Production has started in Abu Dhabi on Bollywood blockbuster ‘Bharat’, starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif and directed by filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar. All three Indian stars previously worked together on the box office hit ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, also shot extensively in Abu Dhabi.
Due to release in cinemas during Eid Al Fitr 2019, ‘Bharat’ is an official adaptation of the 2014 Korean film, ‘Ode to My Father’, which depicted modern Korean history from the 1950’s to the present day through the life of an ordinary man. The movie is being produced by Reel Life Production Pvt, which is owned by Salman Khan’s sister, Alvira Khan Agnihotri, and brother-in-law, Atul Agnihotri, and is being shot across various locations in and around Abu Dhabi. The cast also includes veteran star Jackie Shroff and dancer, model and actress Nora Fatehi.
Having spent over 100 days filming in Abu Dhabi during the last year and a half, Salman Khan and Reel Life Productions will again be working closely with twofour54 who are providing full production services for the film, covering key areas such as location assistance, permits and equipment as well as catering, accommodation, travel and transportation.
H.E. Maryam Eid AlMheiri, CEO of Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi and twofour54, said: “Abu Dhabi is always thrilled to welcome Salman Khan and we look forward to working with the cast and crew of ‘Bharat’.
“For an actor and producer of his experience to film three movies in a row in Abu Dhabi is testament to the incredible offer we have for filmmakers. Production houses across the globe are now understanding the level of support twofour54 delivers across the entire filming process.”
Her Excellency added: “This has already been a remarkable year with key international and regional productions filming in Abu Dhabi and we hope this will continue with other major projects still to be announced.”
Salman Khan’s trio of films that used Abu Dhabi as a location started with ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, which he and Katrina Kaif shot in the Emirate this time last year, spending more than two months in Abu Dhabi – the Emirate’s longest shoot to date. The film went on to become Bollywood’s second highest domestic box office hit. In March 2018, Salman returned for ‘Race 3’, the action thriller filmed at nine Abu Dhabi locations over 23 days and was in cinemas during Eid Al Fitr 2018.
Salman said: “I am excited to be back in Abu Dhabi, a location that has featured prominently in the last few projects. Abu Dhabi offers support for productions like nowhere else in the world and is always looking to push the boundaries in filmmaking. The partnership with twofour54 and Abu Dhabi Film Commission has been unique in many ways which has resulted in a seamless production process despite the complexity of my recent films Tiger Zinda Hai and Race 3. We look forward to having the same experience filming Bharat.”
‘Bharat’ director Ali Abbas Zafar added: “Abu Dhabi is an incredible filming location and we are thrilled to be shooting scenes in and around the city and desert. The production services offering has gone from strength to strength since the first project we brought here, ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’. Their expertise and experience working with Bollywood productions allows us the peace of mind that they will deliver for us again.”
‘Bharat’ is the latest major international production to benefit from the 30% rebate on production spend in the Emirate from the Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC).
In 2018, Salman Khan's ‘Race 3’ has filmed here, while another popular Indian actor Prabhas shot ‘Saaho’, and Hollywood legend Tom Cruise leapt from 20,000ft up in the Abu Dhabi sky for the daredevil HALO parachute jump in ‘Mission: Impossible- Fallout’.