Mumbai is not just the financial capital of India, it is also the heart of Bollywood. Bollywood is the world’s largest film industry. Today it is struggling to deal with the 16 coordinated terrorist attacks.
The heart of Bollywood was still on Thursday as many citizens refused to leave the security of their own homes.
The Taj Hotel is India’s answer to Beverly Hills. With flames shooting out of the building the hub of culture is now reeling from what will be once the violence dies down.
Those with Western passports were the targets of young gunmen. Among those reported dead are six foreign nationals.
Brooke Satchwell was on a three week shoot in Mumbai. The Australian television star was staying at the Taj when gunmen attacked. The Hollywood Reporter quotes the actress who maintained contact with her colleagues with her cell phone:
“We felt a little bit like sitting ducks,” Satchwell told radio 3AW of Australia, adding that she and others hid in a hotel toilet stall until they were ushered past dead bodies in the lobby by hotel security and into the street, where chaos reigned.
Almost all of the attacks were well away from the business area that makes up Bollywood movie studios. Still the terror was felt by the industry as areas frequented by those in the business were attacked.
On Thursday movie cinemas were closed. There will be business losses within the film industry not only in India but the West due to the attacks.
“There will be a negative impact at least for this weekend,” said Rajeev Mansand, film critic and entertainment editor at U.S.-Indian joint venture broadcaster CNN IDN.
Producer Rohan Sippy said, “As of today we’re just concerned about the overall security situation,” declining to say if he would postpone his film’s release.