Production companies from India are increasingly choosing Serbia when it comes to locations for shooting. 2018 marks the busiest year for Serbian production service companies in relation to Indian market. Due to the introduction to non visa regime and increase in cash rebate to 25% Serbia has become new go to destination for Indian filmmakers. From June to August Indian films URI and Chekka Chivantha Vaanam were almost simultaneously shot on locations in Serbia which cumulated 100 shooting days serviced by Clockwork Film Production in the past 12 months.
After successful collaboration with Clockwork Film Production on Into the Wild, Mani Ratnam, one of the most internationally awarded Indian directors, returned to Serbia for his upcoming Tamil-language action thriller Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (English: Crimson Red Sky). The film features an ensemble cast including Arvind Swami, Silambarasan, Vijay Sethupathi and Arun Vijay as the lead actors, with a supporting female cast led by Jyothika, Aishwarya Rajesh, Aditi Rao Hydari and Dayana Erappa. It is produced by Mani Ratnam and Subaskaran under their banners Madras Talkies and Lyca Productions. Music composed A. R. Rahman, as for other Ratman’s films. Shooting commenced in February at the outskirts of Chennai, completed in June in Serbia, again with great support of Clockwork Film, and it was qualified for the incentive program of the Ministry of Economy of Serbia. The film has been shown in India on 29th of September 2018 along with its dubbed Telugu version Nawab.
Požarevac and Stara planina were perfect locations for shooting Bollywood drama Uri, directed and written by debutant Aditya Dhar and produced by Ronnie Screwvala’s production arm RSVP. It is all about surgical strike carried out by Indian army on Pakistani terrorists positioned across the Line of Control. Their work in Serbia, which lasted for two months (one part of the movie was shot in India), was successfully done thanks to great cooperation Serbian film crews have with the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Serbia and Serbian army. Sets made for Uri demanded the construction and intervention of local production designers to faithfully show the territory of India, Myanmar and Kashmir. Special forces were portraited with stuntmen team from Asia, Europe and Thailand combined with 600 extras. Film is in post-production with release scheduled for February 2019. Experienced team of Clockwork Film Production again proved to be reliable partner for Indian market.
This huge success of Clockwork Film was announced by July premiered Soorma (The Warrior). This biographical sports hero drama based on the life of hockey player Sandeep Singh, was directed by Shaad Ali, produced by Sony Pictures Networks India and assisted by Clockwork Film for parts shot in Serbia, in the end of 2017. The story of the hockey player Sandeep Singh, played by Punjab star Diljit Dosanjh, victim of accidental gunshot that interrupted his career. Locations in Novi Sad and Belgrade served to portray Singh’s recovery period spent in Europe with supporting cast from Serbian Paralympics team. To celebrate all accomplishments during past year Clockwork Film will organize special screening of Soorma in Yugoslav Film Archive in the end of October for Film Friendly partners.
And it is not only film locations and European looks that have attracted Indian production companies to partner with Serbian conterparts. The other area of collaboration is high end visual effects for Bollywood and box office blockbuster titles. Serbian VFX studios have been collaborating with India advertising market in delivering VFX works, but after the success of Bahubali 2: The Conclusion, the doors have opened for new projects that required high standards and creative dedication to the final look.
The upcoming epic adventure Thugs of Hindoustan with Aamir Khan, Katarina Kaif and Amitabh Bachchan directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya and produced by Yash Raj Films, is the latest release where Serbian team behind Crater Studio paired to deliver the action packed scenes and breathtaking sea combats in the style of Pirates of the Caribbean. Crater Studio portfolio of films for US market have made them specialists for water simulations, so their expertise came to support the segments of Thugs in creating CG sea rocks, water simulations and destruction of ships in the ambush scene.
The other one is long awaited sequel to the Enthiran titled 2.0 done in collaboration with several East European studios where Belgrade based Crater Studio joined the project for final touches.