The Winning Film:
A film that is set in the extravagant environs of an Indian wedding, and delves into the merky world of Indian politics and big business, will revisit the Shakespearean tragedy of Titus Andronicus as part of a year-long celebration of Shakespeare's influence in contemporary life. The Hungry, written and directed by Bornila Chatterjee (writer-director, Let's Be Out and The Sun Is Shining), is the first India-UK co-production to emerge from the Microwave International: Shakespeare India series of workshops which concluded in early-July 2015. The film has been co-written and produced by Tanaji Dasgupta and Kurban Kassam (line producer, 20,000 Days on Earth).
The film will be jointly funded by Indian production house CINESTAAN Film Company and Film London and will form part Shakespeare on Screen, a year-long programme which forms part of the global celebrations marking 400 years since the playwright’s death. Following this development, Film London announces actor, directors and writer Sir Kenneth Branagh as the patron of Shakespeare on Screen. As well as supporting Film London’s work, Branagh is also set to participate in 2016’s activity, with details revealed next year.
About the project:
British Council is supporting a unique filmmaking initiative by Film London, which hopes to promote the works of Shakespeare. As a part of this exercise six filmmaking teams were formed comprising an eclectic pool of 16 artists from UK and Asia.
The participants comprising writers, directors and producers from the UK and India were put through a week-long intensive training workshop by Film London in the UK to develop projects, which are influenced by the works of Shakespeare. The teams were assigned different Shakespeare-themed projects to work on at a week-long workshop which concluded on July 24.
Various industry professionals such as Ritesh Batra (director, The Lunchbox), Pete Travis (director, Dredd; Vantage Point); Jonathon Rushton (Head of Theatrical, Artificial Eye) and Pete Buckingham (Founder, SampoMedia) held sessions with the participants.
For further information
Keep an eye on the Film London Microschool India initiative visit Film London-India. Follow the updates on Twitter by keeping an eye on @Film_London and the hashtags #MicroIndia and #ShakespeareLives.
The participants and their selected projects
1.) Realism (based on Macbeth)
Team: UK Writer/ Director: Ashish Ghadiali
Indian producer Umesh Pawar
2.) Caesar (Based on Julius Caeser)
Team: UK Writer Nirpal Bhogal, UK co-writer Mike Powell and Indian producer: Achin Jain
3.)The Heart of the City (based on The Taming of the Shrew)
Team: Director Pratyusha Gupta, UK writer Sharmila Chauhan, UK Producer Ameenah Ayub and Indian producer Smriti Jain
4.)Mathura (based on As You Like It)
Team: Indian writer / director: Rajat Kapoor and UK producer: Uzma Hasan
5.)The Crorepatis (based on ‘Titus Andronicus’)
Team: Indian Writer/Director Bornila Chatterjee and Indian Writer/Producer Tanaji Dasgupta with UK Producer Kurban Kassam
6.)Love and Longing in Rohtak (based on ‘The Merchant of Venice’)
Indian Writer/Director Vikas Chandra and UK Producer Ajay Rai
Know the Mentors
1.) Andrea Calderwood (The Last King Of Scotland, A Most Wanted Man)
2.) Tristan Goligher (45 Years, Weekend)
3.) Director Nandita Das (directorial debut Firaaq)
4.) Director Amit Gupta (One Crazy Thing, Resistance)
5.) Script developers Angeli MacFarlane (Death Of A President, I Am Slave)
6.) Shefali Malhoutra (HBO, ITV)
7.) Editor Mick Audsley (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Twelve Monkeys)
8.) Guidance on Indian distribution, Rahul Merchant (India’s FAME cinema chain, Bubble Motion Pte Ltd).
About Film London Microwave
Launched in 2006, Film London Microwave is the acclaimed micro-budget feature film scheme which has produced eight features including Lilting, Shifty and iLL Manors. Funded by the BFI and BBC Films, with support from Creative Skillset, Microwave is committed to investing in emerging London-based filmmakers.
It provides an intensive approach to filmmaking with the emphasis on original ideas, tightly focussed scripts and short production schedules. Between 2014-2017 Microwave will develop and train up to 36 filmmaking teams and produce up to six features, at production budgets of £150,000, with additional funding ring fenced to support development and distribution.
About Cinestaan Film Company
Cinestaan Film Company (CFC) is a film Production House committed to telling stories that are at the cutting edge of creativity and that resonate universally.
CFC has announced a three film agreement with visionary filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ROMP Pictures. The first film is the Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra directed Mirzya, slated for a 2016 release. This will be followed by Fanney Khan, an official remake of an Oscar-nominated film. Many others are in development.
CFC’s film, The Hungry, is a co-production with Film London for an adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy, ‘Titus Andronicus’ marking 400 years since Shakespeare’s death. Cinestaan – India’s Storytellers, is committed to preserving the rich legacy of India’s cinematic heritage and several initiatives are being worked upon in that direction. This includes an Oral Histories project that shall celebrate the contributions of our screen legends.