OutreachMedia mandate/policy 2008

OutreachMedia is Auroville’s media & press relations service.

September 2008

With a group of members from multi-cultural backgrounds, several equipped with multi-lingual abilities, OutreachMedia has thus far been successfully facilitating the visits of print & electronic media personnel, and acting in general as a liaison body between Auroville and the outside world. It has also helped with the logistics of receiving visitors to Auroville such as diplomats, scholars, writers, researchers, students, etc, providing them with the necessary help required for the purpose of their visit.

OutreachMedia is collaborating in publications issued by Auroville, as well as in video productions on the township and themes related to it.

Apart from continuing the above services and activities, OutreachMedia intends to extend its public relations activities in future so as to provide accurate, up-to-date factual information on Auroville and its many aspects.

It endeavours to ensure that the ideals of Auroville are respected by the visiting media, especially since the Mother has clearly said that there should be no promotional publicity relating to this unique experiment.

Presently the core team consists of Fabienne Marechal, Ann Riquier, Mauna van der Vlugt, Vinodhini Joshi, Tim Wrey and Robert Hessing.

The following is the information given on the Auroville website regarding the procedures and other details of OutreachMedia’s functioning as approved by the Governing Board, International Advisory Council and the Working Committee of the Residents Assembly:

To the Visiting Media

When you want to visit Auroville for filming, writing or photographic purposes, you will have to get in touch with Auroville’s OutreachMedia, the Auroville service in charge of facilitating visits of journalists and film/video makers. Their particular aim is to ensure that all journalists and filmmakers get correct, up-to-date information or relevant/representative footage from the best sources so that generally their visit is a fruitful and constructive one.

This includes intermediating with authorities on obtaining permission to film (specially relevant to foreign film crews); collaborating on tentative scenarios and film schedules beforehand so that when a film crew or reporter arrives no loss of time occurs; setting up interviews with appropriate people; escorting crews around the township; and helping book accommodation and arrange transport, as well as possibly giving guidance in shaping the final product where ‘finishing touches’ may be required.  A financial contribution may be asked for the above services.

Objective and non-proselytising

“Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole,” says its Charter, and we are aware that the very existence of Auroville gives hope and encouragement to many people. Consequently, when it comes to making the existence, aims and ideals of Auroville known to a wider audience, the OutreachMedia team will give every assistance to ensure that the information is imparted in an objective, non-proselytising manner.

Thank you for approaching OutreachMedia

Contact: outreachmedia@auroville.org.in

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Multi Media Center, Town Hall Complex, Auroville 605 101, Tamil Nadu, India

Electronic Media

Filming in Auroville

Filming in Auroville requires official authorization for both Indian and non-Indian filmers.  The Government of India through its Ministry of External Affairs prescribes a specific procedure to obtain permission for documentary filming in India.  OutreachMedia is instrumental in this process.  Its ‘letter of recommendation’ is crucial to starting the process towards obtaining the official authorization.

Letter of recommendation

The “Letter of recommendation” addressed to Auroville Foundation and issued by the OutreachMedia team, is the crucial document for your filming in Auroville.  In order to issue this recommendation letter, OutreachMedia needs to be fully informed of your intentions so as to be able to recommend the application and to set the wheels in motion. This counts for both Indian and non-Indian applicants.

For this purpose, send us a detailed synopsis of your film including duration, target audience, composition of the filming crew, equipment to be used, hosting channel, dates of shooting etc., along with as much information as possible on the intent and motivation of the applicant.  Please know that the original synopsis given in the application needs to be adhered to as the permission given is only for what is submitted in the synopsis.

The synopsis / theme and contents of the film are expected be in harmony with, and respectful of, the ideals of Auroville.

The relevancy of the purpose and hosting channel with respect to Auroville will be taken into consideration as well.  Please note that mere submission of the application doesn’t necessarily amount to authorization.  OutreachMedia will exercise its discretion in approving the application. 

Official requirements 

Indian applicants

Indian applicants require permission to film from the Auroville Foundation. This permission is based on the recommendation of Auroville OutreachMedia, as the latter body liaises between the applicant and the Auroville Foundation office.

Having gone through the preliminary investigations and dialogue with the applicant, OutreachMedia will eventually supply the following documents to the Auroville Foundation:

1.                                          The applicant’s request to film in Auroville, including data such as synopsis, target audience, composition of filming crew, equipment to be used, hosting channel etc.

2.                                          The applicant’s agreement to abide by OutreachMedia’s ‘Filming terms’  (see below)

3.                                           OutreachMedia’s letter of recommendation, requesting the Auroville Foundation to further process the application.

Non-Indian applicants

Non-Indian applicants will have to obtain permission for filming in Auroville from the Indian Embassy/Consulate/High Commission in their country as well as from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs through the Auroville Foundation. This latter permission is based on the recommendation of Auroville OutreachMedia, as it will liaise between the applicant and the Auroville Foundation office.

Having gone through the preliminary investigations and dialogue with the applicant, OutreachMedia will in due course supply the following documents to the Auroville Foundation:

1.                  Applicant’s request to film in Auroville, addressed to the Auroville Foundation through the OutreachMedia Service, including data such as synopsis, target audience, duration of film, composition of filming crew, equipment to be used, hosting channel etc.

2.                  Authorisation from the Embassy/Consulate/High Commission of India in the country of applicant, which has been obtained by the applicant and sent to OutreachMedia.

3.                  The Government of India’s “Undertaking” document (http://meaindia.nic.in/), duly signed as specified by the Ministry of External Affairs, and sent to OutreachMedia: along with a copy of the relevant page in the passport of the applicant as proof of the signature in the Undertaking document.

4.                  The applicant’s agreement to abide by OutreachMedia’s ‘Filming terms’  (see below)

5.                  OutreachMedia’s letter of recommendation, requesting the Auroville Foundation to further process the application.

The above procedure may take months, so it is good to start in time!


As soon as the green light is given by the Auroville Foundation,  OutreachMedia will assist the applicant and his/her crew with general logistics, such as co-selection of interviewees, scheduling of shooting, location selection etc. Much can be organized beforehand via email or phone so that things are prepared when the crew arrives. As per the provisions of the Government of India’s “Undertaking” document (http://meaindia.nic.in/), a member of OutreachMedia will act as liaison and will escort the crew throughout the filming. 

It is important to note that this procedure applies also to the filming of a pilot / trailer/pre-study to the documentary.

Auroville OutreachMedia Filming Terms

1.                  While most of the areas may be used for filming with due permission arranged by OutreachMedia, shooting is not permitted in certain areas including: inside of Matrimandir, schools, beach areas, meditations and meetings, and any other events or places indicated by OutreachMedia.

2.                  Filming in Auroville may be restricted to times and dates because Auroville events take precedence over film shoots.

3.                  No filming will be authorized for advertising, promoting tourism or promotional ‘commercial’ clips.

4.                  No filming will be authorized to use Auroville locations for use in feature films.

5.                  The filming permit does not allow unauthorized usage of Auroville archives and stock footage.

6.                  Auroville is not responsible for any loss or damage to the person/s and property belonging to the filming crew.

7.                  The name and symbol of Auroville are protected by the Government of India under the Emblems & Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act; unauthorized use of the same is subject to legal consequences. 

8.                  The financial contribution towards the services of OutreachMedia will be jointly determined, and paid before the actual filming starts. 

9.                  OutreachMedia will cancel its recommendation in case of violation of Indian law and intimate the same to concerned authorities.

10.              OutreachMedia is to be notified of the first date of broadcasting of the production; a DVD of the same is to be sent to OutreachMedia.

11.              Due acknowledgement of OutreachMedia is to be given in the film’s credits.

12.              The undersigned and his/her filming crew are to be aware of the prevailing cultural sensitivities of Auroville’s bio-region and are expected to conduct themselves appropriately towards local people, as well as towards Auroville’s residents.

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