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Bollywood touch spices up Malaysian film industry

The Malaysian film industry, known for its staid offerings, is getting a dose of spice from its highly successful Indian counterpart.

entertainment Updated: Aug 01, 2007 18:13 IST

Sexy dances. Colorful costumes. Foot-tapping songs. Local movie stars have never seen anything like it on their sets.

The Malaysian film industry, known for its staid (some would say sleep-inducing) offerings, is getting a dose of spice from Bollywood, its highly successful Indian counterpart based in Mumbai, the city formerly known as Bombay.

"We are trying to sell colour of the kind they have never seen before," said Sharad Sharan, a former Bollywood assistant director hired by Malaysian media giant Astro to direct three films.

"I have given them good clothes, one of the best camera works. I have given them glamour."

The first movie, Diva, was released in June in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and India to modest success. The second, Tipu Kanan Tipu Kiri, or Cheating Right Cheating Left, is due out in September.

It's unusual for a Bollywood team (most of the technical crew hails from India) to create a movie for a foreign company or audience. The industry has almost never exported its signature style or influenced movie makers elsewhere.

Bollywood actors, such as Aishwarya Rai in The Mistress of Spices and Naseeruddin Shah in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have appeared in Hollywood films, but they have adapted to American ways, not the other way round.