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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September, 2003, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
World film-makers court Bollywood
Devdas
The Bollywood film industry employs six million people
Overseas film companies courted the lucrative Bollywood movie industry at a two-day conference in Bombay (Mumbai).

Companies from countries such as Australia, Finland, Germany and New Zealand met to discuss ways of drawing productions abroad.

Foreign movie makers are attracted to Bollywood because of the spin-off potential for tourism.

The epic Indian song-and-dance movies use lush scenes of mountains and lakes which then prove popular with tourists.

Since the first Indian film to be shot in New Zealand - Sanam Harjai - was released in 1995, 90 films have been produced in the country.

Tourist numbers

The influx has led to short-term employment in New Zealand and growth in Indian tourism.

Raajew Singh, who represented New Zealand at the conference, said Indian tourist numbers had risen from 400 in 1995 to 25,000 in 2001 - all because of Bollywood.

He said: "The locations in New Zealand are so attractive that Indian tourists now prefer holidaying in New Zealand."

Major Indian films shot in New Zealand include Koi Mil Gaya (Someone Found) in 2000, which starred heartthrob Hrithik Roshan.

The first Indian film is now being shot in Germany, a movie about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, a revolutionary who fought British colonialism in India.

India produces more than 800 Hindi-language movies a year and its film industry has an estimated annual turnover of 60 billion rupees ($1.3 bn). It employs nearly six million people.

Bollywood hit headlines earlier this week when it was announced that distributors and cinema owners in north-east India planned to censor Bollywood films after a call for them to be banned.

Nine powerful separatist groups in the region want cinemas to stop showing Bollywood films completely from 15 November.

They said the Hindi-language films undermine local culture and values, and that erotic song and dance sequences are a bad influence on young people.




SEE ALSO:
Bollywood films face cuts
15 Sep 03  |  South Asia
Bollywood star quits Hindu role
17 Jul 03  |  South Asia
Bollywood gets message across
14 Jul 03  |  South Asia
Devdas sweeps Bollywood 'Oscars'
17 May 03  |  South Asia


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