Pontas also takes sales rights to When I Saw You and The Real Millennium
Spain’s Pontas film and literary agency has confirmed that Maria Ripoll will direct its English and Catalan language drama Traces Of Sandalwood, set in Spain and India.
Traces Of Sandalwood is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Asha Miro and Anna Soler-Pont, director of Pontas, who will also adapt the script with Coral Cruz (The Milk Of Sorrow) onboard as script editor.
The story follows an orphaned Indian girl who works her way up from being a domestic servant to a Bollywood actress, but is desperate to re-unite with her long lost sister in Spain.
The film will be an international co-production, most likely with an Indian company, and will shoot between Mumbai and Barcelona in both English and Catalan with Indian and Catalan actors in the cast.
“We always wanted a female director for the film and our first choice was Maria Ripoll, who is very attracted to India and liked the story very much,” Soler-Pont told ScreenDaily. “We are in the process of packaging the project, looking for financing and cast.”
The novel Traces Of Sandalwood will also be split into a separate film called Behind The Eucalyptus, about a young Ethiopian boy who travels with thousands of other orphans to Cuba. The project is currently in the early stages of development, but is likely to shoot on location in Addis Ababa, Havana and Barcelona.
In further news, Pontas has also joined Annemarie Jacir’s new comedy drama When I Saw You as its international sales agent. Currently in production, the film is about a free-spirited 12-year-old boy with autism living in a refugee camp in Jordan in the 1960s who is determined to find his father in Palestine.
Shooting is currently taking place in Jordan with a cast that includes Ruba Blal, Saleh Bakri and Mahmoud Asfa.
Jacir’s previous film Salt Of This Sea was in Official Selection at Cannes in 2008, sold to more than 30 territories worldwide and was put forward as Palestine’s foreign-language Oscar entrant.
Pontas is also developing the documentary project The Real Millennium, which will be about the troubling subjects covered in Stieg Larsson’s popular Millennium trilogy, including violence against women and corruption. British filmmaker Clive Gordon is directing and shooting is expected to take place this autumn. DeaPlaneta is currently handling sales on the film.