10 must-see film locations in Goa
As the IFFI gets underway on November 20, here’s a quick look at some of the locations in Goa where Hindi & Hollywood films were shot
Every November, filmmakers, actors, cineastes troop down to Goa for the annual International Film Festival of India (IFFI). Goa and films have had a long-standing relationship with the state being the setting for several memorable films. Gumnaam (1965) was one of the earliest films shot in independent Goa, followed by Amitabh Bachchan’s debut film Saat Hindustani (1969) and the unforgettable road comedy Bombay to Goa (1972), among countless others including Goa Goa Gone, Dum Maaro Dum, Honeymoon Travels, Khamoshi.
As Goa gets ready for the 54th IFFI, here is a quick look at some of the popular films and the Goa locations where they were shot.
1. Chapora Fort (Dil Chahta Hai): “Oh! You mean the Dil Chahta Hai fort!” Do not drop a jaw if a tour guide or a local says so every time you mention the Chapora Fort made of sturdy, irregularly shaped laterite walls, with just a hint of secret tunnels. Not many now talk of the historic battles fought here, it is the 2001-film reference narrating the friendship of Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna that takes over the Chapora conversation.
2. Palolem Beach (The Bourne Supremacy): Remember, the opening scenes in The Bourne Supremacy (second of the Jason Bourne universe) where two years after the events in the first movie (The Bourne Identity), Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) and his girlfriend (Franka Potente) have vanished from everyone’s eyes and are lying low in Goa. That’s the Palolem Beach where Bourne walks around the sun-kissed beaches, bustling markets, and labyrinthine streets.
3. Mormugao Harbour (The Sea Wolves): Based on a real-life incident during World War II, the 1980 film The Sea Wolves starring Gregory Peck, Roger Moore and David Niven was shot in the Mormugao Harbour and its fort that was once equipped with 53 guns and a garrison with four officers. The historical incident involved Operation Creek, the Calcutta Light Horse's covert attack on March 9, 1943, against a German merchant ship, which had been transmitting information to U-boats from Mormugão Harbour in neutral Portugal's territory of Goa. The Sea Wolves was perhaps the first Hollywood film shot in Goa and it premiered in Panaji, the state capital , in aid of the Goa Cancer Society.
4. Old GMC Complex (Golmaal Series): A heritage complex on the banks of the Mandovi river, Old GMC Complex was the setting for Rohit Shetty’s comedy series Golmaal. The film also featured the beautiful Maquinez Palace that was built in 1702 and later occupied by the Portuguese to house a medical institution. Today, the Maquinez Palace houses the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) that hosts the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
5. Dudhsagar Waterfall (Chennai Express): A four-tiered waterfall that literally means Sea of Milk, Dudhsagar Waterfall that lies one the Goa-Karnataka border was featured in Shah Rukh Khan & Deepika Padukone starrer Chennai Express. It is the spot where SRK gets down from the train with Deepika, right in front of a majestic waterfall.
6. St Augustine Ruins (Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa): One of Shah Rukh Khan's most memorable movies directed by Kundan Shah, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa was filmed at Colva beach, Fort Aguada and the ruins of St Augustine. Ol’ timers will also remember the hit 1965 suspense film Gumnaam (Mehmood, Nanda & Helen) which was shot in Goa and among other locations also featured the ruins of St Augustine, which was originally built in 1602 and is now part of World Heritage Site.
7. Aguada Fort & Beach (Dhoom): A well-preserved seventeenth-century Portuguese fort, along with a lighthouse, standing by Candolim’s Sinquerim Beach, Fort Aguada was featured in films Dhoom, Dil Chahta Hai and Rangeela.
8. Dona Paula Jetty (Singham): Remember that iconic fight sequence in Ajay Devgn-starrer Singham? It was shot in Dona Paula jetty that was also featured in Kamal Hassan and Rati Agnihotri’s blockbuster Ek Duje Ke Liye. Some say that the tragic love story was inspired by the real-life love story of Dona and Paula, star-crossed lovers who lend their names to the area.
9. Parra Road (Dear Zindagi): Flanked by tall palm tress, Parra Road connects the villages of Parra and Guirim and shot to fame when Shah Rukh Khan and Ali Bhatt rode their cycles in a sequence of the film Dear Zindagi.
10. Divar Island (Finding Fanny): Directed by Homi Adajania, Finding Fanny was shot in Goa as part of Goa’s Department of Tourism brand activation campaign that intended to promote Goa as a ‘land of contrasts’. Shot extensively in Divar Island, Finding Fanny was also shot in the state’s other locations including Lisbon House in Assagao village, Siolim bridge, Three King's Church, and St Jacinto Bridge.
Amitabh Bachchan’s first film was about Goa’s liberation: Saat Hindustani (1969) was Amitabh Bachchan’s debut film that told the story of Goa’s liberation from Portuguese rule. Directed by Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, this black and white film is about 7 Indians on a mission to host seven flags at seven prominent police stations or monuments in Goa. Amitabh Bachchan won the National Award for Best Newcomer for his performance in this film.
On his Facebook, Amitabh Bachchan had posted a still from the film on September 23, 2017, with the caption: “That scene from my first film 'Saat Hindustani' when fighting for the independence of Goa after being tortured by the Portuguese, and asked to crawl on the ground….but the character defies them and with those lacerated bleeding feet actually walks barefoot across for freedom”.