Irrfan Khan cast as 'Banker to the Poor'

Also joins HBO's drama series 'In Treatment'

NEW DELHI -- Indian actor Irrfan Khan -- whose credits include "Slumdog Millionaire," "A Mighty Heart" and "The Namesake" -- will star in "Banker to the Poor," an Indo-Italian co-production based on the best-selling 2001 autobiography of micro-credit banking crusader Muhammad Yunnus.

Yunnus founded the Grameen Bank in the mid-70s which gave loans to entrepreneurs in his native Bangladesh who were too poor to qualify for bank loans. In 2006, Yunnus and the Grameen Bank were awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

Khan is repped by Jai Khanna at Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Khanna told The Hollywood Reporter that "Banker" is budgeted at $8 million and will be helmed by Italian director Marco Amenta ("The Sicilian Girl"). The film will begin shooting in the fall in India and is "being financed out of India and Italy by private investors" added Khanna who will serve as executive producer with Amenta and his banner producing.

The film is planned for release next year.

Meanwhile, Khan will join HBO series "In Treatment" as a regular this upcoming season for about 10 episodes starring opposite Gabriel Byrne. Production begins in June in New York and Khanna said that Khan's "role is being kept under wraps."

A well-known face in Indian cinema with more than 50 movies to his credit, Khan was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his role in Mira Nair's "The Namesake."
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