Prepare to be bowled over by the biggest star of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar, who is currently on UK soil for the filming of his next blockbuster film project, ‘Patiala House’. A film that will appeal to mainstream and ethnic audiences the world over, it is set against the colourful backdrop of Southall, West London with its rich flavours and atmosphere. ‘Patiala House’ filming also unites members of the England, Australia, Pakistan and India cricket teams alongside Brit Asian rapper, Hard Kaur, A-list starlet, Anushka Sharma, and Bollywood veterans, Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia. Akshay Kumar continues to bridge the gap between the Indian film industry and the mainstream and further cement his position as global ambassador for Indian cinema, having worked alongside international stars such Snoop Dogg, Sylvester Stallone and more recently Kylie, all of whom made their Bollywood debuts alongside the superstar.
Bollywood bling and Mexican magic descended upon London’s West End in late Spring at the European premiere of ‘Kites’, starring heartthrob of Bollywood, Hrithik Roshan and presented by Reliance BIG Pictures. Hrithik Roshan, one of India’s most idolised artists, created media and fan frenzy alike on the Red Carpet at Odeon West End, Leicester Square
alongside co-star Barbara Mori and fellow members of the Bollywood glitterati. Following its theatrical release, the film has set a whole new precedent in international success by becoming the first ever Indian film to break into the US Box Office Top 10, flying in at the Number 10 position during the opening weekend. ‘Kites’ also reached the Number 5 position in the UK Box Office with the second highest per screen average in the Top 10, and has generated the second highest opening of an Indian film ever.
Early June saw the IIFA Weekend 2010 take place in Sri Lanka – a series of mega events that presented Indian cinema to the world and brought leading stars and members of the Indian film fraternity to the exotic shores of the host country. The IIFA Weekend included the high-profile FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum, the IIFA Foundation Fashion Extravaganza, the IIFA Foundation Celebrity Cricket Match, World Premieres of Indian films, IIFA Film Workshop and the climax of the Weekend, the spectacular IIFA Awards. The IIFA Awards is the biggest South Asian media event and is considered among the most-watched annual global events. Preparations have already commenced for IIFA 2011 which is heading to Toronto.
The next major Bollywood film release to be premiered in UK was Reliance BIG Pictures’ ‘Raavan’, starring Bollywood’s most celebrated couple, Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan. The critically hailed film is directed by one of the most influential filmmakers in Indian cinema, Mani Ratnam, who is to be honoured with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award 2010 at 67th Venice International Film Festival, with a musical score created by multi Academy Award winner, A.R. Rahman (‘Slumdog Millionaire’). The Red Carpet at the World Premiere on 16th June at BFI Southbank, London welcomed Indian cinema royalty including the Bachchan acting dynasty, fellow A-list luminary, Shahrukh Khan, director Mani Ratnam and superstar of South Indian cinema, Vikram, among a host of others.
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