Shekhar Kapur has tied up with Europe's VIP Media Fund, toco-produce and distribute his films.

The first two films announced as part of this collaborationare: Paani (Water) being produced and directed by Kapur and renownedauthor Deepak Chopra under the banner of their company INTENT, and Buddhabeing produced by Kapur and written by Chopra.

The film Paani is a vision of a future when water,the most valued resource in the world, becomes a political and economic weapon.

Shekhar Kapur announced the launch of the launch of Paaniin partnership with Barrie Osborne (producer Lord Of The Rings) in May2004. Paani has been scripted by Andrew Niccol, Academy Award nominatedwriter of The Truman Show. Among other crew members are ProductionDesigner John Mhyer, (Chicago, Elizabeth and X-Men), JillBilcock, Academy Award nominated editor of Moulin Rouge, Elizabeth, Romeo& Juliet and Indian Music composer AR Rahman. Deepak Chopra will serveas an executive producer for the film.

According to Kapur one reason to shoot the film in India isthat "for US $20m, we will be able to produce a film that looks like a US $100mproduction. The scale of this film will not be less than the big Hollywoodproductions".

Kapur adds, "There is a surge of interest in Asian Cinemaworldwide, as exemplified by the financial and critical success of CrouchingTiger and Hero from China (shot in a Chinese language), and otherJapanese and Korean films.

"Audiences and buyers are looking for the next Asianbreakout film. There is a lot of expectation that an Indian film too could sooncross the $300m world wide sales mark. I believe that Paani could bethat film."