The hill state of Himachal Pradesh and the picturesque locales of the Kullu-Manali valley has attracted many Bollywood film makers, especially after the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir. And from Mani Ratnam (ROJA) to Anil Sharma (HERO and AB TUMHARE HAWAALE WATAN SAATHIYO), Mohit Suri (RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES...) and Imtiaz Ali (JAB WE MET), all have thronged the beautiful valley to shoot their films. The lush green valley, the mighty snow capped peaks, the ancient architecture and the colourful culture have been an added advantage, apart from the fact that it is easily approachable by land and air. But there has been no shooting of Hollywood films in Himachal, despite it being a favourite haunt of foreign tourists, especially areas like Old Manali and Kasual (Manikaran).
However, good news for the people of Himachal is that its beauty will finally be brought to light via a big budget Hollywood film. In order to finalize the location, an English filmmaker has already reached Manali and the script is being written keeping the geographical factors in mind. ''Delhi's Moon Rise Productions (which handled the Agra shoot of the Oscar winning SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) are the Line Producers of this ambitious film. Kaushik Guha of Moon Rise Productions'' informs that it's a big company which has made three big films in Hollywood. Guha refuses to divulge the name of the filmmaker citing secrecy oath under legal agreement. But the film maker is in all probability from London. Apart from Himachal, Kashmir and Jaisalmer have also been chosen as locations. The unit will be in Himachal as soon as the program is finalized and the arrangements are made for their stay. Local coordinator, Anil Kayastha, who handles the shooting and stay of stars and the units in Himachal too confirms the above but refuses to give out the name of either the company or the film maker.
The buzz doing the rounds at the hill station Manali is that in all probability it's the same company which made the Oscar winning SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. The official confirmation is awaited, so it is too early to jump to conclusions.