Hollywood North readies for Bollywood West role

Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:17am EST
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By Natalie Armstrong

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. (Reuters) - Hollywood North is auditioning for the role of Bollywood West.

The first known government-backed Bollywood acting school in North America has opened in Canada's largest city and its creator is hoping to capitalize on the region's booming South Asian population.

"Here, I'm opening the doors of Bollywood and Hollywood together," said Lucky Sanda, program director of the Bollywood acting diploma program at the Canadian Institute of Management and Technology.

The first group of Bollywood students will graduate in April from the college, which also offers diplomas in a series of business and technology programs.

Sanda, 46, said production companies in Toronto want South Asian actors in their TV ads and films to represent the changing population and have already been contacting him.

"The demand is there, we just have to create the supply," he explained.

The South Asian population is the most visible minority group in the greater Toronto area, which has a population of 5.5 million people.

"Canada is known as Hollywood North, which we all know, but I want to make this Bollywood West," said Sanda, whose family is involved in the Bollywood industry.   Continued...

<p>Acting student Nav Mand poses for a portrait during a break from class in a Bollywood film acting course at the Canadian Institute of Management and Technology, a college in Mississauga, Ontario on December 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>