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London mayor wants more Bollywood films shot in capital

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The Mayor of London Boris Johnson (C) speaks with Bollywood Vikram Bhatt (R) and Sajid Nadiadwala (L) during a meeting in Mumbai  – Photo by AFP
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson (C) speaks with Bollywood Vikram Bhatt (R) and Sajid Nadiadwala (L) during a meeting in Mumbai – Photo by AFP

MUMBAI: London Mayor Boris Johnson on Thursday called for more big-budget Bollywood movies to be shot in the British capital as he met Indian film executives during a tour of Mumbai to drum up investment.

“Film-making is massively important to both our cities and we need to build on the momentum that already exists,” Johnson said, promoting London as the perfect location for India’s song-and-dance spectaculars.

“I want to make it as easy as possible to film in the city, whether you want to feature an iconic landmark as a backdrop (or) take advantage of our second to none post-production facilities,” he said.

Johnson announced that two Indian films would be shot in London next year, “Housefull 3” starring Akshay Kumar and “Kick” starring Salman Khan, with post-production also being done in the capital’s Soho district.

Many Bollywood plotlines feature Indians living abroad, and the city played a leading role in the 2007 hit “Namastey London” starring half-British pin-up Katrina Kaif.

Late director Yash Chopra’s use of Swiss mountain backdrops in his Bollywood films made Switzerland a holiday destination of choice for well-heeled Indians.

Much of Chopra’s final film, “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” starring Shah Rukh Khan, is also set in London.

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