A fake Tomatina festival just for Bollywood

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Spain’s Tomatina festival has been re-created on celluloid for the Bollywood film “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, with filmmakers importing several tonnes of tomatoes to shoot a five-day song sequence.

Bollywood stars Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif are seen in a sequence from the film "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" which re-creates Spain's annual Tomatina festival. REUTERS/Handout

The annual Tomatina festival is held in Bunol on the last Wednesday in August, and involves the town’s population pelting ripe tomatoes at each other. Re-creating the scenes was no easy task for the crew of the Bollywood film.

“We imported tonnes of tomatoes from Portugal so we could re-create the Tomatina Festival in Bunol,” co-producer Ritesh Sidhwani told Reuters.

Local authorities gave the film’s crew access to the street where the festival takes place and also ensured that the atmosphere was similar to the day when Tomatina takes place.

“We shot in the same street where the festival takes places over a period of five days,” said Sidhwani.

The crew went back during the actual festival and shot some scenes there as well.

For the film’s director Zoya Akhtar, it was a no-brainer to feature Tomatina in her film.

“You can’t centre your film around Spain and not have the Tomatina,” Akhtar said.

“I had to have it.”

“Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, which opens in cinemas on July 15, tells the story of three friends who go on a road trip to Spain before one of them gets married.

The film’s ensemble cast includes the likes of Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol.