Sydney’s Hyde Park is being transformed with bright lights, musicians, Bollywood actors and a film crew as a second major Indian film begins filming this week.
The Member for Strathfield Ms Virginia Judge, said that Sydney is fast becoming Bollywood’s brightest new location as she welcomed Yash Raj Films to NSW.
Ms Judge, who visited the set of the new film, said that many iconic Sydney locations such as the Opera House and Hyde Park will feature in the Bollywood production.
‘This is another opportunity for us to showcase to the world our beautiful city and encourage more filmmakers to our shores,’ Ms Judge said.
‘This is a wonderful example of the Iemma Government working co-operatively with business to ensure that locations such as Hyde Park are available for filming.’
The new yet-to-be-titled film is directed by Salaam Namaste director Siddharth Anand and features India superstar Deepika Padukone (Om Shanti Omr). Yash Raj Films is one of India’s largest production companies producing international blockbusters such as Salaam Namaste and Chak de! India, which were both made in Australia.
Ms Judge said that the Iemma Government recently announced that a range of red-tape reduction initiatives are being considered to attract more production to the State.
‘Films such as this new Bollywood production pour millions of dollars into the NSW economy and employ local cast and crew,’ Ms Judge said.
‘Tourism NSW figures indicate that visitors from India are expected to grow 372 per cent between 2006 and 2016 with an annual growth of 18 per cent each year.
‘India is by far our highest growth international market.’
Also filming in Sydney this summer has been the film Victory, featuring members of the Australian cricket team. Virginia was asked to also appear on the set for this film.
The Iemma Government allocated more than $9 million in the 2007-08 State Budget to the NSW Film and Television Office, to support the local industry film industry with grants and other assistance.
Australian Line Producer Mitu Bhowmick thanked the NSW Government for its support in bringing this new Bollywood film to Sydney.
‘We’ve loved filming in Sydney. We’ve had tremendous help and advice from the New South Wales Film and Television Office and other Government agencies as well as the City of Sydney to make it possible for the production to access some of Sydney’s most spectacular locations.’