Saturday, October 10, 2009

Foreign films seek the ‘real and rural’ India

Mumbai: After the world saw the dark side of India in Slumdog Millionaire, foreigners now want to shoot films in offbeat locations and smaller towns where they can find the ‘real and rural’ India.
So, Ludhiana, Purulia, Ahmedabad, Panchmari, Bhopal, Thane, Madh island in Mumbai and Patna feature in the 17 shooting permissions granted to foreign productions. And it’s not just Hollywood that is eyeing the picturesque Indian locales; filmmakers from the United Kingdom, the US, Germany, Japan, Georgia, Italy, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Netherlands also want a piece the great Indian landscape pie.
Art director Abhishek Redkar, who worked in Slumdog Millionaire, confirms that foreign productions are looking for newer locations, but adds that all of them are driven by the subject of the story. For instance, Italian film Behind The Bodies, based on Mahashweta Devi’s book, will be shot in Purulia.
Uday Shankar Pani, who has worked on films such as Gandhi and Salaam Bombay, also says that foreign production houses are moving away from metros and tourist locations. “They find hire charges in big cities unreasonable. As one moves to the interiors, there are fewer problems and complications,’’ says Pani.
Pravesh Sahni of India Take One, the line producers of Slumdog Millionaire and now Nehru & Edwina, says that after Slumdog, “a lot of filmmakers are looking to come here as India offers great locations and technical crew’’.

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