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Bollywood film gives hope amid attacks -

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ELEANOR HALL: Reports of racist attacks on Indian students in Australia may still be dominating
Indian news outlets, but today pay-TV channels in more than 150 countries will be screening an
Australian short film that tells a very different story.

The Bollywood-inspired film about an Australian who falls in love with an Indian student was made
by Flinders University students in Adelaide. Now Mumbai-based Zee TV has picked up the screening
rights as Nance Haxton reports .

(Excerpt from movie)

PRIYA: Oh, I'm Priya.

SAM: Oh, I'm Sam. So are you going to the dance?

PRIYA: I don't know I just got here.

(End of excerpt)

NANCE HAXTON: Priya tells the story of an Australian student Sam, who falls in love with the new
Indian girl at school. In true Bollywood style, the two heroes have to overcome many obstacles in
their path to true love, not least of which is Priya's father, who only lets Priya date Indian men.

(Excerpt from movie)

PRIYA'S FATHER: You don't look Indian.

(End of excerpt)

NANCE HAXTON: Writer and director Chris Kellett says he had a feeling from the outset that this
short film would become much more than his final project for his university degree.

CHRIS KELLETT: The Indian community jumped on board and the local Indian community were amazing.
They kind of, we had some calls from Sydney and Melbourne after they saw an ad saying hey you know,
we would like to be involved in the film and everything.

We had to say well, that is great. If you can get here that is fine but we are shooting in Adelaide
so once they jumped in, the film went to a new level.

NANCE HAXTON: So it wasn't even just local Indian community? It was all around the country?

CHRIS KELLETT: Yeah, no. We had support kind of from everywhere. The fact that we had their support
was huge.

NANCE HAXTON: He says the making and release of the film amidst the background of allegedly racist
attacks on Indian students in Australia, was a timely accident of fate.

CHRIS KELLETT: Some people have been talking. They ask me about, you know, was it, did you make it
to try and bring cultures together or bridge some gaps and stuff. It wasn't the intent. I just
wanted to create a great film and a great ride for everyone so it is a beautiful little love story
about two characters and no matter where they are from, no matter what their backgrounds, people
like watching two young people fall in love.

NANCE HAXTON: Mandahla Rose plays Priya, the beautiful Indian student who captures Sam's heart.

MANDAHLA ROSE: Being in Priya and the fact that so many people have come to realise it and notice
Priya has actually opened my eyes to the fact that the Indian community is actually quite a large
community and quite proud to be who they are as well so the fact that Priya has brought this to
light is wonderful.

NANCE HAXTON: The short film is all in English, except for the closing song of triumph "I Can See
It in Your Eyes", which is sung in a mix of English and Hindi.

(Music from movie)

NANCE HAXTON: Mumbai based Zee TV will show the film starting in Singapore, then rolling through
167 countries including Australia, which will show the film to subscribers of the pay-TV channel
today. Priya's producers are also negotiating with Australian TV networks for a local screening.

Chris Kellett is now working on an idea for a full-length Bollywood film coproduction between India
and Australia, and hopes Priya introduces the genre to a whole new Australian audience.

CHRIS KELLETT: Cause some people who don't understand I guess what Bollywood films are like and
haven't watched them before they see them, yeah, they are those singing, dancing, those musicals
the Indian film industry makes and they are incredibly intelligent and yeah, they are very good at
self-referencing things and being very, I guess, in the moment.

I think it is definitely a great way to look at life.

(Music from movie)

ELEANOR HALL: Film director Chris Kellett.