Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi have come aboard to co-finance Fox Searchlight’s comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which director John Madden (pictured) will start shooting this week in India with a cast led by Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel.

Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin of Blueprint Pictures are producing the film, which was written by Ol Parker and Deborah Moggach based on the novel by Moggach. Fox Searchlight Pictures has worldwide rights.

The film follows a group of British retirees who decide to ‘outsource’ their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India and are forever transformed by their shared experiences.