Durban gets Bollywood movie bonanza

2014-01-30 15:41

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The royalty of Bollywood stars – Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra – are heading to South Africa in April to begin filming new projects.

Aankhen 2 and Happy Anniversary are just the start, though, as Durban looks set to become a major new location for Indian film shoots.

City Press reported a month ago that South Africa’s biggest-ever Bollywood deal – R220 million for just two films – was hanging in the balance if the department of trade and industry (the dti) sign a crucial deal with a local production company.

Soon after the story was published, the dti signed a letter agreeing to offer a rebate to the first of the films, Aankhen 2.

The dti has an incentive scheme that rewards foreign producers with a rebate that is a percentage of a film’s budget, as a way of attracting their projects to the country.

Powerful Indian producer Gaurang Doshi had threatened to pull the films from South Africa and shoot them in Australia instead because the dti had not signed the deal and the shoot dates were approaching.

Doshi had an agreement with local company Mindblowing Productions to line-produce the films.

South African producer and owner of Mindblowing Productions Javed Aboobaker also revealed he has seven more Bollywood films lined up from a variety of producers – but not if the first one didn’t get off the ground.

Javed Aboobaker

The red tape has been untied and Aboobaker told City Press the shoot has been moved from January to April but will be going ahead.

“I’m delighted. The dti has really come to the party. We are going to rock the South African film industry.”

Happy Anniversary is Rai’s much-hyped comeback after a break to give birth to her daughter.

In director Prahlad Kakkar’s film, she is cast opposite her husband, Abhishek, and his father, Amitabh?– playing roles that match their relationships in real life.

Aankhen 2 is the sequel to the hit thriller Aankhen, which was also filmed in South Africa and was produced by Doshi.

Aboobaker’s next project to facilitate in South Africa is Roi, starring heart-throb Ranbir Kapoor, alongside Arjun Rampal and Jacqueline Fernandez.

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