Berlin: 'The Eichmann Show' Co-Producer Backs Sci-Fi Title 'Genesis' (Exclusive)
Indian film entity Vistaar's slate includes a mix of foreign and local projects and a planned U.K. production facility.
Vistaar Film Fund, the Indian film entity and co-producer of The Eichmann Show – which has just been acquired for the U.S. by The Weinstein Co – has prepped its upcoming slate of international and Indian titles.
As announced at Berlin's European Film Market, TWC struck a deal with Content Media representing Feelgood Fiction, which co-produced the historical drama along with the BBC and Vistaar. The film — which has already aired on the BBC in the UK — recounts the global broadcast of the trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust.
Vistaar Film Fund was launched in 2008, co-founded by former banker Sheetal Talwar and his filmmaker wife Bhavna Talwar. Backed by leading domestic investors, the entity earmarked investments of $51 million to produce Indian and foreign films. These included U.S. co-production 2009's The Joneses, starring David Duchovny and Demi Moore.
Indian titles included Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Rann (2010), Bhavna Talwar's Happi and veteran actor Pankaj Kapur's 2011 directorial debut Mausam.
VFF's foreign productions are funded via its UK subsidiary Vistaar UK Ltd which boarded The Eichmann Show.
The entity's upcoming slate includes UK sci-fi thriller Genesis which has just begun filming. The project is from Next Level Films, the UK banner from director-producer duo Bart Ruspoli and Freddie Hutton-Mills. Genesis is co-produced by VFF and Goldfinch Pictures, the banner promoted by UK accountancy firm Nyman Libson Paul which has been active in the country's entertainment industry for over eight decades. NLP has been the accountant for every James Bond film since 1962’s Dr. No.
“Genesis is budgeted at about $3.8 million,” VFF chairman Talwar told The Hollywood Reporter. The film's cast includes John Hannah (The Mummy, Four Weddings and a Funeral). Genesis follows an A.I. (artificial intelligence) machine, once believing itself to be human, who learns its pre-programmed fate to lead an army of humanoids into battle against the last remnants of mankind. Ruspoli and Hutton-Mills earlier credits include 2014 horror title Cryptic.
“We plan to back about seven international projects this year, along with some Indian titles,” added Talwar. International projects include supernatural thriller The Ghost Writer, a co-production with UK producer-director Paul Wilkins' Starfish Films and Goldfinch Pictures. The project is expected to go into production by April and is budgeted “at under $ 1.5 million,” according to Talwar.
Also included in the slate are documentary films. These include A Life Underwater and a 3D documentary on the Le Mans 24 hour annual car race that takes place in France, to be directed by James Erskine (credits include football documentary One Night in Turin). The Le Mans documentary is co-produced with Michael Sackler, who is an executive producer on horror title The Witch, which won a directing award at Sundance.
VFF's Indian slate includes a planned biopic on the late acclaimed Indian film-maker Guru Dutt, to be directed by Bhavna Talwar. Also included are two titles from director Onir — the recently completed Shab and Veda, which begins shooting next month.
In addition, VFF is setting up a UK production and post facility in Manchester, “which entails an investment of about $ 6 million over three years and will only be dedicated to our projects,” Talwar added.