After Cape Town, Darshan heads for Johannesburg

Aug 3, 2006 Fakir Hassen

Johannesburg, Aug 4 (IANS) After repeated international exposure for Cape Town in Suneel Darshan's films, it is now the turn of Johannesburg though it does not boast of scenic beaches and mountain locales of the mother city.

Darshan is shooting major portions of his latest venture "Shakalaka Boom Boom" here.

Bobby Deol, Celina Jaitley, Upen Patel and Kangana Ranaut, whose debut role in the recent film "Gangster - A Love Story" received great acclaim, are shooting here for a month, with others like Anupam Kher expected to join them.

Darshan, who has set a record by shooting six films in Cape Town because of his soft spot for South Africa, had decided that it was time to showcase Johannesburg as well.

With the magic touch that he has for producing films that always tug at the heartstrings of South African audiences, Darshan has seen success here with his films "Talaash", "Barsaat", "Dosti" and the particularly popular "Andaaz".

"They were successful because they were family musicals, which always work here. I believe in the institution of family though Indian cinema is going more Western today. 'Shakalaka Boom Boom' is my attempt to go this route, making a more urbane film. But there are certain values, which I've not compromised with," Darshan told IANS.

"I have been shooting primarily indoors in Johannesburg in houses that give me the feel of a very urbane city because the film is a very youthful one."

However, Darshan feels the infrastructure in the city is not apt for shooting a Hindi film and needs to be improved.

"Johannesburg is quite a well-established city although I still feel the infrastructure you need to do Hindi films still needs to be established here.

"With Ebrahim Kaskar (film shoot coordinator) in Cape Town, I have had a very solid relationship. Hopefully, with the next film or two that we shoot here, we will have a similar relationship."

And Darshan would like to see greater involvement by the South African government at all levels to achieve it.

With one third of the film shot in South Africa, "Shakalaka Boom Boom" will include a two-week shooting schedule in the US, and the rest of the film will be shot in India. It is expected to hit screens during Christmas holiday.

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