Sweden provides sets for Bollywood dramas

2:22 min

Sweden seems an unlikely setting for a Bollywood drama. But the southern region of Skåne has already provided the set for four Indian movies with tons of action and, of course, romance. And more is on the way.

Mirza Askari is the founder of Connecting Bollywood, a production house that arranges Scandinavian film locations for Indian filmmakers.

One film recently shot in Skåne was the romcom "Nenem Chinna Pillana", meaning "Do You Think I'm a Small Kid?" It was released the other week and received rave reviews, according to Askari.

The producer for the film was Daggubati Ramanaidu. The Guinness Book of Records lists him as the most prolific producer in the world, with 130 films.

Askari grew up in Mumbai - the home of Bollywood - but has lived in Sweden for two decades.

"I've always liked romantic comedies. That's my genre," Askari told Radio Sweden.

So far, Connecting Bollywood has put out two films shot in southern Sweden. A third is in production now and they are about to start filming a fourth one. But Askari has a different project in the pipeline, too.

"It's a completely Swedish film, but the director will be from Bollywood and there will be Indian songs in the movie. We are trying something different. It's a Swedish film with Swedish actors, but the technical team will be coming from Bollywood, so I'm building a cultural bridge right now," said Askari.

He claimed the films produced by Connecting Bollywood are bringing awareness of Sweden to India:

"They just knew of Stockholm and Copenhagen over there before, but now they're coming to know that there's a place called Lund, that there's a place called Malmö and that there are film-friendly people there. And they're loving it!"

Askari added: "A new territory is opening for the Indian film industry, so Scandinavia is getting more and popular day by day in India. They're always looking for new locations and different atmospheres and at the same time they're looking for places that suit their budgets."