BOLLYWOOD TO BRING $10 MILLION TO FIJI ECONOMY

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Three films planned early next year

By Jasvin Lala MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec. 21, 2010) –Bollywood is coming to Fiji, bringing with it the promise of millions of dollars from three movies.

Movie company representatives are already in Fiji scouting for locations, with production slated to begin early next year.

"Very shortly I will be filming here," director Prem Raj told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat.

Provisional certificates of approval have already been granted for the films, the first major Indian movies to be shot in Fiji.

He describes the first production, Bombay Mumbai, as a "good-budgeted film" and expects it to bring millions of Fiji dollars in benefits to the Pacific nation.

Local media reports talk of US$10 million boost for the Fijian economy.

Mohammed Jalal is the executive producer who acted as go-between between Prem Raj and Fiji.

Pacific pop sensation Aiysha Sagar, born in Fiji, will feature in all three films.

Mr Jalal, manager of the star, who sings in English and Punjabi, said she insisted filming be done in her homeland. Starring in the first film will be Salman Khan.

The other films are Kia, to be shot in July, and Let's Talk Love, down for September.

The producer said Fiji has great appeal for Bollywood, with almost half the population Indian, making it much easier for crowd scenes.

The authorities also offer good incentives for film production.

Florence Swamy, chief executive, Fiji Audio Visual Commission, said: "We are obviously very excited with this level of interest.

"Once our locations get shown . . . that is the ultimate promotion."

She expects a lot of economic activity to arise from the filming, with employment for many Fijians, from actors and other creative people to service industries.

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