Bollywood in Buñol

The film that swept the board at the Indian equivalent of the Oscars, Filmfare, was mostly shot in Spain, including a key scene filmed at the annual tomato throwing festival, La Tomatina, in Buñol, Valencia.


The sharper ones among you will have noticed that the title, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobarais not English; it is in fact Hindi. In English we might say ‘Carpe Diem’ or ‘You only Live Once’.

The film was made all over Spain, starting in June 2010. It tells the story, in typical Rom-Com, Buddy-Buddy, Road Movie Indian style of three young men who go to Spain and find all the usual stuff as each overcomes some fear or problem.

Girona, Barcelona, Pamplona (Navarra), Sevilla, and Alájar and Rio Tinto, in the province of Huelva were some of the locations.

Barcelona appears briefly with some shots of the city’s symbol, Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral, and further north the camp site of Illa Mateua at L’Escala was the base for the scuba diving scenes. Scuba is of course an acronym, meaning self contained underwater breathing apparatus, although that is neither here nor there.

In Buñol, the internationally famous Tomatina festival that takes place in August was recreated so that tons (16 of them imported from Portugal) of ripe tomatoes could be thrown around by fervent advocates of world famine relief.

In the film’s climax, a Bollywood version of a song called ´Señorita’ was shot in Alájar, with a lot of local extras in typical costume, including the Mayor. The song has apparently made Spain very popular in India and increased the interest in all things Spanish.

In Pamplona they of course had to run with the bulls as Hemingway must have taught them to do.

Filming also took place in Carmona, Ronda, a town in the province of Malaga famous for its gorge and its connection with Orson Welles, and Setenil de las Bodegas, Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra, all in the province of Cadiz.


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