26. August 2010

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Prague saw filming begin August 10 on Rockstar, an exciting new production from leading Indian director Imtiaz Ali. The film features Ranbir Kapoor, one of the most popular young Bollywood actors, and music by A.R. Rahman, who earned an Oscar for his score for Slumdog Millionaire. Produced by Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd., one of the largest film producers and distributors in Mumbai, the film may prove to be one of the biggest hits on the Indian market in 2011. The production's use of location in Prague and elsewhere in the Czech Republic is likely to increase interest among Indian filmmakers and tourists. “Indian producers are constantly looking for interesting new locations outside India. The Czech Republic offers them great potential,” said producer Martin Hůlovec of Punk Film, which is providing production services for the film locally. “The resulting inward investment is good not only for local suppliers but also in terms of promoting the Czech Republic to potential visitors, as has been the experience in Switzerland, for example, and other countries." Rockstar is the largest Indian production so far to shoot in the Czech Republic, with producers spending more than a fifth of their $10m (CZK200m) budget. After several weeks of preparation, production will have 31 shooting days in the Czech Republic, nearly a third of the total shoot. The Indian crew of 70 people is complemented by 60 Czech film professionals and scores of other service providers. Up to 500 extras will be employed for group scenes, one being a musical performance at Prague's Státní opera. The crew have already filmed locations in Prague (Maltézské náměstí, Charles Bridge, Vrtbov Gardens, the steps to Prague Castle, interiors of Státní opera) and will also shoot in the towns of Liberec, Loučeň, Sychrov, Karlštejn and Ostré u Úštěka. Rockstar tells the story of Janardhan, a lower-caste young man studying in Delhi. His family considers him a good-for-nothing and his friends think he's a dreamer. Janardhan falls in love with a rich girl, Heer, who is the most beautiful and popular girl at the school. Their paths separate but come together again later - in Prague. The film is, naturally, full of music, including motifs from Czech folk music. “Unlike in some other international films in which Prague stands in for London or some other location, Czech locations and culture actually portray themselves in Rockstar,” said Ludmila Claussová of the Czech Film Commission. “The movie will have all the beauty and grandeur that Bollywood films are known for, and will also be a big advertisement for the Czech Republic.”