Danish Aslam
Director known for Break Ke Baad

Switzerland has a statue of Yash Chopra. Your bus halts, and there’s literally Yash Chopra standing in the middle of some village in Switzerland. There’s a lake named after him because, daily, 5000 people used to go there to see YRF shooting. There are Bollywood balls where they take you to the locations where the films were shot. People see song sequences, and they call their travel agents, asking them about how to get to those places. There’s an economic thrust to the use of such picturesque international locations.

Now we’re more interested in Indian stories. With these stories, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re shooting in India or abroad. So the whole going abroad to shoot obsession has now become more story-dependent. Earlier, it wasn’t. You would go abroad just to go abroad. Nobody wanted to explore the Northeast or places that they hadn’t been to. Because you were familiar with your few set locations: Jaipur, Udaipur’s blue roofs, and Delhi’s Rajpath. Once these were exhausted, they would go abroad. That was the logic then.

Now, both the storytelling and the economics have changed. These days everyone also wants to make films within controlled budgets because they have to recover costs. I feel now a crew would go abroad if it made economic sense or if the story absolutely needed to be told there, which, for an Indian audience, isn’t really that relevant.

There’s this very unique small-town globalisation that’s started happening, whereas earlier it was the middle class in the cities. Now it’s the middle class in centres like Indore and Lucknow, who have all gone semi-western. So the kinds of stories they’re also telling are what would earlier be considered Western dilemmas, but in an Indian context. Now it’s not Dostaana. It’s Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhaan. That’s the interesting part of the story. I’m bald or I’m infertile, but I live in this city. Not in Miami, not in New York, not in London. So storytelling has also kind of swung around.

Interview Extracts
Search 100+ European locations analysis in Indian cinema

Press Enter / Return to begin your search or hit ESC to close

New membership are not allowed.

All Rights Reserved. © 2024 India Europe Film Connections. Terms and Conditions