Wednesday, June 24, 2015

International production crew shooting Bollywood film in Jacksonville for 12 days

Tuesday, June 23, 10:31 AM EDT
By Max Marbut, Staff Writer

A scene for a new feature film, “Romance Complicated,” was filmed along Laura Street Downtown near City Hall and the Main Library.

With an international cast and crew in the midst of 12 days of filming, another title is being added to the list of feature films created, at least in part, in Jacksonville.

Director Dhwani Gautam is filming scenes at several locations for “Romance Complicated.” The film stars Delhi-based model and Miss India finalist Divya Misra and Bollywood singers Aishwarya Majmudar and Javed Ali.

The production is expected to generate an estimated local economic impact of $200,000, the city said in a news release.

In addition to the India-based cast and crew, 60 local crew members and extras were hired for the scenes filmed in Jacksonville.

According to, the storyline is a “complicated yet adorable romance between a sweet, innocent, naughty and loveable guy” and an “arrogant, yet charming damsel.”
The pair travels from India to America in search of their soul mates with stops in New York City and Florida.

Todd Roobin, manager of the Jacksonville Film & Television Office, said for this latest film, Jacksonville is not “standing in” for another city as it has in previous productions, but rather is an integral part of the plot line.

For example, Hanna Park was depicted as a U.S. Navy Seal training camp in Southern California for “G.I. Jane” starring Demi Moore and Viggo Mortensen. Some courtroom scenes were filmed in Jacksonville for “Devil’s Advocate” starring Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron.

In “Basic,” starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Connie Nielsen, the area around Cecil Commerce Center became a jungle in Panama.

Since June 15, the crew for “Romance Complicated” has filmed scenes at Friendship Fountain, the Northbank Riverwalk, the Jacksonville Landing, along Laura Street Downtown and at the Jacksonville Beach pier.

The film also represents a first for the local feature film industry.

“As far as I know, it’s the first time an Indian feature film has been shot here,” said Roobin.
The film is scheduled to be released in India in September. Roobin said a U.S. premiere is in the works and the movie could eventually be released on a global level.

Indian movie filming in Jacksonville sign of increased activity — and $1 million economic impact

Jacksonville Business Journal

Jun 22, 2015, 3:10pm EDT Updated Jun 22, 2015, 3:39pm EDT

Colleen Michele Jones
Jacksonville Business Journal

'Romance Complicated" director Dhwani Gautam (far left) and the crew filming scenes in Downtown Jacksonville recently. 

A Bollywood movie is the latest project to be filmed on location in the River City. And there are dozens more on the way. Since Jan. 1, the Jacksonville Film & Television Office has permitted or assisted in obtaining permitting for more than 30 productions across the metro area.

The economic impact to the city: $861,700 in projected returns to the local economy, including approximately 282 hires, 400 hotel rooms and 114 days of production.

The crew for 'Romance Complicated' filming outside the Jacksonville Public Library Downtown last week.

The film crew and extras shooting a scene at Mavericks at the Jacksonville Landing for 'Romance Complicated.

“We’re absolutely seeing a lot of activity out of this office,” Todd Roobin, manager of the Jacksonville Film & Television Office, said in a phone interview.

“Romance Complicated,” the Indian romantic comedy currently on location in Jacksonville, is expected to generate up to $200,000 in economic impact alone. The 15-day production, which began June 15 and wraps up later this week, will feature such locales as Friendship Fountain, Laura Street, the Northbank Riverwalk, The Jacksonville Landing and the Jacksonville Beach Pier.

The film, which will be released this September, is also being shot in India and New York City.
While the city does not offer any specific incentives for filming in Jacksonville, Roobin helps to work out any logistical issues visiting film crews have, including access to public and private property and freelance staffing resources.

“When international productions film here, we have the opportunity to boost our local economy and globally showcase our beautiful city," Roobin said. "Hopefully, its international success will continue to inspire other Indian films to choose Jacksonville as a location.”