Beating pandemic blues, stars shine in Lucknow! | Bollywood

The mix of old-world charm and modern infrastructure yet again attracted several filmmakers to shoot their projects in Lucknow in 2022. Just like the pre-pandemic period, a number of big movie stars came to the City of Nawabs for their shooting schedules following the Covid-induced hiatus.

In this year alone, director Nitesh Tiwari shot his next Bawaal with Varun Dhawan and Jhanvi Kapoor in Lucknow. Besides, a portion of Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Uunchai, directed by Sooraj Barjatya, was also shot in the city. Big B also shot for Shoojit Sirkar’s The Umesh Chronicles with Babil Khan while a portion of Vikram Vedha and the patch-work of Bhool Bhulaiyaa-2 was also shot this year.

Other prominent movies that were shot in the state capital this year include Chhatriwali starring Rakul Preet Singh, Anil Sharma’s Gadar starring Sunny Deol and Utkarsh Sharma, Bhakshak starring Bhumi Padnekar, Sudhir Mishra’s film Afwaat starring Taapsee Pannu and Single Salma starring Huma Qureshi and Shreyas Talpade.

Speaking on the trend, Dinesh Sehgal, deputy director, UP Film Bandhu, says, “It’s great to see big ticket films being shot here. A-lister directors, big production houses, and superstars shooting here is a big boost to the local talent and industry. Ease of shooting and single-window clearance as well as subsidy have driven makers to shoot here.”

Currently, The Kashmir Files maker Vivek Agnihotri is shooting for his next The Vaccine Story in Lucknow with Nana Patekar, Pallavi Joshi and Nivedita Bhattacharya. “Thou-gh the film is set in Delhi, we are shooting it in Lucknow. I am from UP and feel the city has perfect locations — both heritage sites and modern buildings,” says the director.

Apart from this, filmmaker Baba Azmi is also currently shooting in the city with his Mee Raqsam actor Aditi Subedi. The film also stars Kanwaljit Singh and Naseeruddin Shah. Besides, Anupam Kher shot for back-to-back projects in the state — first for KC Bokadia’s Signature and then for Satish Kaushik’s Kaagaz-2 with Darshan Kumar. “Subsidy isn’t the only thing bringing filmmakers here. Today, stories are driving makers to shoot in real locations,” says Bokadia.

Explaining the significance of films being shot in Lucknow, line-producer Aroon Singh Dicky, who helmed the shoot of Rangbaaz-3 starring Vineet Kumar, says, “Makers like Nitesh Tiwari, Shoojit Sirkar, Sooraj Barjatya, Satish Kaushik, Aneez Bazmi, KC Bokadia, Anil Sharma and Vivek Agnihotri shooting in city is a very good sign. A lot of small budgets keep on happening but it makes lot of difference when big films are shot here.”

Another line-producer Yogesh Mishra, who shot for Gadar 2 and many other projects, says, “South India star Anoop Singh shot for film Control here. Along with films, we have also shot for many web series here.”

Not just movies, popular OTT series are also being shot in Lucknow. A major portion of the highly-anticipated project Mirzapur 3 was shot in Lucknow after its Varanasi leg. “We managed the shoot for Kaagaz-2, UP-65, and South’s mega project Gautam Menon’s Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu starring popular Tamil artist Silambarasan (Simbu) here,” says line-producer Eiqbal Jaafri.

Meanwhile, Lucknowite Saurabh Tiwari shot his daily TV show Sab Satrangi here. Later, in the year, another project with Ravie Dubey was shot here. “Stories, real locations and the Hindi heartland backdrops drives me to this place again and again,” says Tiwari, who is originally from the city.

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