Sonia Kanwar
Line Producer and Creative Producer for RSVP Films. Known for Don and Uri: The Surgical Strike

It’s essential to have a local crew for language, sourcing, costumes, and art, specifically, local gaffers. I just zeroed in on two or three locations that have what we need. Then seeing the terrain, the plains, all of that, because that’s one of the reasons we were going there. Because otherwise we could’ve shot in Dehradun or something like that. Those jungles also. Only that we don’t get permission to shoot at night or do explosions at night in forest areas…We contacted two or three different countries, and we also figured out who’s shot where before. Reached out, did some sort of background check, etc.

We’ve to submit the accounts. And there’s a lot of paperwork. So you need to sign up for paperwork before you get into this, understanding that well within 45 days or 60 days, whatever that time frame is, but it was a short, very effective time frame. After this is done and the accounts are submitted and signed off by both parties, the film commission will review them. And there’s a date for submission, to be in the same year cycle, basically… I think it was anywhere over X amount of days of shooting, when it’s possible to get that rebate.

In some countries, they consider everybody (actors, director), everybody. For Don, we had to hire some HODs as international crew. Not just the local crew. For Uri, nobody was there except my action director, who was also somebody I worked with in Don—that was his first time in India. I brought him on board for Uri. Stephan—he’s German—is the only international head of department we had (for Uri). But in Berlin, for example, at least at that time, it was a requirement… 10-12 years ago… that we had to have, to qualify in that system, a few heads of departments from there.

Europe was always on the market. It’s the Eastern European countries that have opened up… Even Brahmastra is shot in Bulgaria. There’s Serbia, there’s Georgia… All of these places have opened up. All of these places are slightly more recent.

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