News Column

City's profile to get boost from movie ; ROLES: RESIDENTS AND AREA FEATURE IN FILM

August 16, 2013


An independent film shot in Leicester will boost the city's profile when it premieres next month, say business bosses.

Jadoo, which means magic in Hindi, is a food-themed film set in the city's Golden Mile and includes a brief appearance from MP Keith Vaz. Scores of businesses and residents appear in the movie and are excited about the film boosting the profile of the city, in particular Belgrave - which is already known worldwide for its huge Diwali celebrations. Chairman of the Belgrave Business Association Dharmesh Lakhani, who also owns Bobby's restaurant, and makes a cameo in the movie, said: It's very positive that the whole film was shot in and around the Belgrave area, especially because it's going out across the country and because we're in the process of bidding the 2017 UK City of Culture.

I even play a small part in the film in a scene with Madhur Jaffrey and Keith Vaz - which was very exciting.

The movie stars Harish Patel, of Run Fatboy Run fame, and Kulvinder Ghir, who featured in the comedy Goodness Gracious Me and Bend It Like Beckham.

The two actors play chef brothers, Raja and Jaqi, who have become estranged following a fall-out. In the heat of the moment, the pair rip up the family recipe book, leaving one brother left with the starters and the other the main courses. The pair then set up rival restaurants on opposite sides of Belgrave's Golden Mile.

Jadoo also stars EastEnders' Ray Panthaki and the late Paul Bhattacharjee, who appeared in James Bond film Casino Royale.

The film's writer and director, Leicester's Amit Gupta, has included all the city sites he cherishes. He said: They're all places I know and love, and I knew before I started writing which parts of the city I was going to include.

Mercury readers will recognise locations such as Curve, the Peepul Centre, the Golden Mile and various Asian eateries along Belgrave Road. One such restaurant is Sharmilee, which Amit hired for the day for one of the scenes.

The restaurant's manager Ashish Gosai said: A couple of the waiters were in the film and my sister got a part as one of the customers.

Jewellers and clothing shop Indikal, in Belgrave Road, also appears in the film.

It's such a lovely place and I wanted to mention it, said Amit.

You'll have to put out a disclaimer apologising to everyone I've missed out because we used so many wonderful places.

Leicester East MP Keith Vaz appears as a judge in a cooking competition.

He said: It's something the city can be very proud of. A lot of the story is based around food, which is also great because it will put us on the map as a culinary destination. Jadoo is being premiered in Leicester at the Showcase cinema, at Highcross, on Tuesday, September 3. CITY'S STARRING ROLE IN FILM TO SEE A VIDEO OF THE MOVIE TRAILER GO TO...

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