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London’s Mayor meets Amitabh Bachchan
Bollywood Trade News Network
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, met Bollywood superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, last week at an evening reception hosted by the Nehru Centre in London at the invitation of the Indian International Films Academy Awards (IIFAs). Speaking at the reception the Mayor discussed the growing relationship between the Indian and London film industries and highlighted that closer collaboration between London and Bollywood would form part of his programme for extending business and cultural links between the capital and India in 2007.
Interest in Bollywood has grown significantly in the UK, with 2.6 million visits to Hindi films in the last year, making Indian film the most popular foreign language film in the country.
London is becoming an increasingly popular destination for the Bollywood film industry. Indian film productions are now worth $28m annually to London; in 2005, 35 Indian productions were filmed in the Borough of Westminster alone. The Mayor of London attended the reception as part of a series of initiatives designed to continue strengthening links between the two great film industries of India and the UK.
This summer the capital will host a spectacular Bollywood showcase designed to launch the largest celebration of Indian film ever seen in London. The event will form part of 'India Now' season, a three month celebration of Indian culture and creative industries backed by the Mayor of London, which offers Londoners and its visitors the opportunity to experience a series of festivities and exhibitions dedicated to Indian art, film, theatre, fashion and food.
In November the Mayor will lead an official visit to India to open Mayoral offices in both Delhi and Mumbai. During his visit, film will represent a significant part of London's programme of activity.
The Mayor said: 'Film is an incredibly important industry to both India and the UK, especially the global film centres of London and Mumbai, and I am committed to developing cultural and economic links between London and India. 2007 is an exciting year as we look to strengthen London's relations with India, building on the significant contribution that London's Indian community already makes to the economic, cultural and social success of the capital.'