23 Sep 2011

Dublin is providing the backdrop for a brand new Bollywood blockbuster called Ek Tha Tiger (meaning ‘Once There Was A Tiger’) which is being shot in the city this month.  Filming kicked off here in early September and the film will ultimately be released in 24 countries worldwide, reaching a massive audience of over 100 million people.

This is the first time that a major Bollywood production – featuring two of India’s most celebrated actors, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif – has been shot in Ireland.  Tourism Ireland is confident that it will help to significantly boost awareness of the island of Ireland among India’s growing middle classes who have the potential to come here on holidays.  Dublin will be portrayed as a modern and vibrant city, rich in history and culture; scenes are being shot in Trinity College, Temple Bar and other locations around the city.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said: “It’s a genuine pleasure to see a major Bollywood film being shot in Ireland, but it’s also great news from a tourism point of view.  This film will be watched by millions of people in India and around the world, providing a global platform for Ireland as a visitor destination.  The Indian film industry is the largest in the world after Hollywood but this is the first film of its type to be made in Ireland.  I want to make the actors and crew welcome in the hope that others will follow in their footsteps.”

Given that countries like Switzerland, Britain and New Zealand have all reported a significant, positive knock-on effect on tourism from India following the shooting of Bollywood films in their regions, Ek Tha Tiger has considerable potential to attract more Indian tourists to Ireland.  Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s chief executive, said “Bollywood is deep-rooted in the psyche of most Indians and the films have a considerable influence on Indian travellers when they are deciding on their holiday destination.  We are confident that the footage shot here will help whet appetites and create a curiosity among Indians to come and visit the places where the colourful ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ was shot.  We are delighted to have co-operated with the Irish Film Board in securing this important film for Ireland which was also made possible through strong support at Government level.”

TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on prospective visitors to Ireland; while around half of our visitors from overseas say that word of mouth influenced their decision to come here, another 20% say they were influenced by film and a further 14% by travel programmes on TV and radio (source: Visitor Attitude Survey 2010 – Fáilte Ireland).  Tourism Ireland has been liaising closely with the Irish Film Board and Northern Ireland Screen in recent years, to attract and facilitate film-making in Ireland and to further exploit the marketing potential of TV and film productions locating here. 

Tourism Ireland also works closely with TV and production companies to facilitate the making of films and programmes on the island of Ireland.  A number of programmes have been made here in recent years as well as reality TV shows, and a number of European TV and feature films have also been shot here.  All have aired to millions of potential visitors around the world in primetime slots and, in addition to helping to secure the film or programme for the island of Ireland in the first place, Tourism Ireland also dovetails its marketing activity to the viewing schedule to maximise benefits for tourism to the island.   In general, promotional tie-ins with film and TV productions offer a cost-effective way to reach mass audiences, particularly in emerging markets like India where raising awareness of the island of Ireland as a holiday destination is the first step in a longer-term campaign to attract more visitors.  

                                                                                            Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar is pictured with the two actors starring in Ek Tha Tiger, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, and with Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland.


Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland  
Tel:  087 685 9027

Notes to Editors:
• The Ek Tha Tiger crew (approximately 70 people) are filming here for about one month.
• The film will be shot in different countries, including Ireland and Turkey; about 40% of the film is being shot in Ireland.
• About the film: Ek Tha Tiger is an Indian love story set in a world of espionage and intrigue.  After a world-renowned scientist working in Trinity College is suspected of selling missile technology secrets to Pakistan the Indian government sends a secret agent to Dublin to find out more. The agent, code-named ‘Tiger’, falls in love with an Indian student in Trinity College and together they embark on a rollercoaster journey that begins in Dublin and brings them to Istanbul, Kazakhstan and Chile. 
• About the film production company: Yash Raj Films (YRF) is an Indian entertainment company, set up in 1976 by Yash Chopra, an Indian film director and producer who is considered something of an entertainment mogul in India.  In the last three decades, the company has gone from strength to strength and today is India’s biggest production company with the country’s most enviable film catalogue. 
• About the director: Kabir Khan, the director of the film, is a renowned Indian film director, screenwriter and camera operator of documentary and Bollywood films.  He chose Trinity College to shoot the college campus scenes for this film as he had been in Belfast to shoot a documentary many years ago and had visited the Trinity campus then.
• About the cast: Salman Khan, the ‘hero’ of the film has starred in more than 80 Hindi films and Katrina Kaif, the female lead, is a British-Indian actress and former model who has appeared in films like New York (2009) and Rajneeti (2010).  The people at Trinity have insisted that Salman and Katrina enrol as students for at least one or two classes and spend some time in an orientation exercise, so they feel a sense of belonging to the university.
• Switzerland has witnessed a boost in the number of Indian holidaymakers (almost 250,000 Indian visitors each year) since filming of Bollywood movies began there, ten years ago:


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