Bollywood stars in Ilford for world premier of 7 Welcome to London

Bollywood stars descended on Ilford’s first ever world premier for a film that has its roots firmly buried in east London last night night.

Hundreds were in attendance for the screening of 7 Welcome to London at Ilford Cineworld, Clements Road, Ilford enjoying the carnival atmosphere created by drummers and dancers as the film’s stars flocked past.

Ilford proved the perfect venue for the premier, according to debutant writer, director and leading man Asad Shan, 29, who claimed the night to be a “phenomenal” success.

He said: “It was just incredible, far better than any Leicester Square premier.

“Ilford is the highest grossing Bollywood cinema in the world outside of India, so what better place to hold it?

“The film has strong links to the local area as it was shot in places near Upney, Newham and generally all over east London.”

Former Mr Asia UK 2004, Asad’s first feature film tells the story of a man from Delhi escaping financial burden by coming to London, where he must then find money fast to free his family from the tightening group of debtors back home.

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Farooq Alamgir, 42, is the general manager at Ilford Cineworld and said there was a huge amount of effort involved in catering for a huge number of people, as well as global press.

He said: “With so many local people and places in the film, it was definitely the right choice to stage the world premier here.

“We had to get barriers up and security out to protect the stars from the hundreds of fans outside.

“You could tell some of the bigger TV companies are used to having their own way, but we hosted a great event and the night went very well.”

Director Asad returned to the cinema the following day with his leading lady Sabeeka Imam to drum up support for the film by working a shift at the ticket office.

Lucky Bollywood fans were able to purchase tickets from the pair, who gently encouraged all cinema goers to see their new release.

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