Sunday 15 September 2019

Bollywood producers scouting in Dublin

Five producers from India’s biggest studios are touring the country this week to make the most of our “perfect scenic settings”, which have proven a huge hit with Indian cinema goers. 

Following the phenomenal success internationally of Ek Tha Tiger, the biggest blockbuster of all time - seen by an estimated 100 million people, film companies are looking to shoot more silver screen productions on Irish shores.

With nearly 1,000 movies made out of Bollywood annually, Amar Butalia, producer at UTV Disney, told the Irish Independent that it is important to explore new locations to keep cinema goers entertained.

“Traditionally in Bollywood films we’ve shot abroad in Paris, London, or places in Thailand and Canada. That it is part of our legacy, so we’re always looking at finding different locations or places that have not really been exposed before,” said Mr Butalia.

“The reaction to ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ was fantastic, people love what they saw.

“It was a huge film and one of the reasons it did so well was that it looked very fresh because it was filmed in Ireland – somewhere different.

“This is also how many Bollywood movie goers see the world, through these films.”

He added:

“We’re in development at all times and there are films we’d like to film for 60 days in a single country, so Ireland is a strong possibility.”

The group have been invited here by Tourism Ireland in India, in conjunction with the Irish Film Board.

They will spend the remainder of the week visiting attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher, Ashford Castle, the Dingle Peninsula and Titanic Beflast.

Yesterday they saw Trinity College Dublin, Temple Bar and toured the set of Morgan O’Sullivan’s History Channel series ‘Vikings’, at Ashford Films Studios, Co Wicklow.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, told the Irish Independent that this trip provides “an enormous opportunity” for both the Irish film industry.

“Bollywood is the largest centre for film production in the world, a lot bigger than Hollywood or London.

“The more we promote Ireland as a location for filmmakers, the greater opportunity to build awareness among the Indian community that we are an ideal holiday destination for tourists.”

Naoise Barry, Film Commissioner with the Irish Film Board, added:

 “We’ve developed friendships with these Indian film companies over the past 10 years.

“This is part of an ongoing strategy to develop the relationships.

“The aim in the short term is to attract Indian studios to film here and choose us as an ideal location.

 “But we’re obviously very interested in encouraging trade between the two countries as it’s also a potential to create employment in Ireland.”

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