every centre of the varsity has a different look. We can even recreate government offices in the varsity," he added. While Mr Khan did not talk about the rates charged by the varsity, he said the JMI offers an economical option for shoots. He said the Delhi University is more expensive than the JMI.
The sources claimed that shooting in the JMI costs Rs 50,000 per day and the varsity gives concession if the film has a social message.
The Delhi University, with its ambience, despite the high rates has been a favourite with Bollywood. Shahid Kapoor starrer 'Kabir Singh' was recently shot in Miranda House while Amazon Prime's web series 'Breathe 2' featuring Abhishek Bachchan and Amit Sadh was shot in Kirori Mal College, the sources said.
"In the Delhi University, one mostly has to shoot during vacation time as there is always a threat of the actors getting mobbed but if there is an urgent requirement, the colleges give permission even on working days," said Line Producer Navmeet Singh. He said colleges like Kirori Mal, Hansraj and Miranda House are quite open for allowing shoots while it is difficult to procure permission to shoot in the St Stephen's College.
The sources said the cost of shooting in Kirori Mal college, Hansraj college and Miranda House is anywhere between Rs 2-2.5 lakh. Arjun Kapoor-Shraddha Kapoor starrer 'Half Girlfriend' was shot in the St Stephen's College and the sources claimed that the makers had to shell out Rs 3 lakh for each day they shot in the college.
The sources claimed that the JNU is not very open to the idea of film shoots and even filmmakers prefer to stay away from shooting there. "We have applied for permission to the JNU earlier but have not got a response. The perception of the varsity is that it is very political and filmmakers prefer to stay away from shooting there," said Mr Singh.
Even for the film 'Raanjhana', in which Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol played JNU students, the varsity was recreated in some other university in Noida.
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