Director Kathryn Bigelow's Military Thriller ZERO DARK THIRTY Under Fire in India
Production on the Oscar-winning director's upcoming film that chronicles the various attempts to assassinate terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden is causing riots in India where filming is currently taking place.
Bigelow, whose last film The Hurt Locker garnered the Best Picture Academy Award as well as nabbing her one for Best Director, is under scrutiny by locals who have caused delays in filming her new film. Zero Dark Thirty, which until recently carried the working title Kill Bin Laden stars Warrior actor Joel Edgerton as the lead special operative on the hunt for the infamous terrorist. After several re-writes of the film's screenplay took place that incorporated the much publicized SEAL Team Six firefight which lead to the death of Bin Laden, filming was scheduled to take place in Pakistan this Spring but moved to India when the former's government denied the filmmakers access.
During filming this week in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, which is being used as backdrop in the film for Lahore, Pakistan, upset locals began protesting the set. Vijay Bhardwaj, leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad Hindu group, told the present media: "We strongly oppose this and we will not let them put Pakistani flags here and we will not let them shoot for the film."
To counter the protests, many Indian actors, writers and directors and other members of the arts community publicly denounced the group's actions. Kuldeep Sharma, director of Tagore Theatre, said, "They are creating an issue out of nothing. If people have come to our country to shoot, they should be left to do it peacefully. If not here, they will pick some other city."
Despite the delays, Bigelow and her crew are scheduled to continue filming in the area for the next several weeks, this time with a larger police and government presence to keep protesters at bay. Columbia Pictures has US distribution rights for the project and plans to release it later in 2012.