European touch

Bangistan was the first Hindi film to be shot in Krawkow, a seventh century city in Poland

Written by Geety Sahgal | Mumbai | Updated: November 20, 2014 5:06:47 pm
Ritesh Deshmukh, Karan Anshuman and Pulkit Samrat at the main market square in Krawkow Ritesh Deshmukh, Karan Anshuman and Pulkit Samrat at the main market square in Krakow

The suggestion to shoot Bangistan, a film about two aspiring suicide bombers (Riteish Deshmukh and Pulkit Samrat), in Krakow a city in Poland which dates back to the seventh century, came from one of the line producers of the film, Zorg Werke.

The city is one of the oldest in Poland and it was the first time that a Hindi film was shot there. According to debutant director Karan Anshuman, Krakow is one of the more tourist friendly cities in Poland, in fact more than Warsaw. As most of Poland was ground to dust during the second world war, Krakow is the only city in Poland which has a lot of intriguing heritage structures left. There’s the centrally located main square— the largest medieval town square of any European city, Church of St. Wojciech, Church of St. Barbara as well as other national treasures.

“I could have shot Bangistan in any European city, but Krakow, which is just coming to terms with the 21st century and opening up to the outside world, was very exciting for me. All the historical structures there added to the charm of the backdrop. Most of my film was shot in and around Krakow over 35 days. It was very fascinating for me to shoot in Poland because I have grown up on Polish cinema and most of my film heroes are from there,” stated Anushuman, adding that getting permission to shoot there is easy, besides, one can shoot daily for 12 hours and take a weekly off.

The only problem about shooting in Poland, revealed the director, was communication, as the people there only speak Polish. “Otherwise there is not much difference in the language of cinema. I chose my cinematographer from Poland so that he could exploit the places we were shooting in and was conversant in English. I shot the film mostly on outdoor locations and found the people very friendly. In fact, since Kick had been shot in Poland, people kept asking for Salman Khan! After a point, I told them that I was Salman, and they believed that,” laughed the director.
The film according Anshuman will have a great visual appeal as besides Krakow it was also filmed in Ladakh and Banares.

The shooting of Bangistan wrapped up last month and the film, which is produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment, is presently in post-production.

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