Over the years, Bollywood filmmakers have preferred to fly to Eastern European countries or cross the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to New Zealand. However, it appears that the North East has remained off Bollywood’s radar as a filming location. There have been Hindi blockbuster films set in Northeast India that were filmed elsewhere. Dil Se (1998), Tango Charlie (2005), Bum Bum Bole (2010), and Mary Kom (2014) are among them.
1. Ek Pal (Assam-1996): Naseeruddin Shah, Farooq Shaikh, and Shabana Azmi feature in this film directed by Kalpana Lajmi. Shillong and Jorhat (Assam) were used to shoot the 2.15-hour film.
2. Jewel Thief (Sikkim-1967): This spy thriller starring Dev Anand was shot in Sikkim, which was not part of the North-East at the time. It was one of the first espionage thriller films to be released in India, and it kept the audience on the edge of their seats.
3. Kurbaan (Meghalaya-1991): Deepak Bahry directed the film. Shillong was used to film the family drama film starring Salman Khan and Ayesha Jhulka. The Eastern Air Command Campus in Upper Shillong was used for a few sequences.
4. Koyla (Arunachal Pradesh-1997): In Arunachal Pradesh, Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit starred in Rakesh Roshan’s 1997 film ‘Koyla.’ Tanhai Tanhai, one of the film’s tracks, was shot at Shungetser Lake and Nuranang Falls in the Tawang district of the state. Shungetser Lake became known as Madhuri Lake after the filming.
5. Harpal (Shillong-2001): Preity Zinta and Shiny Ahuja feature in Jahnu Barua’s film, which was shot in Shillong. However, due to legal issues with the film’s principal actor, the release of this film was postponed.