Slumdog to Mountbatten: British filmmakers hit the Bollywood trail


London, March 16 (IANS) The commercial and critical success of "Slumdog Millionaire" is leading a string of British filmmakers to look to Bollywood for inspiration, a newspaper reported Monday.

"After a long on-off courtship, the British film industry has finally fallen head over heels in love with India," The Times reported.

"The country is suddenly crawling with British film-makers looking for a slice of exhilarating, cost-effective exoticism."

The newspaper said that although there have been many British films shot in India over the years, the British industry had never put down its roots until now, prompted by the global success of "Slumdog Millionaire" and a bilateral agreement signed last year to promote joint productions.

Leading the list of future India-Britain productions is "Indian Summer", a fictionalised account of an alleged love affair between Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten, the wife of the last British Viceroy Lord Mountbatten.

Tim Bevan, co-chairman of the British production company Working Company, told The Times he expects to shoot the entire film in India.

"We will be working with some of the excellent people there that worked with [director] Danny Boyle on Slumdog and we've got the resources of Bollywood, the second-largest film industry in the world," he said.

The film is being directed by Joe Wright, the director of "Atonement."

David Thompson, who runs a production house called Origin Pictures, said: "Slumdog Millionaire," which was made for only 11 million pounds but has already grossed 150 million pounds, had shown that "people are more open to stories from other worlds than we might have been led to believe."

Films on the anvil also include: a sequel to the 1999 hit comedy "East is East" - titled "West is West" - to be shot in Punjab; an all-star movie of Deborah Moggach's novel, "These Foolish Things", about a nursing home in Bangalore for retired Britons: and two new films by Gurinder Chadha, director of "Bend It Like Beckham."