Arts & Entertainment

Filmmaker seeks to establish Indian movie industry in Panama

Panama City, Mar 28 (EFE).- Indian actor, producer, filmmaker and businessman Prabhakar Sharan has worked for years to establish his country’s film industry in Panama.

In India’s pavilion at the Expocomer international trade exhibition, which opened its doors on Tuesday in the Panamanian capital, Sharan told EFE that many people from the government and the world of cinema had tried to bring Bollywood – as the Indian film industry is popularly known – to this Central American country before him.

“But no, it has to be a person who has this passion,” Sharan said in respectable Spanish, so although he has not been the pioneer, no one has persisted like him for “more than 22 years” with the desire to bring Bollywood to Panama.

The actor, originally from the northern Indian state of Bihar, came to the neighboring Costa Rica in 2000 as a student.

Sharan, who speaks about a ligament injury in his right shoulder that he sustained while shooting for “Enredados: La Confusion,” (2016) a romance and action comedy set in Costa Rica, stressed that “not anyone can bring Bollywood and make movies” in Latin America.

The Indian producer and screenwriter, who owns the Pacific Investment Corporation, said that “Enredados”, made on a budget of more than $1.8 million and with Panamanian film students and technicians, was the “first Central American action film.”

“Today I can say with great pride that there is no other person on the planet, there is no other (production) company on the planet that does the work Sharan is doing, working today with Panama and Costa Rica” to bring Bollywood, the world’s largest film industry, to the region, he added.

“In May or June, we are going to start the first movie, the first film I promised right here at Expocomer,” said Sharan, who added that a team from Bollywood was already working on the script in Costa Rica.

In the previous edition of Expocomer in March 2022, Sharan signed an agreement with a major production company in India with the backing of the Panama Film Commission of the Ministry of Commerce, to make the first Bollywood film in this country.

The film, titled at that time, “Borders Without Life, The Immigration Files,” was to be based on the difficulties and problems of illegally transcending any border.

Sharan revealed on Tuesday that the new film, for which filming will start in the middle of this year, tells the story of a former Panamanian Public Forces officer who participates in a joint operation with a group of former officers from Costa Rica and Panama to capture a gangster on the border between the two countries.

The Indian filmmaker said that the film would have “lots of action” and that he would be one of the main leads.

“I like action, that’s why I’m training..I’m already getting my six pack,” he said.

Sharan said that there are already plans to make a second film in Panama with Bollywood producers about the indigenous Ngäbe chieftain, Urracá, from the central province of Veraguas, who fought against the Spanish conquistadors.

The movie will be based on a book by Panamanian author and current mayor of Veraguas, Samid Sandoval.

“And I want to be Urraca, that’s my idea,” an excited Sharan said. EFE


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