Molen, MediaOne in baseball pic


NEW DELHI – Oscar-winning "Schindler's List" producer Gerald Molen's White Light Entertainment will co-produce the World War II live action drama "Playing With The Enemy" with MediaOne Ventures, the U.K.-based unit of animation company Compact Disc India.

"The film’s budget is roughly $30 million and we plan to begin filming in the summer in Canada," CDI chairman Suresh Kumar said in an interview Tuesday.

Directed by David Ranes, the film will be based on the real-life story of baseball player Gene Moore, as told in author Gary Moore's book, "Playing With the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and a Field of Broken Dreams."

In May, MediaOne plans to try to raise $60 million by listing shares on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange, Kumar said.

"With this banner, we plan to do four major international projects every year. One of our next projects is the $16 million-budgeted "Guru of Sex" based on controversial Indian guru Osho Rajneesh," he said.

U.K.-based writer Farrukh Dhondy wrote the script and the film's international director now is casting and hoping to begin shooting by the end of the year, Kumar said.

Kumar said that also in the works is "Eternal Love," an animated feature based on Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's love for his wife Mumtaz for whom he built the Taj Mahal. The film is budgeted at $15.7 million.

"We are still in pre-production and are in discussions with Ben Kingsley for his creative involvement," said Kumar who added that Kingsley was also prepping a separate live action film on the Taj Mahal that is not connected with CDI.

CDI is based in Chandigarh, 155 miles north of New Delhi, and has studios in the southern Indian city of Chennai, in Singapore and in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, employing a workforce of 300 people in all.

The company recently signed a $20.15 million deal with Florida-based sports management company Latin American Football Corporation to co-produce 3D animated feature "Soccer," based on Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo, planned for release with the 2009 World Cup.

Future plans include establishing a gaming studio in North India and another animation studio in the southern state of Kerala, Kumar said.