Pia Sukanya’s comedy to star Poorna Jagannathan and Vir Das [pictured].

India’s DAR Motion Pictures is teaming with UK-based Mobile Film Productions to co-produce Hindi-language comedy Phone Thief, which has Poorna Jagannathan and Vir Das heading the cast.

Developed using the UK’s EIS scheme, the chase caper about a girl attempting to retrieve a stolen cell-phone in Mumbai will be directed by Pia Sukanya and produced by Michael Ward. Colin Burrows is executive producer.

Production is scheduled to start in Mumbai in Feb 2013 with DAR distributing in India and London-based Mobile Film looking after the rest of the world.

The UK-Indian co-production aims to tap into the same Indian youth audience as recent hit Delhi Belly, which starred both Jagannathan and Das. “It’s the kind of edgy, youth-oriented buddy movie that is being appreciated in Indian metros and already benefits from tremendous support within the industry,” said DAR Motion Pictures director Vivek Rangachari.

Ward, who developed the script with writers Sukanya and Aarti Bagdi, previously produced the London stage version of The Far Pavilions (2005). “Independent cinema is India has come of age and it is a great time for the UK to get involved with Indian filmmakers at grassroots,” said Ward.

India’s indie filmmaking scene is being celebrated in Toronto’s “City to City” programme which this year focuses on Mumbai.