India and Japan to collaborate through Bollywood

Shochiku and Imtiaz Ali team up


News - India & You

January 14, 2017

/ By / New Delhi

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Renowned Indian film writer-director, Imtiaz Ali and Japanese film making company, Shochiku have collaborated for producing ‘Love in Tokyo’, a film bringing together culture and characters from India and Japan.

It was the opening ceremony of ‘2017 as the year of Japan-India friendly exchanges’ when renowned Indian film director-writer, Imtiaz Ali announced the production of his new film, ‘Love in Tokyo’ in collaboration with a major Japanese film studio, Shochiku.

This Indo-Japanese collaboration is a part of the friendly exchanges the two countries are looking at by means of cultural exchanges.

The film that will be reciting of a love tale will have an Indian actor and a Japanese actress in lead roles. It is to be shot almost entirely in Japan and will hence expose Indian audiences to various facets of the oriental nation with its release; also fulfilling the idea of ‘friendly exchanges’.

Ali was struck with the idea of producing something on Indo-Japanese cultural lines when he was in the island nation shooting for his movie ‘Tamasha’, a 2015 Bollywood flick. He was influenced by the culture and other experiences that the country had to offer, and also the professional ethics with which people worked there.

The idea popped out of a conversation Ali had with Shochiku’s CEO, Jay Sakomoto. “We talked about how there are so many things that are common between people living in various cities of Asia. We discussed if it was possible to make a movie which tells you about people from different places and can also translate to audience at different places. Can we bridge the gap and not make the movie for one country or one region? Can it be more universal both in content and execution?” Ali said, at the event.

Interestingly, the film borrows its title from the 1966 Bollywood movie of the same name but is a ‘reboot’ and not a ‘remake’ of it.

“The reboot is a fresh take, an entirely reworked story. At its heart is something not commonly seen in Indian films. With the male and female actors, both rooted deeply in their cultures, the love story is going to be unlike others,” said Ali. “Although the two cultures have many things in common, the one thing that is not common is the language. If the characters do not get entangled in words, they have a chance to develop a relationship,” he added.

Ali was present at the event along with his brother Arif, who is working on the film with him. Taking the Japan fandom further, Arif talked about the art and technology Japan has to offer and how through this film he was looking at “translating the curiosity for Japan.”

Ali is yet to audition actors for the lead roles, but the script and the shooting plan for the movie is ready.

Experiential Japan

“It will be a great learning experience for me to work with the Japanese company. It is great to be in Japan. I would actually ask people from India to go to Japan. There is a lot to be entertained by and there is also a lot to learn from them,” Ali told Media India Group, talking about the experiential nation that Japan is.

Explaining how the movie would boost cultural exchange and tourism between the two nations, he said, “The scope of the story is such that the Japanese tourism department got interested in it. They felt that their interest could be promoted through the movie. As you know in India, films have become a very important way of encouraging tourism at certain places. They latched onto that concept. But, that came later. What came first is the idea of making a movie that brings together characters from Japan and India, and also therefore the units and casts from both the countries.”

“Various departments from the Japanese government are involved and they are aiding and helping the movie come together,” he told us.


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