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Tuesday, 4 July, 2000, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Bollywood arrives in Wales
Bollywood film poster
Bollywood produces 600 films a year
An historic corner of north Wales has been transformed by the arrival of a Bollywood film company.

Actors and actresses from the booming Indian film industry have begun to shoot scenes for a new film at the Marquess of Anglesey's 18th century estate, Plas Newydd, in Anglesey.

When they see something they want to film they just stop and set up and start filming

Estate manager Paul Carr-Griffin
New Punjab Tours, part of the world's fastest-growing film industry, are shooting scenes for the comedy thriller I Give You My Word, with Indian movie stars Sunil Shetty and Raveena Tandan.

The National Trust property on the banks of the Menai Strait will provide the background for a number of "dream sequence shots".

The Indian movie industry regularly uses European locations to film scenes to fit in with actors' busy film schedules.

Paul Carr-Griffin, property manager at Plas Newydd, said the estate, given to the Earl of Uxbridge when he lost his leg fighting for the Duke of Wellington, had undergone some changes since the crew arrived.

stage set
Andrew Lloyd Webber is making a "Bollywood" musical
"People who regularly visit would notice changes," he said. "Normally we play classical or jazz music but at the moment there is Indian music playing, which is a bit different.

"Also the crew have their own outside catering so there is a smell of curry wafting around the place, which is unusual but nice."

Plas Newydd has played host to the British and American film industries before, but Bollywood is a very different experience, Mr Carr-Griffin said.

"With British and American film crews they know what locations they are going to use months before but this crew decided by instinct.

"When they see something they want to film they just stop and set up and start filming."


Hugh Edwin Jones, of the North Wales Film Commission, said the British Tourist Authority in India had been pushing forward the UK as the ideal place for Bollywood to film.

He said Indian stars were so much in demand, often signing to 10 movies at once, that crews must travel to where they are already shooting to fit them in for their next film.

As Sunil Shetty was already filming in Europe, north Wales was chosen as the ideal backdrop for I Give You My Word after a visit from the producer.

"We would welcome them again, the tourism aspect of showing north Wales in a film to the Indian market is wonderful," said Mr Edwin Jones

Bollywood films are hugely popular among Indian communities around the world - with the UK ranked as the second-biggest market.

The booming industry, estimated to be worth an annual 0.75bn, turns out 600 films a year. It has overtaken Hollywood in terms of film production.

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