LatAm gets a pie of Bollywood glory

Viva la Latin America! After shooting extensively in the scenic locales of Europe,North America and Australia,Bollywood is increasingly panning its cameras on South American countries.

Written by Huma Siddiqui | New Delhi | Published:August 20, 2010 12:11 am

Viva la Latin America! After shooting extensively in the scenic locales of Europe,North America and Australia,Bollywood is increasingly panning its cameras on South American countries. The major beneficiaries: Colombia,Mexico,Brazil and Argentina.

A group of film directors and producers including Amol Palekar and Dilip Mehta will soon be off to Colombia on a familiarisation trip. Alejandro Pelaez,first secretary (commercial),Colombia told FE: “The ‘Fam’ trip will be organised in September-October,depending on the availability of directors and producers. Colombia is cost-effective compared to Brazil and Mexico.”

“Generally speaking,and considering the many factors influencing the final cost of an audiovisual production,Colombia is a competitive alternative to other Latin American and Caribbean countries. Naturally,costs incurred during a production vary considerably from one region to another and according to the needs of each project,“ Pelaez pointed out. In 2003,the Colombian Parliament enacted a law to promote film activity in Colombia,which attempts to bring about progressive,harmonious and equitable development of national cinematography.

Brazil is not far behind. Endomol — which has produced popular shows like Bigg Boss and The Great Indian Laughter Challenge — started shooting Khatron Ke Khiladi Season 3 in Rio de Janeiro from August 17. Shooting for the reality show,which is the Hindi version of Fear Factor,will be on till September 7. Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra is hosting the show.

“Copacabana seems to have captured the imagination of Bollywood. In 2006,Dhoom-II was shot in Rio,” R Vishwanathan,Indian ambassador to Argentina,Uruguay and Paraguay told FE from Buenos Aires.

“Media reports quoted Chopra as saying that she took up the Khatron Ke Khiladi as she likes to break rules,but she has so much to learn from the Brazilians who have made an art out of breaking rules called as jeitinho,” added Vishwanathan. Jeitinho is essentially a Brazilian way of getting around things,a loophole,an alternative way of doing things.

Aamir Khan,meanwhile,has contracted Gustavo Santaolalla of Brazil to direct music for Dhobi Ghat,a film by his wife Kiran Rao. Santaolalla was in Mumbai for this recently.

When the Hritik Roshan-starrer Kites was showcased at Cannes in 2009,it opened new markets in Mexico — thanks partly to its Mexican star Barbara Mori and to its international location. According to officials,the growing interest of Bollywood in Mexico was discussed during a recent India visit by its foreign minister. “Directors and producers are planning to visit that country soon,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

Back home,Mexican movie house chain Cinepolis is planning to invest $160 million in the South India for setting up multiplexes in four states. This will make India Cinepolis’ largest market outside Mexico. In seven years,about 500 screens will be opened,half of which will be in south India. Every screen will entail an investment of $700,000. Most of the investment will go into rentals and in developing screens. The amount would be funded through internal accruals.

The company,the fifth-largest theatre chain in the world,is aiming to move up to the fourth slot. It operates more than 2,000 screens in six countries.


HOUSEFUL

* Endomol has started shooting Khatron Ke Khiladi Season 3 in Rio de Janeiro from August 17

* Aamir Khan has contracted Gustavo Santaolalla of Brazil to direct music for Dhobi Ghat

* Many Bollywood directors and producers are planning to visit Mexico after Kites was being shot there

* Mexican movie house chain Cinepolis is planning to invest $160 million in the South India for setting up multiplexes

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