November 28, 2008

Mumbai violence shuts down Bollywood

India's Bollywood film industry ground to a halt Thursday as violence stemming from terror attacks in Mumbai kept workers at home, The Hollywood Reporter said.

More than 140 people were killed and more than 300 injured in the terrorist incidents, which began Wednesday and continued Friday. Much of the violence took place at the posh Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, a hot spot where many celebrities stay and film business is conducted.

The Hollywood Reporter said Australian television star Brooke Satchwell, who was working in Mumbai for three weeks, was in a meeting Wednesday inside the hotel when armed assailants burst into the building firing their weapons.

We felt a little bit like sitting ducks, Satchwell told Australia's 3AW radio station.

She went on to say she and others hid in a bathroom stall until hotel security came and escorted them out of the building, past corpses and into the street.

The entertainment industry trade newspaper said it is possible some of the as-yet unaccounted for guests at the Taj and another luxury hotel, the Oberoi Trident, could be members of the global media and entertainment industries, since they are known to book rooms there when they are in town.

Although most of the terror targets were fairly far away from Bollywood's movie studios, the violence kept those employed in the entertainment industry from heading into work. Movie theaters throughout the city were closed Thursday due to safety concerns, The Hollywood Reporter said.