Following a number of violent attacks on Indian students, the country's view of Australia changed dramatically, and the billions that were being injected into our economy have been substantially reduced.
Now a Bollywood film maker is hoping to restore our tarnished reputation with his new film - From Sydney With Love.
The film From Sydney With Love is a Bollywood romantic comedy which follows an Indian student and her Australian discovery.More stories from Today Tonight
Prateek Chakravorty wrote, directed and starred in the film which was inspired by his own studies at the University of New South Wales.
“I think Indians are pretty excited about coming to a different country and studying in Australia,” Chakravorty said.
The film is a very welcome change to recent portrayals of student life for Indians.
A murder and a spate of allegedly racist bashings of Indian students in 2009 did serious damage to our reputation overseas.
Student Visa applications halved and our Government went into damage control to little effect. Perhaps they should have called Bollywood instead.
Karan Sagoo, Bidita Bag and Sharad Malhotra are costars in the Bollywood production. At tonight's premiere at the UNSW they may get 400 in the audience.More stories from reporter James Thomas
But in India they're superstars, and their message about Australia is ‘all good’.
“For me I think, for all of us, it’s been like a dream come true shooting Down Under,” Malhotra said.
There's singing, dancing, and endless shots of Australian icons. According to demographer Bernard Salt , with a potential audience in India of fourteen million a day, Australia couldn't buy this kind of publicity.
“The movie, I think, will not only present Australia in a more positive light to the potential market for students in India, but I think also it will build the export market - the export market for tertiary education. This is something we can actually build and make a global business,” Sal said.
And with film makers like Chakravorty, who needs Lara Bingle to sell Australia?
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