ibnlive » Movies

Jun 16, 2007 at 01:21pm IST

Young B'wood turks go wild in Africa

Nairobi (Kenya): Nearly 1,00,000 Indians live in Kenya and contribute to a vibrant film market there.

Films release simultaneously in India and Kenya and make up to 4,00,000 Kenyan shillings though that's slim pickings compared to what Indian films mop up in US, UK or UAE.

However, now, with the Kenya Film Commission going all out to woo Indian filmmakers, Kenya could just become the next big ticket Bollywood destination.

Nairobi is currently home to three bright young talents of the Hindi film industry - all taking a walk on the wild side.

The first is director Rajkumar Hirani who is not taking a break after Lage Raho Munnabhai, but is instead holed up in Nairobi, scripting a satire on the education system in India.

For director Shaad Ali, Nairobi is a breather before the promotional activity for his Yashraj film Jhoom Barabar Jhoom begins.

And then there is director Nikhil Advani, whose love saga Salaam-e-Ishq may have disappointed Indians, but has been a big hit in Kenya.

These young guns are all in Kenya looking for inspiration and a location.

Raju Hirani says, “For me its been an inspiring trip from watching so many locations apart from meeting lovely people, I emphasised on the fact that lot of lovely people here.”

Shaad Ali says, “Its going to be a unique experience what I feel if one does come here.”

Nikhil Advani says, “First phase thriller shot in the bars of Nairobi and shot in the valleys of Nairobi, I think so you can.”

The nine-month-old Kenya Film Commission is pulling all the stops to attract film crews to Kenya.

Some of the recent Hollywood hits, including The Constant Gardener, Tomb Raider 2 and Nowhere in Africa were all shot in the country, and now the commission has trained it's sights on India.

Apart from incentives like double tax rebates, single window clearances, and the large storehouse of equipment within the Film Studio in Nairobi, the large Indian diaspora in the country means that Kenya's biggest draw is it's affinity to India.

It's also a chance to resuscitate a withering local film industry that sees less than five films release every year.

The Indian contingent got the complete African safari treatment, from a dazzling performance by the Samburu Tribe, to glimpses of African elephants and giraffe at the Shaba game reserve.

And to top it all, the people of Kenya never let them forget that they were away from home.

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