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  Today Online 16 Sep 05
Uniquely Bollywood
Indian film crew in town, lavish sets and all, to shoot the sequel to India's E.T.
Rahul Venkit

Channel NewsAsia, 15 Sep 05
Filming for Hindi movie "Krrish" begins in Singapore
By Asha Popatlal

SINGAPORE : Bollywood glamour has hit Singapore. Top Indian director Rakesh Roshan is in town to produce 'Krrish', the sequel to his successful award-winning science fiction flick "Koi Mil Gaya".

It is the first movie to be shot under the Singapore Tourism Board's 'Film in Singapore' Scheme.

The filming sessions is expected to take more than 60 gruelling days.

Before the work, came the ceremonial start. And all eyes were on the two leading stars - Indian heart-throb Hrithik Roshan and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra. They participated in special prayers (or "mahurat") at the start of filming.

In true collaborative fashion, the blessings were a mix of Indian custom with a Singapore flavour. Priyanka stars as a TV journalist and Hrithik as a man with super powers, whose adventures bring him to Singapore, where about 60 percent of the movie is shot.

The filming locations include arts centre the Esplanade, the Zoo, Pulau Ubin island and even the East Coast Parkway for a sequence on a major highway.

The idea of Singapore as a location started when director Rakesh Roshan attended the International Film Awards last year. Rakesh said: "My script required more than 50 percent to be shot abroad and when I came for IIFA awards over here, I loved this place. "It is a very happening place, very neat and clean. So I thought it would be very nice to shoot here. And STB also wanted to promote Singapore, so it was the right time for both of us."

His was the first mega-movie to make use of the $10 million Singapore fund, which also helps facilitate arrangements and provide technical information to filming crew.

Rakesh was coy about disclosing details of his new movie. "I always try to make different films," he said. But he promised some thrills and spills.

And it is a truly international movie - with a stunt director from China, special effects done in a Los Angeles laboratory and about 200 cast and crew members from China, India, Singapore and the United States. The movie is expected to be released next June. - CNA/de

Today Online 16 Sep 05
Uniquely Bollywood
Indian film crew in town, lavish sets and all, to shoot the sequel to India's E.T.
Rahul Venkit

IF YOU see a man leaping off the Suntec City towers or find yourself in the middle of a high-octane car chase on the East Coast Parkway (ECP) over the next two months, don't call 999. That would be the cast and crew of Krrish Bollywood's take on Hollywood's E.T. the Extra-terrestrial in action.

The Indian sci-fi movie, directed by veteran film-maker Rakesh Roshan, will be largely Singapore-based, with around 60 per cent of its scenes to be shot at various locations across the Lion City including the Esplanade, Chinatown, Lau Pa Sat, Changi Airport and Pulau Ubin.

The film stars Roshan's son Hrithik dubbed Bollywood's Brad Pitt, Sylvester Stallone and Michael Jackson, all rolled into one and 2000's Miss World, Priyanka Chopra.

The first mega Indian movie to be shot under the Film in Singapore scheme, a scheduled 60 days of non-stop shooting kicked off yesterday at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) office on Grange Road.

"We're not here just for a song-and-dance," said Roshan after a traditional mahurat ceremony held in the morning to inaugurate the film's shooting in Singapore.

"The range and diversity of unique locations in such a compact and convenient package make Singapore a film-makers' delight."

And the choice of Singapore as a location is fitting: When the Indian International Film Awards were held here in March last year, Roshan walked away with the Best Director's award for Koi Mil Gaya (I've found someone) Krrish's 2003 blockbuster prequel. . In the film, mentally-challenged Ronit Mehra, played by Hrithik, meets a friendly alien, called Jadoo, who gives him special powers. Krrish will showcase how his adventures continue in Singapore after the film's interval.

Replete with lavish sets and dance sequences typical to Bollywood, Hong Kong-based Tony Ching will orchestrate the film's many stunts.

On the STB's part, it is securing locations and trying to ensure a hassle-free shooting sojourn for Roshan. . These conclude liaising with the Traffic Police for "controlled closures" of streets, such as Robinson Road and the ECP, for filming.

And it's all for good reason, said Ken Low, STB's acting assistant chief executive officer (brand and communications). "The viewership for Krrish will run into millions, not to mention the Indian diaspora around the world," said Low.

"When people see how beautiful Singapore is and what life is like here, they will definitely think of visiting us. Singapore will definitely be on the list of countries they will want to go to in the future.

"We are very keen to attract top film-makers from across the globe. With more projects such as this one, maybe we'll even attract Hollywood some day."

See earlier story about this on the Ubin Stories blog

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