Bollywood movie puts Lapland in the spotlight
Lapland tourism is set to get a major boost by being the location for the most anticipated Bollywood movie of the year.
The region is the setting for the action sequences of blockbuster movie War, produced by Yash Raj Films, Bollywood’s largest film production and distribution company.
Directed by Siddharth Anand, War will be released worldwide on 2 October and stars two of the biggest action superstars of India, Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff. Bollywood beauty Vaani Kapoor is paired opposite Hrithik and plays the leading lady. The film features a breath-taking and risky car chase sequence filmed in Rovaniemi, Finland.
The Rovaniemi shoot took place in March 2019, with the globe-hopping movie being shot in seven countries and 15 world cities.
Anna Niemelä, film commissioner at House of Lapland, said: “Producers contacted us during their search for Arctic filming locations. After researching different options, including an alternate location for the scene in Sweden, we were fortunate in helping them choose Finland.”
One of the important criteria in choosing the location was a skilled production company to handle the Finnish film production.
Anand said: “For the location, we needed an unobstructed expanse of ice. We found that high up in the Arctic and a fantastic production team from Finland to handle the kind of scale we wanted.
“The Finnish crew – professional and organised – gave us one of the most brilliant working experiences we’ve had. Finland’s conditions were quite challenging during the winter, but our team was well-equipped and prepared. And what we found in Finland was a director’s dream, with unparalleled visuals.”
Paul Jennings, known for his work on TV’s Game of Thrones and the blockbuster movie Batman Begins, among others, was the action director for the scene filmed in Rovaniemi. In Finland, production duties were handled by production company, Grillifilms.
Hanna Tuovio, executive producer at Grillifilms, said: “Preparations for the shot took three months. The production chose to film in Finland after the producer and director visited the location we suggested.
“The filming itself lasted six days, and the entire production group was in Rovaniemi for almost two weeks. The production group had nearly 70 people from eight different countries.
“We filmed the scene on the river ice and forest roads. As far as the filming was concerned, Rovaniemi’s infrastructure worked really well.”
The film premieres 2 October and Indian media predicts it to be a blockbuster, not least because it has already received a lot of attention. The teaser of the film has enjoyed 46 million views and the trailer has racked up 60 million views on YouTube.
Sanna Tarssanen, CEO of House of Lapland, said: “War is by far the largest production that has filmed in Lapland, and the scene shot in Rovaniemi has the attention in the film’s marketing.
“We are really looking forward to the reception that the film will receive and the impact it will have on tourism and new film productions coming to the area. India is an attractive market to Lapland, and such visibility can be immensely important.”
Sanna Kärkkäinen, Visit Rovaniemi’s CEO, said: “Previous experience of visiting public figures from India to Rovaniemi has proven to be a workable and effective means of marketing communication. We hope that Lapland, as a magnificent Arctic location, will now truly breakthrough in Bollywood productions.”
You can watch the movie trailer below.