Mumbai: As Indian cinema celebrates completion of 100 glorious years, South Africa has drawn up plans to attract Bollywood by offering its scenic landscapes to shoot films and extending special facilities.
"We are already in the process of identifying their (Indian filmmakers`) requirements to be able to enhance our offerings and facilitate greater support and value addition when they come to our country for film shootings," Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Mathume Joseph Phaanla told reporters in an interview here.
"Going forward, we would definitely like to attract more and more Bollywood producers to our country. We hope that locals are also taken into consideration when Bollywood films are made," he added.
The South African Minister`s assurance assumes significance as Bollywood is going global and becoming bigger.
The Hindi film industry, which churns out the largest number of movies per year, has now also set a new trend christened as `100 Crore Club` with some of the blockbusters netting Rs 100 crore or more in box office collection.
The Indian film Industry is considered as a complete package of entertainment, drama, emotion, love, action, thrill and adventure.
"We understand the importance of Bollywood and the vital role it plays in influencing travel decisions. We, therefore, will be investing more and more to tap the entertainment industry," said the visiting Minister.
Filmmakers are increasingly recognising South Africa`s value as a high-quality production site for their movies, Phaanla said, adding, "We are extending support and assistance to an increasing number of Bollywood producers."
To further leverage on this advantage, South Africa and Mumbai-based production house Illuminati Films have launched an exclusive television commercial campaign which showed how Bollywood movie `Cocktail` captured its picturesque locales and various fun experiences.
The film, starring Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty, has been extensively shot in Cape Town and hence presents a huge opportunity for South African Tourism authorities to promote their country among Indian travellers.
"After the release of `Cocktail` in India, we received a lot of queries from travel enthusiasts on visiting South Africa, which was shot beautifully in the movie. We hope to leverage such associations with Indian cinema in the future as well," Consulate General of South Africa Pule Malefane said.
A number of Hindi films like `Race`, `Gandhi My Father`, `Heyy Babyy`, `No Entry`, `Aankhen`, `Break Ke Baad`, `Dhoom 2`, `Ek Tha Tiger`, `Ghajini`, `Murder 3`, `Chasme Badoor`, `No Problem` and `Ashiqui 2` have been shot in the recent past in South Africa.
‘Phata Poster Nikla Hero’, an upcoming romantic comedy film starring Shahid Kapoor and Ileana D`Cruz, was recently shot in that country.
"From a location perspective, South Africa promises the best of everything: beaches, beautiful mountains, scenic landscape, wildlife and adventure, luxury experiences combined with cities and their vibrant night life," the Minister said.
Phaanla said the filmmakers are primarily looking at Cape Town and also exploring hitherto unknown yet fascinating locations in his country.
The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), which promotes Indian cinema globally, had organised its second award ceremony in Sun City, Africa in 2001.
The IIFA award ceremony, a prestigious event in annual Bollywood calender, returned to that country two years later (in 2003), where it was held in the sun-kissed shores of Johannesburg.