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Bollywood Is Coming to Vietnam

India and Vietnam may be seeing a lot more cooperation between cinematic industries in the coming year.

Thanks to events like last month's Indian Film Festival, which took place in both Da Nang and Saigon, Indian filmmakers are planning to ramp up production in Vietnam, reports Tuoi Tre.

During the 12-day festival's closing ceremony, which was held atop the Bitexco helipad, Consul General of India Smita Pant highlighted the keen interest directors from her country had taken in Vietnam.

“Some have promised that they will come back to Vietnam as early as January next year [2016] to shoot certain parts of their films at some scenic locations,” Pant said at the event, according to Tuoi Tre.

Such projects could prove beneficial not only to the Indian directors tapping into Vietnam's growing film industry but also for Vietnamese audiences, who have taken a liking to Bollywood productions. At last month's film festival, a free screening of Bollywood movie 3 Idiots held at Saigon's BHD Star Cinema was so popular that the Indian Consulate plans to set up another viewing of the film in the near future.

On the small screen, Indian TV drama Co Dau 8 Tuoi, which tells the story of a child bride from adolescence to adulthood, is a popular fixture on local TV stations. Also known as Balika Vadhu in India, the program was among the most Googled search terms in Vietnam this year.

Adding to all this speculative talk is a firm promise from Vietnamese-Indian action filmmaker Peter Hien, who announced that he will begin filming in Vietnam this month for one of several Bollywood films he has in the works, according to Nhan Dan.

With film already a booming industry in India – Bollywood is expected to generate over US$5 billion by 2019 – and Vietnamese cinema beginning to hit its stride, the time is ripe for collaboration between the two countries.

[Photo via Flickr user Meena Kadri]


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