Bollywood makes Osama bin Laden spoof

India's Bollywood cinema, known for its exuberant song-and-dance sequences and romantic plots, is to explore new territory with a satire on Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

The movie, "Tere bin Laden" (Without you, Laden), is a story set in Pakistan about a young reporter who seeks to migrate to the United States in search of fame and fortune.

The reporter, played by Pakistani actor-singer Ali Zafar, is denied entry and his visa rejected after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

The farce follows a storyline in which the reporter makes a video with a bin Laden look-alike and becomes the centre of a major White House investigation.

"People want new concepts, not commercial films," director-writer Abhishek Sharma told AFP.

Lead actor Zafar told the Press Trust of India news agency that "it is a satire and does not hurt anyone's ideology."

"The idea excited me and the script was hilarious," he said.

The Bollywood industry is struggling to shake off one of its worst box-office runs, and offbeat ideas are increasingly attracting producers who have been disenchanted formulaic love stories.

A planned movie on Adolf Hitler has also caused controversy, with the lead actor pulling out of the project after protests from Jewish groups and condemnation from historians.

The small-budget "Tere bin Laden" is set for release next month.