Hamisha Daryani Ahuja speaks during the interview in Lagos. Reuters
Writer-director Hamisha Daryani Ahuja's film Namaste Wahala is a love story between an Indian man and a Nigerian woman, and she says Bollywood has had a strong impact on Nollywood, or the Nigerian film industry.
"Nigerians have grown up watching and loving Bollywood films. Names like Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and Shah Rukh Khan are household names in many parts. Many of my Nigerian friends have watched Hindi movies growing up and can even quote famous Hindi lines,” Ahuja said.
“Nollywood is the second-largest film industry in the world in terms of output, second only to Bollywood. So Bollywood serves as a huge inspiration for us and I can't wait to see how this new genre enfolds," she added.
Namaste Wahala highlights the differences as well as colorful similarities between Indian and Nigerian cultures. The film stars Indian actor Ruslaan Mumtaz with Nigerian actress Ini Dima-Okojie.
The film dropped on Netflix on Valentine's Day.
Indian-Nigerian restaurant owner Hamisha Daryani Ahuja gave up her long-running business to pursue her dream of making movies. Two years later, the 36-year-old will see her first feature film, the cross-cultural love story “Namaste Wahala,” debut on Valentine’s Day on Netflix.
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