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Friday, 5 October, 2001, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Bollywood suffers from US attacks
World Trade Center wreckage
The New York attack had an instant effect on Bollywood

The BBC's Abhisar Sharma reports

The 11 September terrorist attacks in the US has damaged the Bombay film industry.

Filming on locations in the United States has had to be cancelled and the overseas market for Hindi films has gone slack.

The World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks could not have come at a worse time, with just two films, Lagaan and Gadar, bringing a smile to the faces of the cinema owners and filling the coffers of the distributors over the past few months.

There was an instant reaction and effect on the Bombay film industry.

Not only have producers had to cancel the shootings of some high profile films, there has also been a lot of rescheduling that has put a lot of producers in debt.

Notable has been the Amitabh Bacchan blockbuster Kaante, loosely based on Reservoir Dogs, which has a phenomenal budget of 300 million rupees.

Destroyed taxi outside the Air India offices in Bombay 1993
Bollywood failed to speak out over the 1993 Bombay bombs

Apart from Kaante, the screening of some ambitous projects like Shahrukh Khan's Asoka and Aamir Khan's Lagaan in the New York film festival have had to be postponed.

Recent releases have also been affected by the 11 September attacks.

"The overseas market has been badly affected," says Taran Adarsh, editor of Trade Guide.

"People particularly in the US are scared to venture out in the cinemas as a result of a fear psychosis and also the fear of been attacked by some right-wing groups."

Knock-on from Hollywood

Veteran film maker Mahesh Bhatt says events in Hollywood must have an effect on Bollywood.

Robert de Niro
Robert de Niro and other Hollywood stars quickly condemned the New York attacks

"The sooner America stands up on its feet , the better would it be for Bollywood, which has always looked up to Hollywood for inspiration, both creatively and as a viable market," Bhatt says.

Such is the strength of the overseas market that film makers like Subhash Ghai came under a lot of flak for declaring that he did not care for markets like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India, as long as money came from the overseas market.

There was severe criticism of the Bombay film industry for choosing to remain silent on the 1993 blasts there which were allegedly masterminded by Bombay gang leader Dawood Ibrahim.

Dawood is supposed to have a big influence on the Bombay film industry, and there was absolutely no criticism or even reaction from the industry.


Veteran film maker Mahesh Bhatt says the industry should have more courage.

"They are basically a bunch of emotionally and intellectually timid people.

"It is easy to narrate long monologues on the big screen, but when it comes to actual life, they all chicken out," Bhatt says.

See also:

23 Feb 99 | South Asia
Bombay evicts 'gangster chief'
04 Nov 98 | South Asia
Bombay gets tough on gangsters
25 Jul 01 | Film
Cash boost for Bollywood
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