Friday, November 6, 2009

Flanders Bollywood Destination

Shooting abroad really came into its own a little over a decade ago, but the film
that got filmmakers thinking of heading westwards was Raj Kapoor’s Sangam in the early sixties.

Among the other old films which brought plenty of foreign locales alive on the silver screen were Pachhi’s International Crook, Shakti Samanta’s ‘An Evening In Paris’ and Great Gambler, Manoj Kumar’s ‘Purab Aur Pachhim’, Brij Sadanah’s ‘Night In London’, the Sameer-Simi starrer ‘Pasand Apni Apni’ and the Rajesh Khanna starrer, ‘Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka’.

But as film budgets grew bigger and bigger, producers and directors became more and more lavish and began to cross frontiers to give their viewers (and their stars, of course!) free foreign trips, so to say.

Today, it’s not just films but television serials too which are heading overseas. In a bid to promote tourism, tourism boards across the world are luring film and television producers by offering attractive incentives. Among these are securing permissions for shooting in locations, discounts in accommodations and also offer cash incentives.

To promote Flanders as a new Bollywood Destination, Tourism Flanders hosted a reccee for leading Bollywood directors and producers such as Suresh Naidu, Ravi Chopra, Mukesh Bhatt, Mohit Suri, Ramesh Sippy from the Indian film industry to the destination for 5 nights.

The trip included visits to the historic cities of Brussels, Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp - including parts of the scenic countryside Meetings with the filming commissions and tourism offices at the respective places were also held.