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Australian PM says Salaam Namaste to B'wood

About 40 Bollywood films have been shot in Australia since early 2000.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2006 12:45 IST

Australian Prime Minister John Howard met Bollywood leading lights on Tuesday and urged the Indian film industry to shoot more of its cinema in his country.

About 40 Bollywood films have been shot in Australia since early 2000,film officials said, with two hits(Dil Chahata Haiand Salaam Namaste set in Sydney and Melbourne respectively)going down especially well with Indian audiences.

Howard, who is on a four-day visit to India, said he and his wife had watched Salaam Namaste, a romantic comedy about pre-marital sex, and enjoyed it.

"You have cleverly exploited the background of the city," the prime minister told one of the film's stars while asking the crew how they felt filming around Melbourne. The film also stars Australian actress Tania Zaetta.

Howard, accompanied by his wife, was presented with a DVD of the film as it played on a huge television screen behind him.

"Bollywood is much talked about and reported in Australia. It has helped bring the two countries closer," Howard said after being introduced to leading Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra, the man who directed Salaam Namaste.

"We encourage more and more Indian movies to be filmed in Australia," Howard told Reuters.

Canberra hopes Bollywood's interest in Australia will lure Indian holiday-makers.

First Published: Mar 08, 2006 12:45 IST