Gujarat' seems to be the new mantra for filmmakers. As the state zooms
ahead on the track of growth and development, it also gets a reel
Sample this: Abhishek Kapoor's Kai Po Che
(Ahmedabad and Vadnagar), Indra Kumar's Grand Masti
(Laxmivilas Palace, Vadodara), Tigmanshu Dhulia's Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster Returns
(Devgadh Baria) were shot in Gujarat
last year. In addition to shooting, planning a studio and entertainment
park are now looked at with a keen interest. Interestingly, even south
and Punjabi filmmakers are also eyeing Gujarat as a location hotspot.
With the government allocating 1 crore to set up 10 special entertainment zones and film cities, filmmaker Indra Kumar
and Ashok Thakeria will build a studio and entertainment park in the
Anand district on the lines of Dinsneyworld. The entertainment studio
will have star accommodation facilities, restaurants and an amusement
park along with a helipad. Ashok Thakeria says, "Mumbai and Umargaon are
now saturated as location destinations. Ahmedabad and Vadodara are
closer to Mumbai. We are looking at both film and television industry to
explore areas here."
The hottest destinations that attract
filmmakers to Gujarat are Ahmedabad, Little Rann of Kutch, Bhuj, Mandvi,
Great Rann of Kutch, Gondal, Rajpipla, Devgadh Baria, many areas of
North Gujarat, Saputara, Polo forest, Dahod, heritage structures of
Maqbara (Junagadh). Good accommodation facilities and excellent natural
locations are the magnets. Vipul Mittra, principal secretary (tourism),
Gujarat says, "Switzerland became popular with Indians, thanks to Yash
Chopra's films which were shot there. Bollywood
too will help Gujarat become a tourist hub."
Prabhu Deva is shooting Rambo Rajkuma
with Shahid Kapur and Sonakshi Sinha in Kutch and they will also shoot
in Gondal and Rajkot, Sanjay Leela Bhansali will soon shoot Ram Leela
in Bhuj and Rajkot, Nikhil Advani shot D-Day
in Ahmedabad and Little Rann of Kutch. Southern films like Mahesh Babu starrer Dookudu
and Pavan Kalyan starrer Gabbar Sing
h were shot in Little Rann of Kutch.
Producer Vicky Rajani says they decided to choose the ethereal white
salt desert (of Rann of Kutch) for a song sequence and also Little Rann
of Kutch to add a new element to Rambo Rajkumar. Filmmaker Prabhu Deva
says, "A house in Rajkot was perfect for my film, so we shot it there."
Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia
says, "The beautiful Devgadh Baria palace suited the story of my film."
Mujahid Malik, owner of a resort located near the Little Rann of Kutch
feels, "that the proximity to Mumbai is the biggest advantage for
Anthony D'Souza's Boss starring Akshay Kumar
will be shot in Little Rann of Kutch, Neil Nitin Mukesh shot at Ghordo,
Kutch for his untitled flick. Telly star Karanvir Bohra who's debuting
as actor/producer in a Punjabi film Love You Soniye
says they shot in Vadodara because, "of aesthetics."
For now, it's showtime in Gujarat.