Veteran Hindi film producer and director Ketan Mehta has announced plans to produce a three-part international English-language feature titled The Rising based on the 1857 revolt of the Indian forces against the British Raj.

Mehta, chairman and managing director of Maya Entertainment Ltd (MEL), told Screendaily that the company is also planning a $12m public rights issue on the Mumbai stock exchange in 2003.

Plans for the new capital include: $6m to expand Maya Entertainment's animation, computer graphics and digital effects operations in India; $4m to partly fund setting up the largest computer animation studio in Asia, and $2m for film and television production.

Established in 1996, Maya Entertainment has three divisions - Maya Entertainment Software, Maya Movie Magic and Maya Interactive. Two venture capitalists Intel Capital, a subsidiary of Intel Corporation, and Enam Securities of Mumbai have acquired a stake in MEL for an undisclosed amount.

MEL is one of the largest producers of original digital content for the info-tainment industry in India and has provided content for film, television and advertising, including India's first sci-fi television series, Captain Vyom.

Mehta's Spices (Mirch Masala) is one of the 30-plus titles to be featured in this year's Locarno film festival's Indian Summer retrospective.