Indian finds Britain's weather good for films
By Prasun Sonwalkar, IANS
The joke is that everyone criticises British weather but nobody does anything about it. Now, an Indian film producer wants to make a difference.
Film production consultant Rana Das finds Britain's dark and gloomy weather attractive enough to shoot films, particularly in Birmingham.
Bollywood producers are now said to find the gloom-and-doom weather an "exotic change" from the endless bright sunshine and blue skies.
When Das visited Birmingham recently to look at possible locations, he found the rain, mist and gloom one of its star attractions.
Das, working on the film project "Remember Me" for JMT Productions, was attracted to the city by a Screen West Midlands poster campaign at the Kolkata Film Festival promising the best curries outside India.
However, it was the wintry climate that he found most exciting.
"I like the rain, the mist, the gloom here," he said. "Any weather different to that of India will appeal to a film maker, and even the rain is a gentle rain -it's not a fierce monsoon rain."
Birmingham, a bustling town in the West Midlands, could be the new destination of Bollywood producers, going by Das' exultations.
"The West Midlands is a very nice place and has a lot to offer for film makers in terms of locations.
"Birmingham struck me as a place where a great deal of urban regeneration is turning it into a modern European city," he said.
Meteorologist John Kings of Birmingham University explained: "Das witnessed anti-cyclonic gloom, which is typical of our weather at this time of year with mist and drizzle for hours on end.
"This occurs reasonably frequently in early spring and autumn, so if the timing is right Birmingham's weather could have a starring role."
A decision on whether the film will come to the West Midlands is expected in the next two weeks.
The campaign to bring Indian productions to the region is backed by Birmingham City Council, Advantage West Midlands and UK Trade and Investment, with support on offer from Screen West Midlands' 3 million pound production fund.