One of world’s biggest film industires ‘Tollywood’ comes to town

Indian film being shot at Hemel Hempstead Stags rugby club
Indian film being shot at Hemel Hempstead Stags rugby club

Rugby meets the big screen next month as the Hemel Stags’ playing ground is to feature in a Bollywood-like movie.

The Rugby League club is to make its film debut in Indian cinema as it appears in Govindudu Andarivadele – a movie about a boy of Indian heritage who is brought up in England.

The lead character, played by Indian film star Ram Charan, is also a rugby player and the star of his team, and the production company visited the South East recently to shoot some scenes.

After filming general action at the Kingstone Press Championship One game at Oxford between Oxford RL and Hemel Stags, the production moved to Hemel Hempstead a few days later.

According to the Stags’ website, two teams of mainly actors took to the field at the Pennine Way Stadium to go through some scenes featuring Indian film star Ram Charan – although Hemel skipper BJ Swindells was on hand to add some authenticity to the action.

The film is in the Telugu language and is a part of Indian cinema based in Hyderabad also known as Tollywood, which is the second biggest film industry after Bollywood in India. Award-winning director Krishna Vamsi said: “Around 25% of the film is being shot here about how he spends his time, how he’s living and studying.

“It’s the first time I’ve shot rugby.

“ I don’t know much about it but have gathered some information for the film.

“I have done other sports –I don’t think it’s a challenge but it’s kind of fun.”

A Stags spokesman said how much rugby footage will be used depends on the final edit, but Krishna added: “Since this is the introduction of the hero – it will be quite long.”

The film is scheduled for world-wide release, including in England, next Wednesday, October 1.