Film City, Mumbai, is regarded as the home of Bollywood. Now, authorities at the Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagri plan to revamp the area to resemble a California-style film studio with amusements, museums and eateries.
Included in the Film City revamp will be Mumbai’s first Bollywood museum, showcasing the history of Indian film. Visitors will also be able to see costumes from famous movies. There will be a wax museum starring Bollywood stars and a 4D cinema.
Engineer and Film City officer Chandrakant Kolekar said: “this is a dual purpose project — we are looking at a complete rehaul of the facilities, where script to screen will be under one roof and so will post production and shooting. The other aspect is tourism. We want to encourage cine-centric tourists, and are looking at a mega amusement park with Bollywood theme rides.”
“We have prepared a global tender and we are expecting calls from Indian and international companies. Post that, a developer will be appointed. The project has a phase-wise construction and roughly, the whole thing should take a few years.”
Jayshree Bhoj, MD of Film City, said: “we want to have a state-of-the-art facility, with production, pre-production and post production resources. Bollywood is one of India’s biggest cultural identities and as of today, there is nothing major that we have to showcase. We want to develop Film City on the lines of Hollywood, where visitors can see the shooting in a viewing gallery. Top film making companies from the West have already shown interest in the project.”
Film City sits on 521 acres of land, of which 280 acres will be given to development. Greenery will be untouched as it is often used as backdrops.
Bhoj adds that the development will make film-making easier: “right now, when someone shoots a show or a film, they usually end up waiting till the production for the next shot is ready. But with this new set-up where one roof will have all facilities, people will be able to hop across to a studio in the same vicinity and start dubbing for the scene that they’ve just shot. Filmmaking is not just about the actors, very often, the production staff and the technicians have to work odd and long hours. Currently, film sets provide no place to rest, but we’re planning to have dormitories as well as hotels in every category.”
Film studios in China begun to rethink their growth strategies earlier this year, as one company announced they would branch out into theme parks and live entertainment.
Image courtesy That Girl Over There via Flickr.