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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 November, 2003, 15:00 GMT
Prince Charles kicks off Bollywood film
The Prince of Wales has launched the filming of a new Bollywood movie during his visit to India.

Prince Charles and Amir Khan
Prince Charles showed lots of curiosity about the film
"The Rising - take one - Start!" said Prince Charles as he snapped the clapperboard on the sets of The Rising during shooting in a Bombay five-star hotel.

The Rising is based on the 1857 uprising when Hindu and Muslim soldiers revolted against the British East India Company, over fears that gun cartridges were greased with animal fat forbidden by their religions.

The film, directed by Indian filmmaker Ketan Mehta, stars popular Bollywood performers like Aamir Khan and Aishwarya Rai and British actor Toby Stephens.

Prince Charles spent 20 minutes on the film's sets as Khan, who plays an Indian soldier, acted out a scene with Stephens in the role of his British friend.

'He knew about Indian history'

"I am really honoured that Prince Charles came for the opening shot [of the film]," Khan said.

"He was asking us about the story and my character in the film. He was very knowledgeable and he knew about the Indian history of that period."

The Rising sets
Prince Charles flanked by Amir Khan (l) and Toby Stephens (r)

The film's producer Bobby Bedi said the story revolved around Indian freedom fighter Mangal Pandey and his friendship with a British commanding officer.

The revolutionary was eventually executed for his role in the uprising - known as the Indian Mutiny in the UK and the Sepoy Mutiny in India.

After the uprising was crushed, the British took control of most of the country.

"The war was against the East India Company and it created the British empire," Bedi said.

Prince Charles arrived in India on Tuesday to start his nine-day tour, focusing on the environment and heritage restoration

The BBC's Nicholas Witchell reports from Bombay
"Cue the latest drama involving the Prince of Wales..."

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