Bollywood came to the streets Bradford in October to shoot the film, Welcome to Karachi. Directed by Ashish Mohan and produced by Vashu Baghnani, the acclaimed producer responsible for past blockbusters such as Biwi No. 1 and Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya, the latest project is due to hit the cinemas by next year. Originally, Life of Pie actor Irrfan Khan was due to appear in the film but due to unavailable dates, he was replaced by fledgeling actor Jackky Baghnani. Baghnani joins fellow actor Arshad Warsi in this tale of two friends who are stuck in Karachi due to mistaken identities.
When asked why he chose Karachi, director Rohit Shetty said, “Karachi when compared to any other place is considered to be the most dangerous city, but it’s the people who make the perception. Good human beings are everywhere and that’s what I would like to show through my film.”
Talking about his character, Warsi said, “My character is a little accident-prone as things keep happening to him all the time.”
The filmmakers shot extensive scenes at one of Bradford’s most popular Bazaars, Bradford Bazaar on Cemetery Road much to the joy of its owner Jas Maharaja, also MD of Maharaja Fabrics.
Speaking to Urban Echo, Mr Maharaja said the film shoot is positive news for Bradford. “Vashu Baghnani is one of the leading producers in India and worked with more or less all the big stars in Bollywood. The fact that they have chosen Bradford as a location further solidifies our reputation as UNESCO City of Film,” he states. Asked whether this could be the start of more films being shot in the city in the future, he excitedly replies, “Absolutely, why not? We have a beautiful city with awe-inspiring locations in Haworth and beyond. The world needs to see our beautiful city and hopefully after the film is released, we can encourage more filmmakers from the Asian sub-continent to invest in our city in the future.”
The film was also shot in other locations around the district including the council chamber in Bradford’s City Hall. The film is due to release in 2015. In the meantime we can only wait in anticipation to see Bradford featured in a major Bollywood release.