Dibakar Banerjee barred from shooting a song for Shanghai beyond 10 pm in Mumbai. Sources say corruption has made the city an expensive location for producers. Plus, a look at some other films that were forced to relocate due to permission issues
Yet another filmmaker finds his dream of shooting on the streets of Mumbai end in a nightmare. Dibakar Bannerjee, we hear, has been denied permission by the authorities to shoot in the city as it could create a law and order situation.
The director wanted to film a song for his forthcoming Shanghai with Emraan Hashmi, Pitobash and extras in mid-town Mumbai.
Unfortunately, he had to settle for another location Essel Studios in Trombay causing him much financial distress as he has to now create a set that looks like Mumbai!
A source reveals, "A few days after applying for the required permission from the civic authorities, the team learnt they were not going to get an official go-ahead.
The BMC and the Mumbai Police felt that allowing the shoot would tantamount to disturbance of peace especially since Dibakar was to shoot a song with Emraan and others for three nights."
The director, who's known for his social satires, filmed most of Shanghai in Latur and Baramati in 45-odd days.
"But for some scenes and a couple of songs, he wanted to shoot in Mumbai because the backdrop for them is very urban," our sources adds. Needless to say, this location shift has proved costly for Shanghai's producers PVR Pictures.
"This additional expenditure has set the budget escalating by over R 1 crore," confirms the source. Incidentally, this film is the Hindi adaptation of a political thriller by Greek novelist Vassilis Vassilikos, who wrote about the real-life assassination of a dynamic politician.
Dibakar confirms shifting the location for the song with Emraan and Pitobash. "It's my first street song � it's very boisterous as it's about a street mob.
I had planned to shoot in places like Sewri, Mazgaon docks, etc. But my excitement was dampened when I learnt that I couldn't shoot after 10 pm," he says, lamenting the rule of disallowing use of loudspeakers after the deadline.
The filmmaker concedes he finds this strange since loud music with DJ, partying, etc was allowed till 2 am during the Ganesh festival.
"Although I did enjoy the music during the 11-day festival, there's no way I can shoot the song keeping the volume down. We didn't want to do anything that disturbed the peace, so we opted out to look for other option," he adds.
However, Dibakar is not the only filmmaker facing such woes. An executive producer reveals that it has become increasingly difficult to shoot in Mumbai. "We have to pay the processing fees and deposits. And if that's not enough, we also have to bribe people in the BMC, Police and other departments to ensure that the shoot is not disrupted," he says.
No wonder, then, Dibakar isn't willing to comment on the increase in Shanghai's budget as a result of the location change. "Suffice to say, that the additional expenditure is enough to shoot a low-budget film that I'm known to make," he concludes.
The unit of the Tamil film Vedi, led by Prabhudeva, was denied permission to shoot in Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Kolkata this July. HitList reported on July 29 that the unit had the go-ahead till a week before. However, on the morning of the shoot, they were told that they could not shoot. After losing the day, the filmmaker and his actors, Vishal and Sameera Reddy, shot the appropriate scenes in Annapoorneshwari Devi Temple the following day.
Ram Gopal Varma's Department
Having started shooting Department one early July morning on Mohammed Ali Road with Rana Daggubati, Ram Gopal Varma had to pack-up by afternoon. The locals protested that the shoot was hampering their business during Ramadan. Eventually, RGV recreated the South Mumbai locality at Essel Studios in Trombay to shoot those scenes.
RGV's Bejawada Rowdilu
After filming a brief chase sequence for his Telugu film Bejawada Rowdilu in Vijaywada sometime this May, Ram Gopal Varma had to call it a day. Reportedly, the local police station revoked the permission because the filmmaker didn't give them the script to check if there were any objectionable portions that could disturb the peace in Vijaywada.
Shankar's Endhiran / Robot
Even superstar Rajinikanth had to face permission issues. Director Shankar wanted to shoot some scenes of his sci-fi extravaganza in New Delhi. But after his crew got tired of running from pillar to post for the required permits, Shankar threw in the towel. On the plus side, at an event scheduled around the same time, Rajni reportedly conceded that he could come only because they couldn't procure the required permissions in the capital city.