Lack of good roads stands between North East and Bollywood: Benegal

Lack of good roads stands between North East and Bollywood: Benegal

Lack of good roads stands between North East and Bollywood: Benegal

Shyam Benegal

The acclaimed director said that he had been very much impressed by the pristine beauty of the region, but lack of infrastructure, particularly lack of connectivity, stood as a deterrent to film-making.

"There’s no question that nature is at its pristine best in many parts of the region. But the diversity and richness of the North East are emerging only now for the rest of India," Benegal, who was made a member of the Task Force constituted by the Meghalaya government to promote the state as a film destination, said.

"When you have to go to Mumbai from Shillong, you have to travel all the way to Guwahati and take a flight,” he pointed out. Infrastructural incentives are needed to develop the region,” he said.

Earlier, he said, nobody knew much about the region, except Assam. "They didn't think about Arunachal Pradesh or for that matter even Meghalaya. Even now, if a tribal from Manipur happens to be in Mumbai, most people there would mistake him for a Chinese," he said. A greater understanding of the region was made possible only recently with better information and communication, he pointed out.

"The beauty of the region is something which filmmakers would like to project. Film industry will have a multiplier effect helping tourism, develop local skills, generate employment and help the economy of the region in general," Benegal said.

Benegal was also on the lookout for "exciting" narratives on the region.
"If I get an interesting subject, a good story set in Meghalaya or elsewhere in the North East, I would like to make a film," the director said.

"The story should reflect the people of the region, their culture, aspiration and way of living,” said Benegal,In the early 1990s, some shots of the Salman Khan-featured 'Kurban' were also taken in Shillong – often referred to as the Scotland of the East.
Jahnu Barua's 'Har Pal' starring Priety Zinta and Shiney Ahuja was also partly shot here besides many Bengali and Assamese flicks

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