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John Key wants more Bollywood films to be shot in New Zealand

Mumbai: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who met director-duo Abbas-Mustan and cast of their upcoming film `Players`, a part of which was shot in that country, on Wednesday said he wants more Bollywood filmakers to capture the island nation on their lens and showcase their scenic spots.

The NZ premier visited the Bollywood set of `Players` at the Film City here to watch a scene from the film. The scene was already shot in New Zealand but it was shot again today in honour of Key. He also met actors Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu and director duo Abbas-Mustan.

In order to boost tourism, New Zealand has opened its doors for Bollywood to shoot Hindi films in the country.

"We have yesterday signed an agreement with the Indian government that will lead to more Bollywood films being shot in New Zealand. In the last ten years, approximately 150 films were made in New Zealand. We want filmmakers to make many more films in New Zealand. Its a great place to shoot," Key told reporters here.

`Players`, an action-thriller also stars Bobby Deol, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Omi Vaidya and Sikander Kher in the lead roles. It was shot in India, New Zealand and Russia, is expected to release on December 23 this year.

"It is a great movie (Players). Its the most anticipated film," Key said.

Tourism New Zealand, Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said, showcasing New Zealand`s tourism appeal on the big screen has played a strategic role in attracting Indian visitors to our country. I would like to thank to all the producers that choose to incorporate New Zealand`s beautiful scenery in their films."

The film which is a remake of the 2003 American film, `The Italian Job`, is about a team of thieves who plan to steal gold bullion from a former associate who double crossed them.

"From the little that I have seen of `Players` at the time of filming in New Zealand, the movie looks fantastic. I am very excited to see it and I am sure more Indian visitors will come to New Zealand as a result," Bowler said.

The Prime Minister is on a three day visit to India.

While actors Abhishek and Bipasha too said that they enjoyed shooting in New Zealand.

"The scene that was shot here at Filmcity was already shot earlier. We did it again in honor of the Prime Minister of New Zealand. But this scene is there in the film," Abhishek, said.

Talking about his experience in New Zealand, Abhishek said, "The experience of shooting in NZ has been wonderful.

Both Bipasha and I have shot several films there. The local film crew over there is very helpful; they are well equipped to make films there. Also, foreign films also go there to shoot. It is a very film-friendly country."

"I am very glad to hear about the agreement between the Indian and New Zealand government to bring more films to come down there. It is a wonderful place to shoot. It is not only a nice place to holiday but also to work," he said.

"We had lots of fun at NZ. But looking forward to the release. The whole experience was good," Bipasha said.

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