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Portugal to become Bollywood movie hub

Portugal is set to become a “movie hub for Bollywood”, reports Diário de Notícias. Indian film producers have revealed that for the first time, a Bollywood film is going to be shot in its entirety in Portugal and will almost certainly pave the way for many more.

Entitled ‘Airport – Shaira & Me’, the film will be filmed mostly in Lisbon, with scenes in Porto, Sintra, Beja and some beaches of the Algarve.

It will be produced by Windmill Entertainment – owned by Bollywood star Shekhar Suman – and All Around Globe which last month opened an office in Lisbon.

Director Adhyayen Suman describes the movie as a “coming-of-age tale” of an “Indian man and a Middle-Eastern woman who fall in love after they are forced to remain in Lisbon due to an emergency on their plane”.

Speaking to DN, Suman said he discovered Lisbon “by accident” but ended up falling in love with it.

“It inspired me,” he said. Now all he wants is to “film in a place where no other Bollywood production has been before. I want to do something new,” he added, describing the Portuguese people as the “kindest” he’s ever seen.

Shooting begins in April and producers vow their work will “make Indians choose Lisbon as a tourist destination”.

In fact, All Around Globe says it wants to “bring Bollywood to Portugal”.

“From now on a lot of Indian films will be shot here. I discovered Lisbon three years ago and have already filmed scenes here for four big Bollywood movies. I love Portugal,” said the head of the production company, Rengarajan Jaiprakash.

He added All Around Globe also wants to bring Indian spices to Portugal, and take Portuguese olive oil back to India.

Jaiprakash also said he hopes Lisbon’s Film Commission will help this project “in any way it can”, as it can “change Portugal’s image in India”.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com