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Bollywood returns to Russia: after a long break, more Indian films are screened and filmed in the country

Bollywood returns to Russia: after a long break, more Indian films are screened and filmed in the country


Several generations of Russians grew up watching Indian films with subtitles and were amazed by Raj Kapoor, Mithun Chakraborty, Hema Malini and Shah Rukh Khan years ago. Today, after a gap of about three decades, industry players and authorities are making efforts to revive the ancient cultural connection through Indian films by increasing shootings and screenings of Indian films in Russia.

Russian film production and distribution companies and government officials are seeking to attract Indian filmmakers and films now that Hollywood films are absent in Russia following the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Sarfaraz Alam Safu, who runs Kartina Entertainment, a production company for Indian films in Russia and the CIS countries, said there is growing interest from Indian filmmakers and parts of some recent films including Sardar Udham, Pathan , Tiger and Jugjugg Jeeyo, were filmed there.
I am also working on a film, which is a biopic of Rakesh Sharma (the first Indian in space) which will be shot here and will be produced by Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Safu said. Companies like Dharma Productions, Excel Entertainment, Emmay Entertainment, Rohit Shetty Productions and many others are in touch with us for several projects, he added.

Local authorities hope to attract more Indian filmmakers this year with lower production costs.

We are now like the ticket office or supermarket of all services for filmmakers, because we try to reduce their production expenses as much as possible by offering a low price for filming here, said Evgeny Kozlov, first deputy head of the mayor's office . and the Moscow government. Upcoming Tamil action film The Greatest of All Time last month became the first foreign film shot under the Moscow-Cinema City program which provides subsidies to filmmakers. I hope we will see several Indian Bollywood projects filmed this year in Moscow, Kozlov said. We started working in depth with Bollywood companies to invite Bollywood filmmakers to the Moscow film hub. My colleagues at the Moscow Department of Culture, who are responsible for attracting filmmakers, are also trying to establish links with Bollywood filmmakers. Kozlov is also chairman of the Moscow City Tourism Committee. At the same time, more and more Indian films are being shown across Russia as Hollywood blockbusters, which dominated Russian cinemas after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, are no longer shown in Russia. .

In addition to Moscow and St. Petersburg, Indian films are screened in more than 40 locations across the country, including Arkhangelsk, Belgorod, Kazan, Penza, Saratov, Tula, Ulyanovsk and Cheboksary.

Mirzoyan Karen Rudolfovich, general producer of Indian films in Russia, said he hoped Indian films would capture about 20% of the Russian film market in the next four to five years, up from less than 5% currently. Hollywood has invested a lot to popularize its actors in Russia. This is missing from Indian films, said Rudolfovich, who has been working on Indian projects for eight years.

We work with production houses such as Red Chillies and Dharma Productions, and our company buys the rights to Indian films for screening in Russia, he said.

Abhishek Anand, a Russian language translator and interpreter who also acted in a recent Indian film shot in Russia, said the older generation of Russians had a totally different emotion for Indians as they were very fond of actors such as Raj Kapoor. But films such as Pathan, Pushpa, Bahubali and RRR have also done well here, he said. Pathan was shot here and there is a Russian dialogue in the film which has found audiences here very well, Anand added.




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