Malaysia emerges as the new centre for Indian films
By Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
Indian films seem to be spreading its tentacles and the net is not being spread by it, but it is the other way around i.e. the films that are shot in those countries emerge as the brand ambassador for the country. Shahrukh Khan's DON which was shot more than 80% in Malaysia seems to have been the catalytic factor for according the official status to Indian films by the Malaysian government. As a step forward in this direction authorities of the Malaysian government have extended the offer to the Indian industry to jointly produce and direct Hindi films. This offer was reportedly given by the Malaysian Prime Minister Abdula Badawi on the eve of Indian Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh's visit to Malaysia.
So, Hindi films are emerging as a major contributor to development of trade between the two countries. Interestingly enough, though Hindi as a language is Greek to most of the citizens in Malaysia, the catchy tunes of the Hindi movies enamors most of the citizens. So Malaysia follows in the tradition of Egypt and Afghanistan where the citizens are crazy about the movies from India but the craze is triggered owing to the catchy tunes of the Indian films. The difference in Malaysia lies in the fact that here the interest is also being evinced from the top of the government which is yet to come from other two countries.
Off late Malaysia had been promoted in a small way through Ram Gopal Varma’s COMPANY, ONE TWO KA FOUR, HAMRAAZ and JURM. Karan Johar also has included a part of Malaysia in his 'adult' movie, KABHI ALVIDA NA KEHNA, where a song was picturised on Shah Rukh and Rani Mukherjee and this may have been the catalytic factor for shooting more than 80% of DON.
It is the Hindi film industry which has recently warmed up to Malaysia in a big way, but for the Tamil film industry Malaysia has been the backwaters and most of the films produced in Tamil have Malaysia in one form or the other.
Malaysia has a formula-1 racing, which could be utilized for shooting interesting scenes, may be we could see a part of DHOOM-3 being shot in this Formula-1, at a cost which is peanuts as compared that which would have to be entailed by an Indian producer where he to shoot the same in European countries.
Malaysia has been the favorite destination of Hollywood for quite some time and a past of the hit musical of 1950s SOUTH PACIFIC was shot here and a part of SANDOKAN was also shot in Malaysia. Probably, now the time has come for the Hindi film industry to gain a foothold in Malaysia as well, which will further add global fervor to its outreach.