Bradford’s iconic buildings and landmarks were turned gold to celebrate the launch of Bollywood’s hottest summer movie hit, GOLD – much of which was filmed in Bradford.
Gold, starring Bollywood megastar, Akshay Kumar was shot across several locations in Bradford as part of the filming for the inspirational story of India’s Olympic hockey players striving for medals in 1948 for their new independent nation.
City Hall’s Clock Tower, the Mirror Pool fountains, Forster Square railway arches and the roof of Margaret McMillan Tower are amongst city centre landmarks which glowed with gold to mark the occasion from the 12th to the 16th August.
The production brought a buzz to Bradford during filming with crew and cast from India including megastar Akshay Kumar and co-stars Mouni Roy, Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh, Vineet Singh and Sunny Kaushal and the film’s director Reema Kagti staying in the city and 2,000 local extras involved in filming. Locations included Bradford’s Midland Hotel, Lister Park, Dalton Mills, Keighley, and Odsal Stadium, where a Royal box was specially built for the shoot. Authenticity was key for filmmakers and Odsal, based on the style of the original Wembley Stadium, proved an ideal location.
The film’s star Akshay Kumar said: “I am incredibly grateful to the city of Bradford for turning their city gold and paying tribute to our sporting heroes of 1948. I think this is an important story that must be told, and I’m pleased that Bradford played a part in telling it. I loved filming in Bradford – meeting the warm and welcoming people who live there made it so memorable and listening to their accents was brilliant.”
Bradford UNESCO City of Film liaised with and supported the production team who were based in the city for several months last year. They used sites in Little Germany to set up production offices and a prop store.
Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, David Wilson said: “It was a great honour to host the production team here in the city and facilitate access to film locations, accommodation and services.
The scale of the filming was huge and was a significant boost for the local economy – with cast and crew occupying 4,000 bed nights in Bradford hotels during a three month period.”
Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “Attracting big productions like Gold to the city is a boost economically and culturally for the city – with all the buzz and excitement that comes with a film production.”
Gold tells the epic story of India’s emergence from the British Empire as it meets the British hockey team on the field, this time as a nation of its own, going on to win the first Olympic medal for India as a free nation on the 12th of August 1948.
Ritesh Sidhwani, co-founder of Excel Entertainment who produced Gold said: “We are very thankful to the people of Bradford for showing their support for India’s historic victory. The city has a wealth of culture, character and heritage that makes it the ideal location for telling a story like Gold. We are very excited to be bringing the story of Free India’s first gold medal to cinema screens and we hope that UK audiences will enjoy discovering this significant moment in India’s history.”
Gold released in cinemas nationwide in the UK on 15th August 2018.