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Thriller drama Shahjahan and (right) a scene from the film
Thriller drama Shahjahan and (right) a scene from the film

Here’s a story of crime and rebirth eyeing the global market

Call it the Slumdog Millionaire effect if you will, the global spot light on Indian films shines a shade brighter.

Grabbing eyeballs

A whole bunch of made-in-India movies have tried to grab eyeballs at Cannes this year. Amidst big productions such as Kambhakkht Ishq, Kites and the likes, a small film (produced with a budget of Rs. 5 crore) has been eyeing the global market.

Its director Mohammad Shahjahan shares something in common with Danny Boyle. He, like Boyle, assisted Sir Richard Attenborough.

Shahjahan’s film, Karma: Crime, Passion, Reincarnation, claims to have given a new twist to tried-and-tested reincarnation stories we’ve seen in innumerable films from Kudrat, Karz, Om Shanti Om to Chandramukhi and Arundhati.

Shahjahan’s project, shot in Ooty, stars Claudia Ciesla (yes, the lady who was clicked with Abhishek Bachchan at Cannes), Alma Saraci and Vijayendra Ghatge among others and has been written by Vivek Singhania.

“The idea of karma is deeply rooted in Indian philosophy and has a great recall value. The plot puts normal people in abnormal situations. It’s an international film set in the Indian background, for which I wanted an amalgamation of Indian and global talent,” says the director, who previously directed the Aamir Khan and Neelam starrer Afsana Pyar Ka. Obviously, we wonder why he hasn’t been at the helm after having assisted Ismail Merchant, Richard Attenborough (for Gandhi) and David Lean among others. “It has taken me a long time, I admit. In between, I directed a film called Buland with Salman Khan. It never saw the light of the day. It was disheartening,” he says.

Karma, he says, is a “tightly-woven drama targeting multiplex audience.”

Apart from theatrical release worldwide, the producers are keen on tapping Europe’s DVD market. The film will be released in English and Hindi soon. “We screened the film at Cannes last year as well and the film won awards in film festivals in Spain and Greece,” says Shahjahan.

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO

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