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August 13, 2009

Bollywood stars set for Cape Town

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Anil Kapoor stars in No Problem, the latest Bollywood film to be shot in Cape Town. Photo courtesy UKinUSA

If you happen to be taking a stroll down Camps Bay beach and spot Slumdog Millionaire’s Anil Kapoor taking a walk there too, don’t be shocked – Bollywood is coming to Cape Town! With its breathtaking scenery, the Mother City has become popular with the Indian film industry’s actors, producers and directors.

Following South Africa’s successful hosting of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) earlier this year, Bollywood filmmakers have been shooting more and more movies in the city.

The first full-length movie to be shot entirely on location in Cape Town was Sohail Maklai’s Cash, back in 2006. With several films – including Seasons Greetings, Life Partner and 8 x 10 Tasveer – filmed in the city since, Cape Town has been dubbed the “Hollywood of Africa”.

The most recent film to be shot here is No Problem, a police action movie that stars Anil Kapoor, as well as Kal Kissne Dekha’s Sanjay Dutt and actor and producer Sunil Shetty.

The Western Cape’s minister of finance, economic development and tourism, Alan Winde, and Cape Film Commission CEO Laurence Mitchell recently took time off to visit the set.

According Screen Africa, Mitchell says the successful hosting of the IPL showed the whole world what South Africa – and Cape Town, in particular – has to offer.

“This [the IPL] provided the Western Cape with a wonderful opportunity to access this significant tourism and film market,” said Mitchell. “We are now actively targeting the Indian and the Middle Eastern markets, as both have huge potential.”

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Cape Town has been dubbed the “Hollywood of Africa”. Photo courtesy Peter aka zug55

Winde shared Mitchell’s sentiments, saying that the images of South Africa that were beamed around the world resulted in Bollywood filmmakers wanting to shoot some of their movies in Cape Town.

“The fact that Cape Town and the Western Cape have been able attract these influential and leading men and women of Bollywood is, to a large extent, due to the fact that we are truly recognised as a global film industry destination,” Winde said, adding that the influx of Bollywood films and actors would boost the Western Cape’s economy and put Cape Town’s film industry on the mark.

“In order to ensure that we grow this contributor even further, we need to make sure that our service offering, whether in tourism or film, is exceptional,” said Winde.

Bollywood’s love affair with Cape Town is unlikely to end any time soon: in an interview with Media Club South Africa, Kapoor said the city’s unique offering of choice locations, weather, culture and world-class services would see it become a magnet for large Bollywood productions.

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