New York City's once thriving movie industry ground to a halt after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. But the city is making an international comeback. One of India's enduring movie icons was in New York City recently using the backdrop of the Big Apple for his upcoming film, Love at Times Square.
Shooting at various locations in New York City, including the Brooklyn Heights promenade, Columbia University and the department store, Bloomingdales, Dev Anand came to make an Indian love story in a city he loves very much.
The film's story begins and ends in Times Square, where Mr. Anand said inspiration for the movie came to him one Saturday night on a visit to the famous area.
"I was in America 30 years ago making a picture called The Guide, and it was being printed in America, and something happened to me in relation to the Times Square as an individual, which I do not want to reveal now, which I shall reveal when the movie is released," says Mr. Anand.
The attack on the World Trade Center on September 11 caused delays in visas and work permits for Mr. Anand and his crew, and the filmmaker wondered whether it was appropriate to shoot a movie at this time. But he decided going on with his plans was one small way of joining with New Yorkers, Americans, and the world, in telling the perpetrators they cannot disrupt civilized life.
In fact, Mr. Anand says he looked forward to shooting in New York, and that back home in India, people are eager to see his next film because of the New York setting.
"New York is all over the world, New York is a very fascinating, glamorous city that people look forward to going and seeing themselves and the love element again is a very universal element," he says. "I think they are looking forward and they shall look forward to it because basically it is being shot in a place now very much in focus."
Mr. Anand's film career has spanned a 56-year period in India and the prolific actor, writer, director, and producer is still going strong. The award winning movie man says he has had his ups and downs, but he always bounces back. He attributes his success to being able to adapt to the times. He says he even had a scene in Love at Times Square at the World Trade Center, but had to do some rearranging.
"I had a scene in the film to be shot at the World Trade Center and before I came, this devastation took place so I had to change the concept and make it into something like the Empire State Building," he explains.
Mr. Anand is editing and producing the film in India, but he says he will be back next spring to show Love at Times Square in New York. At that time, viewers can see for themselves the power New York has on the filmmaker.