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Bollywood shooting in Russia, Saint-Petersburg within the cash rebate program

Bollywood in Russia

Indian Yash Raj Films will refund almost $650,000 for production in Russia

One of the largest Indian production studios Yash Raj Films started shooting its new project codenamed “Production 70” starring popular Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, in Russia, Saint-Petersburg.

This is the first project, which will receive a rebate from Russian Export Center and Ministry of Economic Development within the federal rebate program. Russian government will refund 40% of production cost within the territory of the Russian Federation – almost $650,000 (based on the declared budget for production in Russia at the time of submitting the application).

“It is especially important for us that the first film to receive support under the federal rebate program is a large-scale project, a sequel to a popular Indian blockbuster. Besides attracting investment and infrastructure development, we pursue an increase in the tourist flow to the filming locations, – comments Evgenia Danilchenko, head of creative industries support at Russian Export Center. “Russian government has allocated more than 4 million dollars for the trial period of the program from 2021 to 2023, but we hope to increase this amount next year, because twe see high demand from large-budget international projects”

The organization of the shooting process in Russia is handled by Alexander Dostal, general producer of “Etalon-Film” film company. Yash Raj Films was able to receive the support under the rebate program thanks to “Etalon-Film”, which de facto became a recipient of the cashback from the state bodies.

Makati City Pabakuna

“Shooting an Indian movie in a Russian city is a real challenge, but we managed to organize Bollywood on the streets of Saint-Petersburg. Scenes with chases, disappearances and complex stunts on the background of the main city streets and squares – we could only imagine such action before. Due to the fact that the film became a recipient of the cash rebate, our Indian partners decided to increase the budget and the variety of full-scale shooting locations,” comments Alexander Dostal, producer of “Etalon Film”.

Production 70” (working title) produced by one of the largest Bollywood studios Yash Raj Films is a spy thriller directed by Maneesh Sharma, known for the popular Indian film “Yash Raj Films” (Band Baaja Baaraat, 2010). The project stars Indian beloved actors Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. The original title is not revealed yet.

The plot focuses on special agents of the Indian Foreign Intelligence Service. Spy adventures take place in several countries, including Russia: the protagonist is assigned to find an arms dealer, and an unexpected turn throws the characters to St. Petersburg. During the operation, the hero discovers that there is someone who is interested in catching the dealer too. This part of the plot is now being filmed in St. Petersburg – spy games with complex chases and stunts take place on the main streets of the city. The stunts are directed by famous Russian stuntman Viktor Ivanov. The production involved about 50 stunt doubles.

“The main task of our genre is to arouse the viewers’ interest, so we try to saturate the story not only with an exciting plot, but also with a variety of locations at the stage of script development. Considering St. Petersburg as one of the potential shooting locations, we knew that the weather here is changeable, but this did not frighten us. The cost of the services of the Russian team turned out to be higher than the Indian one, but thanks to the rebate cashback we managed to hire a professional local team and shoot some beautiful scenes on the streets of St. Petersburg,” says Sudhanshu Kumar, executive producer of the project.

In total Yash Raj Films attracted more than 80% of Russian specialists for the film crew.