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Rediff.com  » Movies » London to get Bollywood-theme leisure complex

London to get Bollywood-theme leisure complex

Last updated on: September 16, 2003 21:00 IST

A father and son team of film producers has won permission to build a Las Vegas-style Caesar's Palace in north London incorporating a Bollywood-themed shopping, leisure and entertainment complex.

When completed, it is expected to showcase the best of contemporary Indian culture, including the latest film releases.

The project will be constructed on the site of a rubbish dump close to Wembley, the London equivalent of Queens in New York, which is popular with Indian families.

A five-star hotel, restaurants, theatres, shops and live Bollywood music are slated to make the complex a mecca for
visiting and local Indians. It has been costed at just under US $200 million [approximately Rs 916 crore].

The Brent council, which blocked the planning application for ten years, confirmed to rediff.com that the project backed by film magnate Sharad Patel has finally been given the go-ahead.

East Africa-born Patel began his filmmaking career producing educational films, documentaries and docudramas for a wide variety of personal clients and governments, developing a relationship that spanned more than three decades with the film community in both East Africa and the United Kingdom.

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In 1979 he financed, produced and directed his first highly successful feature film, Amin: The Rise And Fall, a project that combined cinematic insights and docudrama. Drawing from experience working with advertising agencies, Patel and his son Raju later formed Twin Continental Films Inc, their own distribution outfit in the United States.

The team then produced Bachelor Party, In the Shadows Of Kilimanjaro, and Glass Shadow: Cyborg II. Companies they control have developed a multinational strategy, beginning with the financing and production of both feature and made-for-television films in Los Angeles, feature film distribution in India, and a new pay television service for Asians of Indian origin in Great Britain and Europe.

The Brent council says the complex will celebrate the cultures of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Sharad Patel is quoted as saying, 'There will be sari and jewellery shops, but it is not meant just for Asians. It will be a leisure experience like Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.'

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