UK film on docs by docs to hit theatres
A romantic Bollywood film made by an Indian doctor will premiere in Wales on Sep 15.india Updated: Aug 30, 2006 16:22 IST
A romantic Bollywood film produced by a doctor of Indian origin and which depicts the life of Indian doctors in Britain's National Health Service is scheduled for a premiere in Wales on September 15.
Bhavishya has been produced, written, directed and edited by Nikhil Kaushik - a consultant ophthalmologist at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital - and features real life doctors and nurses.
It is mostly funded by Kaushik, 56, and is reported to have cost him 100,000 pounds. He used the bonuses he got from the National Health Service (NHS) for reducing hospital waiting lists to finance the film.
The film explores issues concerning medical migration - east to west and vice versa. It narrates the tale of the developing love between two young medics: a young doctor from Delhi who takes up work in the NHS and a British Asian doctor.
It includes songs in typical Bollywood style and features doctors from real life in Britain and India. The cast includes noted actor Saeed Jaffrey. The romantic leads, Akansha Tyagi and Vikrant Gautam, are both students coming to the end of their third year at Manchester Medical School.
Several scenes were shot in the hospital where Kaushik works, with clinical wards being converted into colourful sets during relatively quieter weekends. The scenes in India too feature real doctors (Harish Bhalla and Renu Nigam) and several scenes were shot in New Delhi and in the temple town of Hardwar.
Kaushik, a graduate of Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, came to Britain in 1977 and has been in Wrexham since 1987.
He told the media: "Some people thought I was mad and that includes some of my very close family. The bonus was additional income so it was an argument between me and my wife - she wanted an extension to the house.
"I wasn't very popular when I put the money into the film. But the good thing is that I offered her a small role in it. Initially I thought of going to Mumbai or London to find some professional actors but somewhere along the line it occurred to me that we could have real people.
"Films have been a passion of mine. There are a lot of dramas based on hospitals, which, by and large, focus on arguments about hospital resources and fighting between managers and doctors.
"But there are other subtle aspects of our personal lives, below the drama of the hospital. I thought of a story and one thing led to another and I found myself with a screenplay and script for the film. The premiere will be a wonderful event and you will see some of the doctors in a way you've never seen them before."
Staff nurse Sue Morris, who stars in the film, said: "I was the friend of the bride who gave her away at the wedding. I was frightened at first but it was good fun."
The British Medical Journal described the film as more "Bollywood meets medical documentary meets health education promo than a standard feature film".
The journal added: "What it lacks in cinematic polish and performer professionalism it certainly makes up for in curiosity value."