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Coast, Mara picked for romantic Indian movie

By Philip Mwakio | July 4th 2019
India's Bolly wood award winning film Director Kumar Raj and his Wife Sonam Raney at Shanzu's Kilwa Resort in Mombasa County

The port city of Mombasa and the famed Masai Mara National Park will be locations where a renowned Indian film maker and Oscar nominee will be shooting a movie.

Speaking at an upmarket modern resort in Mombasa’s North Coast, Raj Kumar, the Oscar nominee and celebrated Bollywood film director, said they were finalising all the necessary paper work before embarking on the shooting of the movie “Love Kenya”.

Mr Kumar, a master mariner with more than three decades of sailing the world ocean waters, is credited for films such as Yahhan, Ameena Bikti Hai, Tara- the journey of Love and  Passion and Come December.

“You have such a wonderful location. Mombasa is a port city and has very rich history that is intertwined culturally with that of India. Despite its stature as a melting port of different cultures and a popular tourist resort, it is still not well known to the larger outside world,” Kumar said.

Kumar, 57, and who is currently holidaying in Kenya with his wife and creative director Sonam Raney, chose Mombasa to celebrate his birthday and unveiled his latest plans.

He announced that the movie would largely be shot at the Kilua Resort, parts of Mombasa City that include the famous Elephant Tusks, Mombasa Harbour, the historical Fort Jesus Museums and Haller Park.

“I made an exciting trip to the world famous Masai Mara National Park and there I met and made a deal with local film enthusiasts. We shall be shooting part of the movie there,” he said.

In the yet to be shot film, Kumar states that the lead actress will be from India and another key actor from Mombasa.

“I am particularly impressed by the hotel (Kilua Resort) location and its entire architectural design that comes with spacious living quarters that are ideal for filming,” he said.

This latest developments is a clear shot in the arm for Mombasa and Kenya’s tourism at large.

The country’s top tourism marketer, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), has been targeting the Indian market to help shore up tourism arrivals from the populous Asian market and the shooting of this movie could add to tourist numbers, according to locals.

Local hotelier and film guru Hassan Feisal said it was a well thought out idea by Kumar to select Mombasa as his prime shoot location. At least 125,000 tourists visit Kenya from India every year. KTB says the numbers might go up with the planned shooting.

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