Victoria Premier Ted Baillieu
Victoria Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu
Bollywood Biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag To Be Filmed In Melbourne
Victor P Taffa
A new Bollywood film about one of India’s greatest sporting heroes will shoot key scenes in Melbourne, Premier of Victoria and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu announced today.
The film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Run Milkha Run) will tell the story of the legendary Indian runner Milkha Singh, known as the ‘Flying Sikh’, who won 77 of the international footraces out of the 80 that he entered.
Milkha Singh first represented India at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics which introduced him to the world stage and launched his international running career.
“India is one of the busiest film production destinations in the world, and its burgeoning film industry offers vast opportunities for Victorian co-production projects, building on our strengths in the creative arts.” Premier Baillieu said.
“Victoria is gaining recognition as a leading film production destination with world-class studio facilities at our disposal, such as the Docklands Film and Television Studios.”
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag will be directed by one of India’s most celebrated filmmakers, Rakeysh Mehra, and produced by ROMP and Viacom 18 India. It will feature two of India’s biggest film stars the multi-talented Farhaan Akhtar and style icon Sonam Kapoor.
Premier Baillieu said the shoot in Melbourne was anticipated to take between two and three weeks, and generate more than $1 Million in local economic activity.
“As with other Indian films shot in Melbourne, such as Salaam Namaste and Chak de! India, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag will raise our profile in India and showcase Victoria as a great tourism destination.” Premier Baillieu said.
“Tourism Victoria will leverage the release of the movie through a marketing campaign in India featuring the key locations from the film.”
Premier Baillieu said Film Victoria worked closely with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’s producers to secure filming in Victoria, providing significant location and production services.
“Film Victoria will continue to support this production, providing film and location services during its Melbourne shoot.” Premier Baillieu said.”
Premier Baillieu said that as part of the Victorian Government’s Trade Engagement Program India, screen industry ties were being strengthened between Victoria and India.
“We have committed $500,000 to deliver an Indian Film Festival in Melbourne in 2012, 2013 and 2014, we are establishing fellowships for young Victorian directors and producers to travel to India and we will appoint a well-known Indian Film Ambassador.” Premier Baillieu said.
“We have signed a Victoria-India Co-production initiative which will see 10 Victorians travel to India’s leading media and entertainment industry convention, FICCI Frames, in Mumbai and support up to three Victorian screen companies in joint ventures with Indian production entities.”
“Our Government seeks to promote Victoria as a place that has the skills and infrastructure to work in film production and where film producers can find a variety of people who can speak a range of languages and possess cultural understanding.”
Premier Baillieu said Milkha Singh’s story was an inspirational one, and its strong ties to Melbourne were an excellent opportunity to expand Victoria’s relationship with India in the realm of the arts.
Victoria’s major events calendar is the most prestigious and successful major events calendar in the world, with Melbourne having been named the ‘Best Sports City’ at the Sport Business Sports Event Management Awards in 2009.
Premier Baillieu made the announcement in Delhi, in the presence of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’s director Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, Vikram Malhotra, COO Viacom18 Motion Pictures, and Mitu Bhowmick, Director of Mind Blowing Films, the Victorian line producer. The Premier is in India leading Victoria’s Super Trade Mission, the largest ever trade mission to leave Australia, involving more than 200 leading Victorian organisations.