Amar Akbar and Tony

Viv Ellis reports on a locally filmed new movie release

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Meera Syal and Atul Malhotra

Viv with Atul in St Michael’s Chiswick - a location shot for wedding scene


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OK, there’s a Sikh, a Moslem and an Irish Catholic. They don’t walk into a bar (well they do a couple of times) but their lives are the backbone of a new British independent comedy ‘Amar Akbar & Tony’.

Written and directed by Harrow-based Atul Malhotra, it's a coming of age romantic comedy about three childhood friends who have grown up in west London.

And the movie was shot in and around west London too – I visited their sets (and tried desperately to get “spotted”) in Hanwell’s, Bunny Park, Chiswick and Ealing Broadway but you’ll spot loads of other familiar scenes when you watch.

Writer/director Atul works in TV too – we worked together yonks ago – and says he had to spend his time divided between the two to raise the necessary finance.

“We started making the film without having raised the budget and then after a phase I would have to go back to work for a few months to pay off bills and then come in between to finish the film. This is a hugely maddening part of making an independent film that isn’t backed by any big producers or distributers.”

The film’s three main stars are Rez Kempton, Martin Delaney and Ealing’s own Sam Vincenti (above) , and follows their various successes and failures in love.

It also features brilliant cameo appearances by Meera Syal and Nina Wadia who are both hilarious as, respectively, a man-eating harpie and an alarmingly scary owner of a marriage bureau.

“I’m a big fan of ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ and so I was over the moon that Meera and Nina agreed to be in the film” said Atul. “Not only are they both huge supporters of independent film making but they made everyone on the set feel comfortable. They were superb and hilarious and I learned a lot from them I can’t thank them enough.''

The music of the film is keeping things in the (Ealing) family too as award-winning producer Rishi Rich, a pioneer of Indian R&B did the soundtrack. The first track to be released is a funky new version of a classic Bollywood track from the 80s.

“Creating a score for a full length film is a completely different experience and I can’t wait to see the reactions from Bollywood.”

Amar Akbar & Tony will be released on selected screens across the country on 17th April.

Locally you can see it (and I recommend you do) at Cineworld Acton / Feltham / Wembley / Edgware and Vue Harrow.

Watch the trailer on the official website


Viv Ellis

7th April 2015