• Friday, April 12, 2024

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‘I want to create an India in UK,’ says veteran producer Vashu Bhagnani

Producer Vashu Bhagnani (ANI)

By: Mohnish Singh

“I want to create an India in the UK,” veteran producer Vashu Bhagnani‘s words efficiently sum up his dream of leaving a global footprint of the illustrious Indian cinema with his film studio in the UK.

Touted as a “one-stop-shop”, Bhagnani’s Pooja Studios emerged as one of the most film-friendly shooting hubs lately. Built over three years ago in the UK, the studio is spread over a large area in the UK’s Luton. It is just 36 miles from London.

The studio has enabled the shoot for Akshay Kumar-starrers Bellbottom, Mission Raniganj, Cuttputlli, and Ajay Devgn’s latest Shaitaan so far.

Speaking to ANI, Bhagnani opened up about his studio in detail.

” I am a dreamer. At the age of 57, I decided that I would go to London and set up a studio there. Not many people know that I have a studio in the UK. Movies like Bellbottom, Mission Raniganj were filmed at my studio. All coal mine scenes in Raniganj were shot at Pooja Studios. In fact, the scenes portrayed as Dubai and Pakistan in Bellbottom were actually shot at our studio in UK. Almost 80 per cent of Shaitaan was shot there…the big farmhouse which you saw in Shaitaan was created at my studio only,” he shared.

“Over 400 people from India travelled to the UK for the shoot of Ganapath and Raniganj. Also, one of my main reasons for establishing this studio was to create jobs for my Indian people and make them explore the world… It’s my dream to be a good developer as well,” he added.

Pakistan Weekly
Pooja Studios in the UK

Bhagnani also explained what made him establish the film studio abroad.

“In India, we sometimes face security issues as people come in large numbers on sets … so it becomes difficult for us to shoot,” he said, emphasising he is a true blue Indian and is aiming to make Indian cinema reach different parts of the world.

“I would be lying if I say I am not getting monetary benefits from this studio but my utmost priority is to help my fellow colleagues in the Indian film industry by providing them with a studio which has all the facilities. From the best equipment to spacious area and food, the studio has everything. I have put my heart and soul into establishing this studio. It is like a one-stop shop. Come inside you will get everything… The Britishers came to India before 1947 and now I want to create an India in the UK with the help of my studio,” Bhagnani said.

Pakistan Weekly
Pooja Studios in the UK

However, it was not easy for the Coolie No. 1 producer to create his studio on the foreign soil.

“Filmmaking is not an easy business. We all have to take risks…From trucks, and bikes to little equipment, we transported everything from India to there…It’s a pain but we did it. I am working in the UK but for India only,” Bhagnani added.

Bhagnani’s passion for cinema knows no bounds. His studio is relatively new but has managed to find a strong foothold in the filmmaking business.

In the coming months, Shahid Kapoor’s Ashwatthama: The Saga Continues will also go on floors there.

“This year we will also start shooting for Shahid’s Ashwatthama: The Saga Continues at our Pooja Studios… maybe in May or June,” Bhagnani revealed.

Several scenes of Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff-starrer upcoming film Bade Miyan Chote Miyan have been shot at Bhagnani’s UK studio.

Bhagnani also shared how the British Film Institute (BFI) has supported them to set up the studio in the UK

“Bade Miyan Chote Miyan is the first Bollywood production from the British Film Institute (BFI) that has been shot in a grand manner…BFI chief executive Ben Roberts has helped us a lot. He is the main guy,” Bhagnani said.

Pakistan Weekly

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