London is one of the favourite locales for Bollywood producers and several blockbusters have been shot here. Now the frequent shootings have come in for criticism from irritated local residents.
Some of them have complained to local councils that the producers do not follow health and safety rules during their shooting schedules.
Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street are popular locations for Bollywood shootings.
Reports say that the Westminster Council is unhappy with producers who fail to respect the licences by blocking pavements and roads, serving hot food and over-running licence times without permission.
There are about 1,500 filming days a year in the City of Westminster.
Tim Owen, spokesman for its special events and filming team, has warned that directors could be arrested for obstructing the highway and causing a public nuisance.
Owen told the British Asian weekly Eastern Eye: "Bollywood is a very generic term and there are a few who take advantage. They bring a lot of cast members and entourage and they do not always tell us this."
Recently, crewmembers reportedly stood on the pavement to halt pedestrians on Shaftesbury Avenue in order to shoot a couple of scenes.
Owen gives another example of an Asian film crew that shot in Leicester Square, near Odeon.
He said: "They set up a kitchen to feed their cast in Leicester Square. They were not given permission for this."
He said it was mostly residents or businesses that had complained.
However, because of confidentiality clauses, the council will not reveal the names of the films or the producers involved.
Avtar Panesar, head of operations at Yash Raj Films, said some filmmakers genuinely came to Britain unprepared, relying on advice from unofficial people.
He added: "There is a lot of foreign exchange coming into the country from film companies. You can spend a quarter to half a million pounds in 20 to 30 days working here.
"They (councils) need to appreciate that sometimes in the film industry you do not have the time to complete the work within the authority's timeline.
"The Indian film industry does not work like the Hollywood film industry; that is the nature of the beast."
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