First Punjabi film shot in Durban set to put city on the map in India

2014-04-10 00:00

CAMERAS were rolling at Moses Mab­hida Stadium yesterday as filming got under way on Zorawar, the first ever Punjabi film to be shot in Durban.

Zorawar fields a star-studded Indian cast including award-winning rapper Yo Yo Honey in the title role and India MTV’s VJ Gurbani Judge, along with Indian Television Academy Award-winning actress Achint Kaur and veterans Pawan Malhotra, Mukul Dev and Amit Behl.

Zorawar tells the story of the emotional journey of a young Indian soldier and his search for his long-lost father. Once thought to be dead, Zorawar traces his father to Durban and flies into the city to try and resolve the mystery.

The film combines action and comedy, with plenty of songs. Directed by Vinnil Markan and produced by Rajiee M. Shinde and Rabindra Narayan of India’s White Umbrella Movies, Zorawar’s SA line production is being handled by the Durban-based Epic Entertainment.

With a R3 million local budget, Zorawar will be using over 20 different locations around Durban as well as further afield at Oribi Gorge.

“These locations work for the script and also show off Durban’s beauty and landscape,” said producer Rakesh Maharaj of Epic Entertainment.

Maharaj is confident that the Punjabi film will add value to the film destination appeal of Durban. “I believe it will encourage more filmmakers from India to shoot in Durban, which is a fairly new location with the Indian Punjabi film industry.”

He also believes Zorawar will provide a financial boost to the local film industry — equipment to props are all being sourced from local suppliers, he said.

In addition, close to 300 local extras are being hired to appear in various scenes.

The decision to film Zorawar in Durban demonstrates yet again that the city has some unique features to offer to film makers, said Toni Monty, the head of the Film Office.

The shooting of Zorawar is expected to end during May and the completed film will be released in South Africa and India later in the year.

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