Newly minted New York, Los Angeles and London-based Smuggler Films in association with Ascension Entertainment has acquired film rights to Aravind Adiga’s bestselling 2008 Mann Booker Prize winner White Tiger.

Adiga’s acclaimed debut novel takes place in contemporary India and charts a young entrepreneur’s determined if immoral escape from the restrictions of the social caste system.

In February White Tiger was one of several high profile books to feature at the Berlinale Co-Production Market event Books At Berlinale co-hosted with the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Smuggler and Ascension negotiated the rights with David Godwin Associates in London.

“We’re thrilled and honoured to have this opportunity to make such an important picture,” Smuggler’s John Hart said. “Aravind writes a vivid world that lends itself beautifully to the medium.”

Ascension Entertainment’s Jolyon Symonds added: “Aravind’s breathtaking novel really hit home for Nick and me – it captures this extraordinary world of social injustice and magnificent endeavour with scorching wit and originality.”

Earlier this month Broadway producer John Hart and partners Patrick Milling Smith and Brian Carmody launched Smuggler Films to develop and produce content across all media. Sister company Smuggler was set up in 2001 to create commercials and music videos.

Symonds and Nicholas Greene established Ascension Entertainment in 2006 and are currently in production on the Graham Greene adaptation Travels With My Aunt.