The magic of the works of the Bard seems to be all pervading. Film London – which is UK’s film and media agency with the objective to sustain, promote and develop London as a major international film-making and film cultural capital. through Microwave International which is an off shoot of their successful micro-budget training-through-production scheme Microwave, has initiated a new project – Shakespeare India which aims to get Asian talent from the UK and India together to work on projects inspired by the playwright.
Film London has announced that India’s Cinestaan Film Company is to invest in its Shakespeare India initiative to the tune of $385,000 (£250,000).
Cinestaan Film Company (CFC) is a film Production House committed to telling stories that are at the cutting edge of creativity and that resonate universally.
Five filmmaking teams from the U.K. and India will be selected to participate in Film London’s Microschool program, where they will receive training and be mentored by Indian filmmakers Vishal Bhardwaj, who has three Shakespeare adaptations — Maqbool (Macbeth), Omkara (Othello) and Haider (Hamlet) — to his credit; Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox); and Vikas Bahl (Queen). The British Council will also contribute to the training program.
Vishal Bhardwaj (Maqbool, Omkara and Haider), Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox) and Vikas Bahl (Queen, Phantom Films) attended the launch of the partnership and call for applications in Mumbai and will act as professional industry mentors for a unique and groundbreaking opportunity which aims to bring the two industries closer together.
The ambition is to greenlight one successful project, which will draw from the work of William Shakespeare and be theatrically released in 2016 as part of Shakespeare 400 – a year-long cultural programme marking 400 years since the writer’s death.
Microwave International: Shakespeare India dovetails with Cinestaan’s own ambitions to preserve and celebrates India’s rich film heritage and will help forge valuable international links for Indian talent.
Apparently, Bhardwaj has expressed happiness and conveyed that he is thrilled to be a part of this initiative which strives to unite diverse talent from India and the UK and commemorates one of the world’s greatest playwrights whilst celebrating Shakespeare’s timeless legacy.
Reportedly, Ritesh Batra is equally thrilled to be a part of this initiative which celebrates 400 years of Shakespeare by providing a platform to new talent and feels that it is not just noble but also very necessary and that there was no better box to be in for new writers and filmmakers than the works of Shakespeare.
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: ”Being able to partner with Cinestaan Film Company is a spectacular result for the project, particularly since they share our own aims when it comes to training and supporting homegrown filmmakers. Bringing our talent together for the exciting Microwave International production represents an opportunity to build bridges between our two industries and create a unique production based on the works of the world’s most famous writer.”
Said Rohit Khattar, Founder Chairman, Cinestaan Film Company ”To partner with Film London for a film celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare is extremely exciting. Cinestaan is proud of India’s cinema heritage and this collaboration shall develop a unique production, uniting talent from India and the U.K.”
This association would surely seem to augur well for aficionados of the Bard of Avon, don’t you think so?