CINESTAAN Film Company and Film London’s India-UK co-production,
“The Hungry”, is part of the Shakespeare initiative led by
Sir Kenneth Branagh
- Film London announces Sir Kenneth Branagh as patron for Shakespeare on Screen project celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare
- India-UK co-production The Hungry is one of a number of new commissions
- Inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Titus Andronicus’, the film brings together writer-director Bornila Chatterjee, co-writer/producer Tanaji Dasgupta and producer Kurban Kassam
21st December 2015: CINESTAAN Film Company and Film London are proud to announce The Hungry – an exciting India-UK co-production produced through Microwave International: Shakespeare India and forming part of Shakespeare on Screen, a year-long programme which forms part of the global celebrations marking 400 years since the playwright’s death.
The news comes as Film London announces actor, director and writer Sir Kenneth Branagh as the patron of Shakespeare on Screen. As well as supporting Film London’s work, Branagh is also set to participate in 2016’s activity, with details revealed next year.
The Hungry has brought together Asian filmmaking talent from India and the UK countries and is written and directed by Bornila Chatterjee (writer-director, Let's Be Out, The Sun Is Shining), co-written and produced by Tanaji Dasgupta and Kurban Kassam (line producer, 20,000 Days on Earth). The film, which is a contemporary retelling of Shakespearian tragedy ‘Titus Andronicus’, is set in the extravagant surroundings of an Indian wedding whilst exploring the role of the patriarch and corruption in Indian politics and big business.
Made under the principle of Microwave – Film London’s award-winning training-through-production feature film fund for emerging talent, provided by Indian funders Cinestaan Film Company and a UK SEIS. Two new partnerships have also been confirmed for this exceptional project: Nyman Libson Paul/Goldfinch Entertainment are joining as accountants and finance consultants, while Twickenham Studios will be delivering an exciting package of post-production support – overseen by Mick Audsley (Everest, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) – that will make perfect use of the studio’s new state-of-the-art facilities. The training elements of the scheme, including the week-long Microschool, are funded by the British Council.
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “We are delighted to be working with Sir Kenneth Branagh as our patron for our Shakespeare on Screen project, since his work as a writer, director and actor has helped capture the imagination of untold thousands. As part of that work, we are incredibly excited to be announcing The Hungry as our first international co-production. Working with international talent and with our partners Cinestaan Film Company, we will show the tremendous reach of Shakespeare’s influence and the ability his work has to inspire new features which are global in outlook.”
Rohit Khattar, Chairman of Cinestaan Film Company, said, “In the 400th year of Shakespeare, Cinestaan Film Company is excited about presenting The Hungry, a novel, modern day retelling of Shakespeare's 'Titus Andronicus'. Through this unique creative collaboration with Film London and with Sir Kenneth as the patron, CFC is really happy to provide a platform for a new independent, original voice in Indian cinema.”
Kenneth Branagh, Shakespeare on Screen patron, said: “Much of my work has involved bringing Shakespeare to the stage and the screen, so I’m looking forward to working with Film London as their patron for Shakespeare on Screen. This celebrates the fascinating, ever-evolving relationship between Shakespeare’s work and film. Storytellers at every stage of their careers continue to draw from the playwright’s work, so it is fitting that this project – through an ambitious series of brand new commissions – showcases emerging and established talent alike. It is a pleasure to be involved with a project which aims to bring his work to countless new audiences, inspiring as many people as possible along the way.”
Shakespeare on Screen will hinge upon a suite of exciting new productions celebrating Shakespeare’s life, legacy and enduring global appeal. These will include a feature film, two shorts from all female filmmaking teams, three artists’ animations and a BBC Arena documentary examining Shakespeare’s screen legacy. Some of these productions will be screened nationally as well as forming part of the British Council’s ambitious Shakespeare Lives programme, which will see a range of exciting content toured internationally in partnership with the BFI.
Along with The Hungry, Film London’s other Shakespeare 400 projects will include:
Shakespeare’s Sister sees Film London again working in partnership with the British Council, through a short film fund for female filmmaking teams in a bid to address gender disparity within the film industry.
A slate of four short animated films from artist filmmakers with the aim to develop and create contemporary artworks that take iconic Shakespeare imagery as their starting point and respond in a variety of irreverent and original ways, making Shakespeare and academic research current and engaging to a wide audience.
All the World’s a Screen – Shakespeare on Film
A documentary film for the BBC’s critically-acclaimed, award-winning Arena, looking at the heritage, complex history, artistic contradictions and cultural achievements of Shakespeare, translated into the moving image.
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Notes to Editors
About Film London
Film London is the capital's screen industries agency. We connect ideas, talent and finance to develop a pioneering creative culture in the city that delivers success in film, television, animation, games and beyond. We work to sustain, promote and develop London as a global content production hub, support the development of the city's new and emerging filmmaking talent and invest in a diverse and rich film culture. Funded by the Mayor of London and the National Lottery through the BFI, we also receive support from Arts Council England, Creative Skillset and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Film London's activities include:
- Maintaining, strengthening and promoting London's position as world-class city to attract investment through film, television, animation and games
- Investing in local talent through a range of specialised production and training schemes
- Boosting employment and competitiveness in the capital's screen industries by delivering internationally facing business development events
- Maximising access to the capital's film culture by helping audiences discover film in all its diversity
- Promoting London through screen tourism
Film London also manages the British Film Commission (www.britishfilmcommission.org.uk) through a public/private partnership which is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport through the BFI, and UK Trade and Investment.
About Cinestaan Film Company
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.
The first film is the Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra directed Mirzya, slated for a 2016 release. This will be followed by Fanney Khan, an official remake of an Oscar Nominated film. Many others are in development.
CFC’s film, The Hungry, is a co-production with Film London for an adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy, ‘Titus Andronicus’ marking 400 years since Shakespeare’s death.
Cinestaan – India’s Storytellers, is committed to preserving the rich legacy of India’s cinematic heritage and several initiatives are being worked upon in that direction. This includes an Oral Histories project that shall celebrate the contributions of our screen legends.
About the British Council
The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.
We work in more than 100 countries and our 7,000 staff - including 2,000 teachers - work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.
We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover which last year was £781 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.
Our work in Film
British Council Film works with our extensive global network to connect UK films, filmmakers and film culture with international audiences. We showcase innovation, diversity and excellence and seek opportunities for creative exchange and collaboration
For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org/film. You can also keep in touch through twitter.com/British_Film.
About Nyman Libson Paul and Goldfinch Entertainment
Established in 1933, Nyman Libson Paul is a firm of chartered accountants which operates in all sectors but has particular expertise in the entertainment industry and provides tax, financial and commercial advice to businesses and individuals, including the winners of Oscars, BAFTAs and the Queen’s Award for Business. For further information, visit www.nlpca.co.uk
Goldfinch Entertainment represents a gold standard in entertainment and media advice. They act as Executive Producers on all projects, structuring each in a bespoke manner and assisting with varying finance plans that includes SEIS, EIS, GAP, Private Equity and Offshore funding.
Shakespeare400 is a consortium of leading cultural, creative and educational organisations, coordinated by King’s College London, which will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016. Through a connected series of public performances, programmes, exhibitions and creative activities in the capital and beyond, partners will celebrate the legacy of Shakespeare during the quatercentenary year.