HYDERABAD: Even till two years ago, southern filmmakers would travel to popular European locations like Switzerland, Italy, France and Spain to shoot for their films. Tollywood filmmakers are exploring countries that are largely unexplored by a majority of the Indian public. Norway seems to have topped the list of destinations for shooting Telugu films.
In 2015, a couple of dance numbers including Ram Pothineni-starrer Shivam were shot in Norway and the filmmakers loved the experience. Ram’s uncle and director Sravanthi Ravi Kishore said that his crew had a great time shooting in Norway and promised to return for future endeavours. The Norwegian government too, has opened its arms for Indian filmmakers and is offering up to 25 per cent subsidy for shooting in
“The Norwegian Film Commission along with the government have come up with a subsidy for filmmakers who would like to come to Norway to shoot for their films or television productions. This is very promising since plenty of Indian filmmakers seek to shoot abroad for their films. So this policy is beneficial for both India and Norway,” shared Richard Wallace, International Locations Co-ordinator, Embassy of Norway.
Laying emphasis on the benefits of shooting in a country like his, Richard said the country’s exquisite locales would be a major draw for filmmakers. “Norway has a lot to offer for Indian cinema. Especially in south movies which have a lot of songs, I think filmmakers would find Norway an ideal destination for songs and fast numbers, with beautiful landscapes in the background,” he observed.
The introduction of this latest policy has invited an immediate interest among filmmakers, especially in the south. “I already have around 15 queries coming in and that’s just from the South. So we can see an upward trend. So far, two south Indian films have been shot in Norway -- one Telugu and one Kannada -- and the Norwegian public has been fascinated with Indian cinema,” Richard informed.
Countries like Switzerland became major tourist attractions for the Indian public in the 1990s, after iconic blockbusters like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge were shot there.
The country’s government is hoping for a similar boost in tourism by allowing more Indian movies to be shot there. “In India, we are all movie lovers, so we often zero in on a dream destination after watching it on the silver screen. Switzerland at one time was in demand but now, a majority of the upper middle-class Indians have been there. Norway is still largely unexplored and the country has plenty to offer,” Richard expresses, animatedly.
With several producers, including big banners like Suresh Productions and C Kalyan Productions, expressing an interest to shoot in Norway, it could soon be one of the hottest destination this summer.
“The season starts in May, so we are all expecting many filmmakers from South India to come here and shoot for their films,” Richard adds. So watch a Telugu movie to go on a virtual tour to Norway.