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STORIES THAT CROSS BORDERS: INTERWEAVING CINEMATIC WORLDS

Hamisha Daryani Ahuja the director and producer of ‘Namaste Wahala,’ announced on December 8, 2023, her plans to film her upcoming production in the UAE. This exciting revelation took place during a discussion at the Milken Institute Middle East and Africa summit.

The Indian-Nigerian said, “I actually plan to shoot my next production in the UAE that’s three cultures that’s Nigeria, India and  the diaspora all combined. Could you imagine the Indians and Nigerians all over the world? So it increases the target there, as well as the country that you shoot in… the sky is the limit, I believe.”

She suggests that by incorporating three distinct cultures: Nigerian, Indian, and the combined diaspora of these cultures around the world – an envisioned broader audience appeal emerges, expanding the target audience. And at choosing the UAE as the filming location provides limitless opportunities for creativity and possibilities.

In another interview with the chairman of Silverbacks Holdings earlier in November, she illuminated her vision of blending Bollywood and Nollywood. Delving into the rationale behind ‘Namaste Wahala’, she shared, “I really wanted to do an Indian-Nigerian movie, because … Nigeria has grown up on Indian content.” Contemplating this influence, she added:

“Bollywood is such a big impact, how come no one’s tried to merge the two together?”

It all makes sense, the convergence of the world’s two large film industries not only aligns with Ahuja’s creative aspirations but also signals the birth of a formidable alliance poised to challenge the dominance of Hollywood. This mix is a big idea: that the amalgamation of these cultures and film industries might create an unbeatable force on the global cinematic stage.

Thus, the inception of ‘Namaste Wahala’. which bridged Bollywood to Nigeria. Looking ahead, the visionary filmmaker declares:

“The next step is bringing Nollywood to India”

This ambitious venture takes shape through her second Nollywood-Bollywood collaboration, ‘Postcards,’ boasting of  esteemed Nigerian actors including Sola Sobowale, Tobi Bakre, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Nancy Isime, and Indian actors: Rajinesh Duggall, Rahama Sadau and late Rio Kapadia.

The collaboration between Bollywood and Nollywood isn’t just a visionary ambition, it’s a game-changer with strategic advantage. By weaving the intricate threads of Indian and Nigerian storytelling, ‘Namaste Wahala’ laid the foundation. Now, with ‘Postcards,’ this collaboration opens doors to a wider audience reach, and fusion of narratives that speak to the world. It’s not just about film making; it’s about crafting a cinematic universe that celebrates diversity, harnesses collective strengths, and paves the way for a new era of global storytelling excellence. What an exciting future!

On this recent revelation, what kind of story would you love to see in Ahuja’s next project?

By Shalom O. Obisesan

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