Indo-British initiative to revisit Shakespeare’s magic onscreen

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) With cinematic icons like Ritesh Batra, Nandita Das and Rajat Kapoor, Indian production house Cinestaan Film Company along with Film London, a film and media agency, has come forward with six movie ideas to revisit themes from William Shakespeare’s works.

The project will see six filmmaking teams for Microwave International Shakespeare India Project, comprising Asian writers, directors and producers from Britain and India, developing projects which draw on the work of Shakespeare. The teams will start intensive training at Film London Microschool on Wednesday, funded by the British Council, read a statement.

The teams include Rajat (known for roles in films like “Monsoon Wedding” and directing features such as “Raghu Romeo”), producer Smriti Jain (line producer “The Lunchbox”) and Kurban Kassam (line producer “20,000 Days on Earth” and “The Possibilities Are Endless”).

Other feature directors are Bornila Chatterjee, Pratyusha Gupta, Ashish Ghadiali, Nirpal Bhogal and Vikas Chandra. Expert mentors and speakers include Andrea Calderwood and Tristan Goligher.

Following the school, one feature will be released theatrically in 2016 as part of Shakespeare 400, a year-long cultural programme marking 400 years since the writer’s death. Batra, Pete Travis (director of “Vantage Point”) and Pete Buckingham (founder, SampoMedia) will hold sessions over the five days at Microschool.

The selected projects for Microwave International: Shakespeare India are: “Realism” (based on ‘Macbeth’); “Caesar” (based on ‘Julius Caesar’); “The Heart of the City” (based on ‘The Taming of the Shrew’); “Mathura” (based on ‘As You Like It’); “The Crorepatis” (based on ‘Titus Andronicus’); “Love and Longing in Rohtak” (based on ‘The Merchant of Venice’).

Film London has also collaborated with media investment firm Bob & Co to bring together the production finance for Microwave International: Shakespeare India production via a new Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “Securing two commercial investors from both India and the UK is a major achievement, and we are delighted both Bob & Co and Cinestaan share our ambition and can see the potential in this project”.

Rohit Khattar, chairman of Cinestaan Film Company, feels that “this collaboration shall develop a unique production, uniting talent from India and the UK.

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