NEW DELHI: After London, New York, Australia and Mauritius, Israel may well be the next destination for our film makers to set their movies in. Given the historic and cultural commonality between the two countries, the reasons for such a joint partnership seems to have both commercial and artistic potential.
Little wonder then that the Israel government is ardently wooing Indian film makers, inviting them to come and experience the country’s rich and diverse culture. They have officially welcomed Indian filmmakers with open arms and hearts to shoot at various historic locales in the country.
Israel’s Ambassador to India, David Danieli said in an interaction with journalists that, “the historic country of Israel has proved to be an idyllic location for various international films and we see no reason why Bollywood themes cannot find suitable expression here”.
Interestingly, inspite of Indian films not being screened in the way they are in the USA or UK, Bollywood movies have managed to strike a chord with Israelis and leading film producers have found a ready market in the Jewish state.
According to the Ambassador, Indian movie VCDs and DVDs have good sales.” He also suggested that sports could be a theme that could bind the two countries in the cinematic idiom. Football and basketball could be tools to boost ties between the two countries.
He said that Israel’s football and basketball had been received very warmly in West Bengal and Kerala.
Emphasizing that the people-to-people contact between the two countries had grown in recent years, Israeli students have been coming in large numbers to pursue higher studies.
Who knows when the ardent movie goer watches Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta singing paeans of love in Bethlehem or Jerusulem’s Walled City, Israel may zoom up on his list of preferred tourist destinations.