Indian auteur Anurag Kashyap’s Good Bad Films (“Choked”) has boarded debutant Indian filmmaker Suman Sen’s “Eka” (“Solo”) as a producer.
The project was selected as one of the participant’s at this year’s La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut Français, a tailored program helping talented young directors from emerging countries increase their international exposure.
France’s Dominique Welinski (“House of my Fathers”) is already on board as a producer via outfit DW, as are Bangladesh’s Arifur Rahman and Bijon Imtiaz through their company Goopy Bagha Productions (“Kingdom of Clay Subjects”).
The film follows Biplab, a 56-year-old long-term diabetic insurance agent. Every morning, on his way to his office in a crowded bus, he witnesses a huge human toe of a massive under-construction statue in the middle of the main city square. Fully covered in blue tarpaulin, the statue is supposed to represent the Common Man. The city is keenly waiting for the President to inaugurate the monumental statue.
In the week the film spends with him, Biplab goes deeper and deeper into a state of frustration and hopelessness. When everything starts going wrong in his life, the feeling that he failed his loved ones the same way society is failing him grows stronger. His guilt transforms into anger and he finds himself giving birth to a mass revolt in his own city. His resistance gives rise to a powerful worldwide movement.
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“It is joy to find something where you can actually collaborate — the power of the idea, the script, and that filmmakers from France and Bangladesh and India can come together and make the film makes me very happy to come aboard,” Kashyap told Variety. “I am very happy to be able to see this film happen.”
“Solo” previously participated in the Film Bazaar, Goa, in 2019 and at Torino Next in 2020. It will begin shooting in mid-2022.
“When Bijon and Arifur introduced me to Suman Sen who pitched me ‘Eka’ in Goa, I was convinced on the spot,” said Welinski. “Today, I’m more than proud to be part of this wonderful inspiring international team.”
“This is really a special moment and undoubtedly the pinnacle of our journey so far,” said Sen. “I am glad that the story has connected so many people from across the world. Anurag’s presence will give an impetus to kick off our next level of production and help us while mounting the film on the desired canvas.”
Good Bad Films is a company that Kashyap co-founded with Dhruv Jagasia and Akshay Thakkar.
Meanwhile, Imtiaz is set to direct “Paradise” in 2022. Set on a small, isolated island off the coast of Bangladesh, the film will follow a 14-year-old student at an Islamic school whose duty and faith are tested. Rahman of Goopy Bagha and Gerhard Meixner and Roman Paul of Razor Film, Germany are producing.
The filmmakers also have “Moving Bangladesh,” based on the true story of Elius, founder of Pathao, a motor bike-based ride-sharing app in Bangladesh, in the works. Nuhash Humayun will direct. Imtiaz and Rahman will produce for Goopy Bagha alongside France’s Tran Bich-Quan and Taiwan’s Patrick Mao Huang.
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