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Beautiful Bay takes up Arms with Shah

UK producers Michael Ward and Colin Burrows have established a production outfit, Beautiful Bay Entertainment (BBE), which is developing an adaptation of classic play Arms And The Man with Indian actor and filmmaker Naseeruddin Shah.

Shah directed an Indian stage production of the 1894 George Bernard Shaw comedy. The English-language adaptation will transplant the setting from 19th century Balkans to a princely state in India around the time the Europeans first landed in the country. Author and India expert William Dalrymple is a consultant on the script.

“We’ll shoot in India using the cast of Naseeruddin’s production but seek to attach an international director,” Burrows said.

The project is one of several that will be either produced or packaged through UK-based BBE. The company’s debut slate ranges from $30m international co-productions down to smaller indie Indian films. Ward and Burrows are talking to Mumbai-based DAR Motion Pictures about some of the projects. DAR is a co-producer on Hindi comedy Phone Thief, which they are producing outside of BBE.

“Funding for the Indian projects, some in English, some in Hindi, will work on the same model as Phone Thief, roughly 50% from overseas and 50% from India,” Burrows told Screen.

Beautiful Bay is also packaging A First Class Man, a biopic of Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan which has Roger Spottiswoode attached to direct.

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