Remember the gorgeous locales of Sydney in the backdrop of Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone’s sizzling romance in Bachna Ae Haseeno? Chances are, you might not get to see such breathtaking visuals of Australia in Bollywood movies any time soon.
As the situation Down Under worsens, with a second wave of horrifying and allegedly racist attacks on Indian students, Bollywood stands divided over whether to do outdoor shoots in Australia.
Director Kunal Kohli, of Hum Tum and Fanaa fame, has vetoed the country for his upcoming film, Break Ke Baad. This, he says, is his show of solidarity towards the victims of racism., a number that shockingly stands at 1,447 since July 2008 in the Australian state of Victoria alone. “When you film in a foreign country, you tap the local infrastructure and this benefits them in monetary terms. So, it’s only fair that their authorities take steps to protect us,” asserts Kohli. He will now be filming in Cape Town, South Africa.
Filmmaker Karan Johar, completed the first schedule of Stepmom in Sydney recently, though he did want to shift venue to the US earlier.
Taking a different stand is director Mohit Suri, who is flying to Australia in March to shoot his film Crook, which is based on the racist attacks. Suri insists that it would be impossible to shoot anywhere other than Melbourne. “If we were to stop others from going to Australia, we would be just as racist,” he says. The Film Producers Guild has not taken any official stand on the matter. “Producers may take their own call,” says Manmohan Shetty, Guild president.