Bollywood’s connection with Australia: Indian movies shot ‘Down Under’, film festivals and other Bollywood related events held in Australia.
Australia is trying to get more Indian filmmakers to shoot in their country. After all, they have seen first-hand how a successful Indian movie (shot in their country) can increase tourists to their country. A Bollywood release means close to a quarter of a billion people will see the city’s popular tourist destinations, and that is definitely not a bad advertisement.
In fact the response is so good that Australian tourism officials are even throwing bucks at Bollywood film producers to get productions off the ground. Tourism Australia had contributed AU$350,000 to an eight-part Indian TV series, ‘Bade Ache Lagte Hain’ (viewed by an estimated 25 million Indians). In return for their investment they’ll get 66 minutes of destination footage of places such as Bondi Beach and the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Bollywood movies such as ‘Salaam Namaste’ and ‘Chak De! India’ were shot in Victoria (Federation Square and the Great Ocean Road), and post its release the number of Indian tourists to this place saw an increase of around 18 percent. No wonder that the Victorian Government has a ‘Bollywood for Victoria’ policy that promises to provide all the help to Indian filmmakers.
And even though nothing is certain when it comes to films, Australia seems to be convinced that India’s tourism potential is enormous. No wonder that several tourism bodies are turning to Bollywood films to market their popular destinations.
Bollywood Movies Shot in Australia
Popular Bollywood movies shot in Australia include: Bachna Ae Haseeno, Chak De India, Dil Chahta Hai, From Sydney With Love, Heyy Babyy, Hindustani, Love Story 2050, Ramaiya Vastavaiya, Salaam Namaste, Singh Is King, Bhaag milkha bhaag.
‘Shaadi Ke Side Effects’ (starring Farhan Akhtar & Vidya Balan) had a song “Tumse Pyar Ho Gaya” that was shot in & around Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Gold coast is famous for its white sandy beaches, world class theme parks, and the magnificent Hinterland.
Popular Locations in Sydney that have been capture in Indian movies include:
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House
Tanhayee song from ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ at Sydney Harbour Bridge
Popular Locations in Melbourne include:
Aussies Love Bollywood Movies
It seems that the Aussies don’t just love the game of cricket, they also love Bollywood movies. Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif starrer ‘Dhoom 3’ was one of the highest grossing foreign film of 2013 in Australia, and also won an award at the 69th Australian International Movie Convention, which hosted the annual Box Office Achievement Awards in Queensland.
The best part about the success of Dhoom 3 is Australia is that not only Indians but film lovers from various other communities and nationalities also enjoyed watching the film. Bollywood films are becoming popular thanks to the widespread exposure through the Indian Film Festival and also because most Hindi films are played with English subtitles at most major mainstream cinemas.
Even in Australia, piracy still remains a concern, especially for Bollywood films, as most people think that its okay to illegally download movies or watch pirated DVDs, and don’t equate it to stealing.
Awards Ceremonies Held in Australia
Several cities in Australia have a size-able Indian population, no wonder that the Indian film industry is of great interest to Australian audiences.
Here are some of the Events / Award Functions held in Melbourne:
Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM)
A film festival where stars and talented filmmakers introduce their films, take part in Q&As with audiences and, share their insights and experiences with fans and filmmakers. Some of them also get a chance to shake a leg with their idols.
Here’s a video promo of Indian Film Festival held in Melbourne 2013:
Pallavi Sharda: Australia’s Bollywood Star
She was the lead female actor (paired opposite Ranbir Kapoor) in the movie ‘Besharam’ (which unfortunately tanked). However Australian resident ‘Pallavi Sharda’ is not worried. She has already featured in eight films and has signed contracts to appear in leading roles in another three, including an Australian drama.
She is one of the few female actors in Bollywood who has completed her education and feels that having a degree takes the pressure off when you’re pursuing your dream. Pallavi studied at the University of Melbourne Arts and Law. Read more here…
Popular Australian destinations for tourists include the coastal cities of Sydney and Melbourne, as well as other high profile destinations including regional Queensland, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef. The unique Australian wildlife is also another significant point of interest in the country’s tourism.
NEW South Wales’ tourism body, Destination NSW, is keen to get more Indian visitors to this region, and recently launched a campaign known as ‘Jhappi Time’ (Jhappi means ‘Hug’ in Hindi) that showcases popular locations such as the Blue Mountains, Manly, Taronga Zoo and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in New South Wales.
The campaign targets friends and relatives of Indians living in Australia, and showcases Sydney & neighboring areas as a welcoming place, and not the place to get mugged, as is shown in the Indian media.
Tips When in the Oz Land
Things to Keep in mind when in Australia (few things that probably your guides may not tell you):
- If you’re in Sydney, carry your passport to any nightclub if you’re planning to party hard
- Locally produced Beer & Wine are more affordable in Australia. The menus mention which states the local beverages come from.
- Smoking in public is fine but if you throw the butt on the streets, you could be fined for littering. Use the trays that are installed.
- Australia has strict traffic rules. Wear seat bets irrespective of what vehicle you’re driving (its compulsory to wear seat belts on rear seats of cars).
- Cabs are expensive, use tram instead, or just walk like the locals do (the roads are wider and cleaner)