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Suniel Shetty at the auditioning workshop in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty will be in Abu Dhabi next December to film portions of an ambitious movie featuring Sanjay Dutt and R Madhavan in lead roles.

And, he is looking for talent from this region for the as yet-untitled venture, revealed the actor on the sidelines of an auditioning workshop at the twofour54 studios on June 24.

“When you travel to other countries, you don’t gets talents who are ready to face the camera — speaking from a movie perspective. We have to call friends and associates to try and fill in various roles. But those days are over now,” said Shetty in an interview with Gulf News tabloid!.

He intends to spend more than 60 days for this venture, which will be produced by him.

The ‘Dhadkan’ star, who has been on a self-imposed sabbatical and is now working on a Malayalam period epic starring Mohanlal and Manju Warrier, is in Abu Dhabi to spearhead an auditioning workshop by his artist placement firm FTC Talent Media & Entertainment and twofour54.

He hopes to streamline the process for actor hopefuls and create a pool of film industry talents in the UAE.

In a highly-interactive session laced with content and wit, Shetty shared important tips and insider knowledge on how to crack auditions and make it big in Bollywood.

“Be confident … and never give up trying. You may get your first real break only after 35 years of trying as an actor … I know many actors who are very talented but they were not there at the right place at the right time,” said Shetty to more than 50 aspiring talents who had signed up for the workshop.

This auditioning workshop initiative was in partnership with twofour54, an Abu Dhabi media and entertainment company that has enabled shoots for films including the Prabhas-led ‘Saaho’ (out August 15) and Hrithik Roshan’s ‘Bang Bang’ (2014).

“Nurturing local talent and attracting international expertise is at the heart of our strategic objective to support the growth of the creative industries in Abu Dhabi,” said Maryam Eid Al Mheiri, CEO of twofour54.

For Dubai-based Jamal Khan, an actor hopeful who attended Shetty’s session, said the workshop was an excellent crash course on being successful in breaking into Bollywood.

“I learnt so much from him in such a short time… He spoke about whether looks are important and how to keep trying,” said Khan.

Read our full interview in Gulf News tabloid! soon.