Indian actors Irrfan Khan and Tisca Chopra will star in Anup Singh’s Indo-European co-production Qissa, which is set to start shooting in India early next year.

Khan is known to international audiences for his roles in films such as The Namesake and Slumdog Millionaire. Chopra’s credits include Nandita Das’ Firaaq and Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par.

Set in Punjab, Qissa revolves around a logger, who is seeking to rebuild his life after the Partition of India, and his relationship with his son.

The Punjabi-language film will be co-produced by Germany’s Heimatfilm with Dutch production house Augustus Film, France’s Cine-Sud and India’s National Film Development Corp (NFDC). Producers on the film include Heimatfilm’s  Johannes Rexin (Bal), Augustus’ Bero Beyer (Paradise Now) and Cine-Sud’s Thierry Lenouvel (Pomegranates And Myrrh).

Set to be the first film to shoot under the Indian-German co-production treaty, the project has secured funding from the NFDC, the Dutch Film Fund, Eurimages and German funds Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and North Rhine Westphalia (NRW).  

Behind-the-scenes talent also includes DoP Sebastian Edschmid (The Last Station), production designer Tim Pannen and costume designer Vaishali Menon.

Qissa will shoot in Punjab in several locations including the border with Himachal Pradesh. Rexin says the film will “capture the textures, colours and moods of Punjab” and “establish the mood of the country at a certain time.”

Singh, who is based in Europe, previously directed The Name Of A River (2002) which played widely at festivals. Heimatfilm is also currently co-producing Margarethe von Trotta’s Hanhan Hannah Arendt.