Bollywood filmmakers envision the day when productions are shot in Vancouver (with video, gallery)

Published: January 22, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Some of India’s A-listers see Vancouver as the next home for their Bollywood sets.

“Shooting in British Columbia, in Vancouver, is very high up on our priorities,” Indian film director Karan Johar said at Tuesday’s extravagant press conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre announcing the Times of India Film Awards’ (TOIFA) debut in Vancouver.

The first-ever edition of TOIFA will kick off April 4 with musical performances at the Pacific Coliseum, followed by film screenings across Vancouver. The grand event will close April 6 with a red carpet and awards ceremony at BC Place, graced by many Bollywood stars such as Chitrangada Singh, Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan and many more.

Already impressed by his first visit to Vancouver, Johar plans to “scout around” for film locations when he returns in April.

While he admits it’s “definitely not feasible or cheap,” he believes Bollywood has the star power and production budget to film in the city.

“The beauty of it really makes up for it,” he said. “And April might inspire the entire film fraternity to shoot in the region … Many, many movie actors, many movie producers, directors will come and be greatly inspired by the visuals they will wake up to.”

World-renowned choreographer Shiamak Davar helped push the event to Vancouver — a place he’s called his second home for 10 years now.

“I jumped and said, ‘Yes, I love Vancouver,’” he told the crowd. “Being here is like being home.

“This is the place to go,” he said to his colleagues Johar — whom he referred to as “the Steven Spielberg of India” — and Bollywood starlet Singh.

Tuesday marked Singh’s first time on Canadian soil.

“It is just spectacular — even with the fog,” she said of Vancouver’s murky weather. “I take a lot of pride in standing here today representing one of the fastest growing film industries in the world.”

“Our films have really helped us cross borders wherever we’ve gone,” she said, adding the industry just reached the 100-year mark.

According to Johar, India’s film industry has done so well in Canada because of the audience.

“The diaspora audience or NRIs — I always say they’re much more Indian at heart than any of us are. They feel so much more attached to their roots, they express their love much more than we do for our own country,” he said. “The diaspora love has made Indian cinema even more impactful.”

Tuesday morning’s announcement gave a vibrant peek at the extravagance to come: Three elaborate dance performances by men and women clad in colourful Indian dress creating a bright Bollywood scene inside the once dark Convention Centre.

Premier Christy Clark announced the province will provide $11 million in funding for the event. But she sees it as more than a film awards ceremony and as an investment in trade and tourism through working with TOIFA creators and presenters, the Times of India Group, which is the largest media conglomerate in India.

“This event is just part of what’s going to inject millions into our economy as a result of our relationship with the Times of India Group,” she said. “(They) will be an important catalyst for building further awareness of our province amongst Indian business leaders and consumers.

“That kind of exposure can garner tremendous opportunities for people in our province.”

According to Clark, since her November 2011 visit to India, B.C.’s trade presence has doubled and tourism has increased 11 per cent.

“When Premier Clark says there is an increase in tourism by 11 per cent,” responded Johar. “I like to tell her just with the India impact and the Bollywood impact — that will grow nearly triple, if just because of the Indians and the love the Indians have.”


Times of India Film Awards press conference


Picture 11 of 13

A dancer is silhouetted as she takes to the stage to perform during an event in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, announcing that The Times of India Film Awards will be held in the city in April. Darryl Dyck/CP


Tags: , ,





Featured

Abbotsford's Ravinder Singh Atwal has been identified online as the truck driver who died in a truck crash on Highway 99 near Delta on Wednesday. The Abbotsford father was killed when his dump truck hit the highway median and burst into flames. Submitted photo/Facebook.

Abbotsford trucker killed on Hwy 99 remembered as ‘one of the nicest guys’

GLENDA LUYMES VANCOUVER DESI An Abbotsford father killed in a fiery crash on Highway 99 is being remembered as hard-working and friendly by fellow truck…
Continue Reading »

A man reads the latest issue of French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo bearing a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed at a French bookseller in Abidjan on January 19, 2015. SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images

Mumbai police arrest newspaper editor for reprinting Charlie Hebdo cartoon

VANCOUVER DESI Mumbai police have arrested and since bailed out the editor of an Urdu language newspaper for reprinting a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the…
Continue Reading »

Indian spectators watch as a float carrying a sign that reads "Congratulations! It's a Baby Girl" passes by during the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2015. The float represented India's Ministry of Women and Child Development.  An estimated 26 million babies are born anually in India, a country considered to be one of the worst places to be born a girl because of a societal 'gender gap' that favours boys and preferences for male children. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

Father in India arrested for attempted murder after trying to bury his daughter alive

VANCOUVER DESI A father in India has been arrested for attempted murder after he tried to bury his 10-year-old daughter alive, according to Britain’s Daily…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Abbotsford's Ravinder Singh Atwal has been identified online as the truck driver who died in a truck crash on Highway 99 near Delta on Wednesday. The Abbotsford father was killed when his dump truck hit the highway median and burst into flames. Submitted photo/Facebook.

Abbotsford trucker killed on Hwy 99 remembered as ‘one of the nicest guys’

GLENDA LUYMES VANCOUVER DESI An Abbotsford father killed in a fiery crash on Highway 99 is being remembered as hard-working and friendly by fellow truck…
Continue Reading »

Opposition Muted to Harper’s New Anti Terror Bill

BY Ujjal Dosanjh Special to Vancouver Province I smell an election coming. Not in October 2015; much sooner than that. Harper has just unveiled the…
Continue Reading »

Opposition parties treading carefully on new anti-terror legislation

By Stephanie Levitz THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — Anti-terrorism legislation introduced by the Conservative government Friday received a cautious reception by the opposition parties who…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC

Raise your hand, send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Curry chicken on rice. Sam Leung/PNG

Spicy treats on menu as 8 chef teams battle for Vancouver’s second-annual Curry Cup

VANCOUVER DESI A group of Lower Mainland chefs are set to go head-to-head with their South Asian cooking skills as they gear up for Vancouver’s…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Sonu Sood and Boman Irani in a still from the Bollywood film Happy New Year.

Indian expat avoids stalking conviction by blaming Bollywood for his behaviour

IANS Sydney  – An Indian man’s excuse that Bollywood love stories encouraged him to excessively approach and stalk women helped him avoid conviction in the…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Commuters hang by doors of a crowded local train in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Three men were killed on Monday after they attempted to take a selfie by a moving train near Agra. AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade

College students killed while attempting train selfie in India

VANCOUVER DESI Three college friends on their way to India’s Republic Day celebrations were killed by a speeding train after they tried posing for a…
Continue Reading »

Screen shot of Shah Rukh Khan's first video tweet. Submitted.

Shah Rukh Khan sends out India’s first tweet using Twitter’s new mobile video camera

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was the first-ever Indian to use Twitter’s freshly launched mobile video camera. Twitter announced the new feature on…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Akshay Kumar

Askhay Kumar offers martial arts training to visually impaired girls

PRASHANT SINGH HINDUSTAN TIMES Last year, Akshay Kumar — who was a professional martial arts trainer before he started acting — launched an initiative to…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan (L) and Kajol (R) are rumoured to be appearing in the next Rohit Shetty film. Getty Images.

Rohit Shetty tightlipped on SRK, Kajol casting rumours

IANS Mumbai — Bollywood’s blockbuster director Rohit Shetty is remaining tightlipped on rumours he’s managed to rope in a casting coup of Shah Rukh Khan…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Sonam Kapoor never planned to use her father’s fame to jumpstart her Bollywood career

IANS Mumbai  – It’s always thought that Bollywood’s star children have it easy, but actress Sonam Kapoor says that at the start of her film…
Continue Reading »