Re: [Frameworks] Film and Airport Security in India

From: Karl Mendonca (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jul 04 2010 - 21:28:17 PDT

Hi Shobun,

My experience was similar to Natasha's - bypassing the x-ray for the film was not too hard after some chit chat. In my case, they gave me a harder time about the Bolex and 3 lenses despite the letter from school.

This is slightly off topic, but if you're a student, I definitely recommend getting multiple copies of your enrollment letter / project scope from school and carrying them around with you. I was questioned by policemen at a railway station (I was asking for that one), on the beach, and at azaad maidan in Bombay, even though I was shooting without a tripod and on one occasion with a Super 8 camera. I had to hand out a letter each time and *chat* for a half hour before they were convinced that I was legit and not going to bribe them to leave me alone. It might just be that I look particularly suspicious.


From: natasha mendonca <email suppressed>
To: Experimental Film Discussion List <email suppressed>
Sent: Sun, July 4, 2010 4:52:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] Film and Airport Security in India

Dear Shobun,

Hello my name is Natasha Mendonca. I just shot my thesis on 16mm in bombay last summer. I had similar concerns because I was carrying my 80 rolls of film in my hand luggage. I did not have to put my film through the x-ray because I sweet talked the customs guy. I have a lot a of production experience all over India and so knew that this would be the case. I did open one roll as they are in daylight spools to show the customs officer. I also lied to the customs officer about the value of each roll as 2$ each or I would have to pay a frightfully expensive amount for customs. Having my bolex camera helped and a letter from school too. Generally it can be a pain at customs as there is no real system for film. But bombay can be fairly film savvy and if you can be calm and respectful and humor the people it works.

 Hope things work out. Let me know if there is any other help you need.

Good luck.


--- On Mon, 7/5/10, Shobun Baile <email suppressed> wrote:

>From: Shobun Baile <email suppressed>
>Subject: [Frameworks] Film and Airport Security in India
>To: email suppressed
>Date: Monday, July 5, 2010, 1:17 AM
>I'm planning on taking a small amount, maybe 10 rolls, of color negative super 8 stock with me to India. I have read the threads on X-ray machines in airport security but I did not encounter anyone with specific experience in India.
>Just based on my past experiences in the Delhi and Mumbai airports, the people working security can be extremely pushy and unwilling to listen to your concerns. Does anyone know if I would be able to request hand inspection for my film in India? Or does is there any official documentation of India-specific laws I can print out and refer to? Any experiences in India with motion picture film and airport security would be very helpful.
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