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Hollywood cameras pan to Kerala locales

Venture may boost tourism potential

KOCHI: With destination Kerala hitting the headlines far and wide, some forthcoming Hollywood ventures are now training their cameras towards the picture-perfect locales of `God's own country.'

A couple of Hollywood films are likely to be shot, at least partially, in the scenic hotspots of the land, if the ongoing discussions are any indications.

"It is ecstatic. In fact, many of the Hollywood giants are not aware of the beauty of this land," said designer Sanjana John, who runs a production house along with her actor-designer brother Anand in Hollywood.

Sanjana, a favourite designer for many a heroine and princess, was in her hometown also to find locations for their feature film `7th Descendant'.

"It is wonderful. Really outstanding," she told UNI after a cruise in the backwaters here during her homecoming after 14 years.

If her words are to be believed, they will have a shooting schedule here.

Besides, reports said Ashwin Kumar of Oscar-nominated `Little Terrorist' fame was also planning to shoot his next venture with Hollywood star Johnny Depp in the Kerala backwaters.

He is trying to sign Johnny Depp in a romantic comedy set in Kerala along with an Indian actress.

He is also ready with the script for `The Forest' -- a bilingual thriller starring Manoj Bajpai and Sandhya Mridul, purportedly the first made-in-India film to be backed by a Hollywood producer.

Also, discussions are in the final stages for the likely Hollywood remake of Vinayan's `Albhutha Dweep' (Wonder Island) with Leonardo Di Caprio in the lead.

As per the plans, Michael John will direct the movie for Dreamworkz with over 300 Indian dwarfs in the cast and the original set for the Malayalam movie would be reproduced here.

Malayalam would be used as the language of the Wonder Island.

Sanjana, who has good connections in Hollywood, thinks that if the Government extends creative support, more and more Hollywood artistes could be brought to Kerala.

"Apart from our movie, many will be keen to come to shoot in this picturesque place once they come to know of it. Only problem will be adjusting dates in this far off locations," she said.

Anand, selected as the one of the seven sexiest South Asians in America, is a celebrity designer and has signed for a couple of movies already.

Though the announcement was made for the feature film, they were yet to finalise the cast and other aspects of the film, she said.

She also felt that the visit of Hollywood stars to the State will be another effective vehicle to project destination Kerala the world over.

She said her family group I.G. International Projects was ready to cooperate with the State Government in this regard.

Though Kerala has established its reputation as a favourite destination and a number of Bollywood films have been shot here, it is yet to play host to a big Hollywood venture. — UNI

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