Poland is located in the heart of Europe and is well known for its history, which is reflected in its various museums and historical sites, including the Auschwitz concentration camp which reminds one of the horrors of the Second World War.
Several Hollywood movies, such as Schindler’s List and The Pianist have been shot in Poland.
Poland has also now caught the attention of Indian filmmakers, including those in Bollywood, Kollywood and Tollywood. Several Indian films and advertisements have already been filmed in Poland.
Among the Bollywood films shot in Poland, Salman Khan’s movie ‘Kick’ is the most well-known one; the movie was filmed extensively in Poland.
Poland was in the thick of the action in World War 2, and that’s one of the reasons so many International films have been shot in this country.
Recall seeing ‘the Pianist’? It was a movie about a brilliant pianist, a Polish Jew, who escapes deportation and eludes capture by living in the ruins of Warsaw.
Poland is also a beautiful country (after all its in Europe) and is part of the global tourism market. The attractions include several popular (& historic) cities, stunning landscapes, mountains & forests.
Bollywood Movies Shot in Poland
Since several Hollywood movies get filmed in this country, Poland has good infrastructure and expertise in the area of production & post-production, which Bollywood has started taking note of.
Apart from the modern-looking ‘Warsaw’, the historical architecture of Poland attracts Indian producers and filmmakers.
Places of Interest for filmmakers: Cities like Warsaw (Capital of Poland), Krakow (old capital of Poland). Palaces, museums, and castles (such as Kozłówka palace in eastern Poland, castle in Lubiąż).
For a long time, the Polish tourism department has been urging Bollywood producers and directors to use Poland for their outdoor shooting. Salman Khan’s Kick was the first blockbuster Bollywood movie to be filmed in Poland.
Palace of Culture – Tallest building in Warsaw, donated by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.
The movie ‘Kick’ had some daring/thrilling fight scenes, and the Polish capital ‘Warsaw’ was selected for its tall buildings and several river bridges. In the movie, there were scenes such as Salman jumping from the Gdanski bridge on the river Vistula, and a helicopter crash scene as well.
The first Bollywood movie to be shot in Poland was Aamir Khan’s ‘Fanaa’ (Poland was shown as Kashmir in the movie). Fanaa had several scenes that were shot in Zakopane, Poland.
Bollywood comedy movie ‘Bangistan’ (starring Riteish Deshmukh & Jacqueline Fernandez) was filmed in Krakow. Several Indian ad films (such as Yardley deodorant, Delishus biscuits, among others) have already been shot in Poland. Although Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (starring Farhan Akhtar) was NOT shot in this country, the post-production work of that movie was done in a Polish studio.
Poland wants to be the new Switzerland for Bollywood and is enticing Indian filmmakers through promotions, all kind of help, including incentives.
London’s Loss is Warsaw’s Gain
The part of the movie ‘Kick’ which was shot in Warsaw was originally planned to be shot in London, but because British authorities denied Salman Khan the necessary visa (because of the court cases against Salman Khan that were gaining attention in India back then), the shooting had to be moved to Warsaw in Poland.
Salman Khan (who seems to be hurt) is all praise for Poland and has since been recommending the place to others.
He finds Poland to be an extremely beautiful country and the city of Warsaw is like the place of his dreams. Salman feels Bollywood producers should opt for this country (to shoot films) as it offers all the required technical facilities. “Polish people are very understanding and friendly. I would love to come again and again even to chill out from my heavy commitments.’ Salman said.
Polish Calls on Bollywood to Film More Projects in Poland
Even before Bollywood filmmakers turned their attention towards Poland, their government had been requesting Bollywood to film more projects in Poland.
Their reasoning was that Bollywood can take advantage of Poland’s experienced film crew (with international experience on several big foreign projects) and in turn, Poland can benefit from the film tourism that Bollywood can deliver. Obviously, they wanted to emulate the success that ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ had on Spain’s tourism.
We hope that there is more co-operation between India and Poland. A lot of agencies
from Poland are engaging with India as far as encouraging film shooting in Poland is concerned.
Professor Piotr Klodkowski, Polish Ambassador to India
Three institutions have been especially instrumental in bringing Indian moviemakers to Poland. In particular, The Polish Tourism Organization (Polska Organizacja Turystyki), Film Polska Productions, and Kraków Festival Office (Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe) have been instrumental in bringing Indian filmmakers to Poland.
In 2012, the Polish Tourism Organization started the “I like Poland” campaign, which focused on foreign tourist markets, including India (and its various film industries). As part of the program, the Polish Tourism Organization even offered a financial incentive to Salman’s movie ‘Kick’ to get them to shoot in Poland (and it seems to be paying them dividends now).
The good thing is that Bollywood has started taking note of Poland and several new productions are underway in that country.
Poland has got a truly fascinating history, great cultural heritage, and several areas of outstanding natural beauty. Must see places in Poland include Krakow, Warszawa, Gdansk, Częstochowa, Auschwitz, the Tatra mountains.
Warsaw is a world in itself, with an eastern European flavor, and was practically rebuilt from scratch after World War II (None of the Indian metros come even close to it). Today it has a vibrant business downtown with several skyscrapers (and ambitious plans to build more), although still dominated by the enormous Palace of Culture and Science.
Things to see in Warsaw include the beautiful Old Town, the Royal Route, the Chopin museum, several magnificent palaces and the former Jewish ghetto.
- Main Market Square – Located in the Old Town in Krakow, this is the largest medieval town square in Europe and one of the main tourist attractions in Poland. The square is surrounded by historical townhouses, historic buildings, palaces and churches. The center of the square is dominated by the Renaissance style ‘Cloth Hall’.
- Warsaw Old Market Place – Warsaw’s central marketplace has been the heart of Polish culture for several centuries. The market square features a bronze sculpture of the Warsaw mermaid, the symbol of Poland’s capital.
- Gdansk Old Town – Includes several 17th century structures, including granaries, mills and churches.
- Bialowieza Forest – Located between the borders of Poland and Belarus, this forest is a large remnant of the primeval forests that once covered much of Europe, guided tours are available either on foot or in horse-drawn carriages.
- Wieliczka Salt Mine – Located on the outskirts of Krakow, the site features an underground city, all carved out of the rock salt, including a chapel that is said to have the best acoustics of any structure in Europe. Dozens of ancient sculptures carved from salt are augmented by new sculptures from contemporary artists.
- Malbork Castle – Built by the Teutonic Knights, the castle was expanded several time to host the growing number of Knights. Its one of the most popular tourist attraction in the city of Malbork.
- Slowinski Sand Dunes – Part of the Slowinski National Park located on the coast of the Baltic Sea. The forms of the dunes change with the season and are known as the “moving dunes.”
- Masurian Lakeland – More than 2,000 lakes connected by an extensive system of canals and rivers, its the most popular tourist destination of Europe’s lake districts.
- Auschwitz-Birkenau – Infamous Nazi concentration camp, a visit to this place is a powerful experience that words cannot describe.
- Wawel Castle – The Gothic castle is home to the only preserved piece of the Polish Crown Jewels, the legendary sword Szczerbiec coronation sword.