Australian cricket legend Brett Lee and internationally acclaimed Indian actress Tannishtha Chatterjee joined Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase in Sydney's Harris Park, to announce the Jhappi Time Indian tourism campaign will feature in the new film UNINDIAN, which begins production next week.
“I am thrilled to announce that UNINDIAN will be filmed exclusively in NSW and that Destination NSW's Indian tourism campaign, Jhappi Time will feature in this exciting production,” Ms Chipchase said.
“UNINDIAN will put Sydney and Regional NSW in the spotlight, not only to audiences in India but across the world. It's fantastic that our successful Jhappi Time tourism campaign is going to star in such a prominent feature film.
“The Jhappi Time (Hug Time) campaign has already boosted numbers visiting Sydney and we hope that UNINDIAN will see even more Indians visit our beautiful Harbour City and regional surrounds,” she said.
Assistant Minister for Tourism and Major Events Katrina Hodgkinson said: “India is a key inbound tourism market for NSW, with Sydney the top Australian destination for Indian visitors in the year ended June 2014, contributing $182 million to the NSW economy.
“The NSW Government is proud to support the production of UNINDIAN through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, which will showcase many of the wonderful attractions in Sydney and NSW through this film,” she said.
Directed and produced by Anupam Sharma who also directed Jhappi Time, UNINDIAN is a romantic comedy which explores the life of Indian expatriates and the complexities of wooing another from a different culture.
“I am honoured to be shooting UNINDIAN in NSW, using all the beautiful locations my home State has to offer,” said Mr Sharma.
"I am humbled to be working with a dream cast and crew from India and Australia. Joining Brett Lee and Tannishtha Chatterjee (Siddarth, Brick Lane) is Australian Bollywood star Pallavi Sharda, Bollywood STAR finalist Sarah Roberts, Indian theatre and film icons including Supriya Pathak and Akash Khurana, producer Lisa Duff (Last Cab To Darwin), director of photography Martin McGrath(Muriel's Wedding) and editor Marcus D'Arcy (Lorenzo's Oil, Babe).
“Everyone has embraced this 'first of its kind romantic comedy with a lot of heart, set in stunning locations,” he said.
Brett Lee said: “I'm honoured to have been cast in my first lead role and absolutely thrilled that UnIndian is being filmed in NSW, my home state. I'm excited that UnIndian will showcase NSW to audiences in India and across the globe.”
UNINDIAN is the first feature of the recently established Australia India Film Fund (AIFF) which was created to fund films that explore both Indian and Australian cultures for a global audience.
Devendra Gupta, Founder and CEO of the Australia India Film Fund, and Presenter of UNINDIAN said: “UNINDIAN is a very special film bringing Australian and Indian cultures together. It will showcase the very best of the lifestyle that NSW has to offer to a global audience.
“We are very proud to be producing our first film in our home city and supporting the local film industry,” he said.
Jhappi Time is the only tourism campaign executed by an Australian state tourism body that specifically targets the visiting friends and relatives market in India through a series of videos, which tell the stories of four families from India enjoying time with family and friends in Sydney and NSW.