I have known for a while that some Canadian cities seem to be high on the list to act as backdrop for many Hollywood movies. There are many different landscapes available in Canada, with choices from big cities or wilderness adventures.
In addition to the numerous locations available, also offers studios very lucrative tax incentives for filming in the Great White North and the professionals that make up our film industry’s supportive roles (everything from set designers to makeup artists) have received critical accolades and have been deemed second to none.
Even though I knew that there were many places like Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, and Vancouver playing host to film crews and celebrities, it definitely surprised me to learn that Canada has also been gaining notoriety under a new banner when it comes to filmmaking: Bollywood North.
On this side of the pond, one doesn’t normally consider the sheer magnitude of India’s film industry. With a domestic population of well over a billion people (and climbing), releasing a film in India has the potential to reach untold millions – making it one of the most lucrative film markets in the world.
Producing Bollywood Films in Canada Bringing New Challenges to the Industry’s Professionals
While I love the movies coming out of Hollywood, I often hear complaints that it seems they are either producing more and more sequels or that new releases so closely follow another film’s plot that it might as well be classified as a reboot. To put it simply, some of the offerings coming out of Hollywood are just tired – for lack of a better term.
For the Canadian audience, producing a new type of cinema in their own backyard could provide the industry some much needed variety – bringing with it stories inspired by life in another culture or at the very least, a difference in the way stories are told. And while I think that diversity does wonders for the movie going public in Canada, I can only imagine the exciting new opportunities that lay before the many qualified professionals that make up the film industry.
Think of the costume designer charged with designing brilliantly coloured robes for a historical Indian film, or the artist who must apply traditional makeups to scores of dancers for a Canadian-produced Indian musical. Possibly more exciting still is being on the cusp of this new genre, and playing a role in laying the foundation of what will one day become the standard.
Just a Few Recommendations on What Bollywood North Has to Offer
For those of you interested in checking out some other genres, these films have been recommended to me:
1. Tum Bin (2001)
2. Bollywood/Hollywood (2002)
3. Kal Ho Naa Ho
4. Neal ‘n’ Nikki (2005)
5. Apne (2007)
6. Thank You (2011)
The nice thing about these films is that some address the difficulty of being an immigrant in a new land, a storyline that many in the audience may be able to identify with; others are comedies or dramas – but the one thing that unifies them is that they all bring a unique flavour to the silver screen.