We grew up on Bollywood movies: Moroccan director

Kolkata: Acclaimed Moroccan filmmaker Ahmed Boulane Sunday said people in his country grow up watching Indian, especially Bollywood movies, which have influenced film-making in his country.

"People back home just love Indian, especially Bollywood movies. Amitabh (Bachchan) and Shah Rukh (Khan) are as popular in Morocco as they are in India," Boulane said here.

"Moroccan culture is similar to Indian culture. We all are very emotive, which is reflected in our cinema. Bollywood movies certainly have had an influence on our film-making," said Boulane, who has watched the Shammi Kapoor-starrer ‘Teesri Manzil’ several times.

"Let me tell you something, my second movie ‘The Satanic Angels’ beat Shah Rukh and Amitabh at the box office in Morocco," added Boulane with a chuckle.

Taking about his movie ‘Le Retour du Fils’ (Return of the Son) which was screened Sunday at the 18th Kolkata International Film Festival here, he said the film had some similarity to his relationship with his son.

"Fifteen years after being kidnapped by his European mother and taken to Europe, Mehdi (protagonist) returns to Morocco. The story is about his identity: two parents, two countries and two very different cultures," said Boulane.

Boulane started off as an actor and gradually drifted towards direction. He said he still enjoys acting but preferred doing cameos. He acted alongside Hollywood`s Kate Winslet in the 1998 movie "Hideous Kinky".

Known more for his second film ‘The Satanic Angels’, Boulane also expressed happiness on coming back to India.

"I love this country. I have participated in several film festivals here and hope to come back again and again," said Boulane.