AFM: Cinestaan bets on rising Indian talent
EXCLUSIVE: Debut slate includes I Am Here from Loev [pictured] director Sudhanshu Saria.
India and UK-based boutique studio Cinestaan Film Company (CFC) has unveiled its debut slate of productions, including new projects from rising Indian film-makers Gitanjali Rao, Akshat Verma and Atul Manjrekar.
The company, which aims to produce India-related films for both Indian and international audiences, has also acquired adaptation rights to Vaseem Khan’s best-selling novel The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra.
Rao is directing animated feature Bombay Rose for the start-up studio. A co-production with France’s Les Film d’ici, the film marks Rao’s feature debut following her 2006 short Printed Rainbow, which won three awards at Cannes. The film is scheduled for delivery in early 2018.
Verma, who wrote hit youth-themed comedy Delhi Belly, is currently shooting his directorial debut Kalaakaandi for Cinestaan. Also scripted by Verma, the dark ensemble comedy stars Saif Ali Khan, Deepak Dobriyal, Vijay Raaz and Sobhita Dhulipalia.
Manjrekar is directing Fanney Khan, the official Indian remake of Belgian foreign-language Oscar nominee Everybody’s Famous (2000). Cinestaan is co-producing with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures (ROMP).
In addition, Cinestaan is developing I Am Here, Sudhanshu Saria’s second feature following his acclaimed gay-themed debut LOEV, which has screened widely on the festival circuit over the past year. The drama thriller follows an American who arrives in Mumbai to retrace the steps of his girlfriend who disappeared following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Deborah Sathe, Cinestaan director of international operations, said the slate demonstrates the diverse range of story and director-driven projects that the studio aims to produce.
“Our first book adaptation, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, really nails what we’re about on the international side, a great modern Indian story brought to life for film audiences with an international team,” Sathe said.
Khan’s novel tells the story of a police inspector who inherits two unexpected mysteries on the day he retires – the suspicious drowning of a young boy and a baby elephant.
Cinestaan’s busy debut slate also includes Bornila Chatterjee’s The Hungry, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus co-produced with Film London, and Jim Farrell’s feature documentary Torch, a co-production with IFC Films.
Cinestaan also recently launched international sales arm C International Sales, which is attending this year’s AFM, along with Indian diaspora-focused joint venture Cinestaan AA Distributors.