Shooting for anti-racial film `Crook` begins in Australia

Melbourne: Mahesh Bhatt`s film `Crook: It`s Good to be Bad` based on the racist attacks on Indian students in Australia has finally begun its shooting in the country.

The film, to be directed by Mohit Suri, is about a self-absorbed young Indian man to be played by actor Emraan Hashmi. It charts the protagonist`s journey from apathy to sensitivity about the way young students are treated abroad.

Mahesh, who had earlier visited Down Under to explore on the project, has denied media reports of visa processing delays, saying that the speed of visa processing had no
interference with the film.

According to Sydney-based film maker and producer Anupam Sharma, the film was the vital project that would reveal actual facts about Australia.

"All the negative hype about Australia in India is just that - hype. It is now taking comical proportions as the facts are totally different. In the last nine months some of maximum number of projects and money has been spent in Australia by Indian films, which is has strengthened the relations between the two film industries more than before," said Sharma.

Mukesh Bhatt, the producer of the film `Crook` said there was a tremendous support from Australia for the project.

"Vishesh films has shot all around the world and we hope to start a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Australia with hopefully many more projects in the country," he said.

He denied reports that Australian authorities were delaying the crew visa process because of the sensitivity of the subject.

"The film support mechanisms in Australia have been extremely supportive and we are looking at possible collaborations and co-productions with Australia and Australian companies like Films & Casting Temple," he said.

`Crook` is set to release worldwide later in 2010. The film was conceptualised after the series of racial attacks against Indian students in Australia, which received a blanket media coverage across the globe.

More than 100 attacks have been reported against Indian students in Australia since June last year. 21-year-old Nitin Garg, who was stabbed to death here on January 2, was the first victim of such assaults this year.