Indian Tollywood film shoots in Abu Dhabi
A new film from the Telugu region of south-east India, known as ‘Tollywood’, has become the first from the area to shoot in Abu Dhabi.
The movie – Duvvada Jagannadham, or DJ – spent two weeks shooting in nearly a dozen locations across the city with 120 crew members and production servicing from twofour54.
“This is the first time we have worked with the Tollywood film industry, bringing together key figures in south Indian cinema, and we look forward to getting to work on the next project in the pipeline,” said Jassim Al Nowais, manager of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission.
Abu Dhabi is a hugely popular filming location for movies from India, and particularly from Mumbai’s Bollywood industry. Direct flights can connect Mumbai and Abu Dhabi in just a few hours, and the emirate city offers opulent and exotic locales, as well as a 30% filming incentive.
“I have shot five films in India and for my sixth film I wanted something completely new,” said Harish Shankar, writer and director of DJ. “I had seen movies made in Abu Dhabi and I knew this was the perfect location.
“I particularly appreciated the close assistance offered by the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, who helped me to discover different locations to support the storyline and facilitated the filming process for us. I found the whole experience to be very smooth and everyone was very co-operative.”
Bollywood movie Dishoom was among the high-profile Indian visitors to the city this time last year, filming locally for nearly 40 days.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been the biggest Hollywood movie in recent years to shoot in Abu Dhabi, using the city as a stand-in for a desert planet setting.