Singapore: Aurora, Darpan to Adapt Indian Best-Seller 'Pilgrims in the Dark'

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The real-life inspired drama is planned as an India-Singapore co-production and will be directed by Dakxin Bajrange.

Singapore-based Aurora Media and Darpan Global have picked up producing options for Indian author Dhruv Bhatt's best-seller Timirpanthi (Pilgrims in the Dark) and its screenplay by Jay Bhatt.

Aurora Media is one of Southeast Asia’s leading media and entertainment asset incubation, investment and management entities. The company's slate includes Storm Boy headlined by Geoffrey Rush and Jai Courtney, Indonesian title Abracadabra with Reza Rahadian, Stano starring Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, Irfan Khan-starrer The Song of Scorpions and The Long Walk, directed by Mattie Do.

Darpan is a leading distributor and producer of art house, independent and Bollywood titles in Southeast Asia. The company is currently producing Niloy Roy's Bodh, which will be ready by next year's second quarter. Darpan recently distributed Chile's Oscar-winning title A Fantastic Woman across Southeast Asia. The company also runs the Darpan Indian Film Festival in Singapore.

Originally published in the Gujarati language in 2015, Timirpanthi is based on a true story of several nomadic tribes of thieves in the western state of Gujarat and how they viewed stealing as a transcendental art form inherited through their ancestors and community, which was not merely seen as petty acts of crime.

Planned as an India-Singapore co-production, the film adaptation will be directed by Dakxin Bajrange and co-produced by Justin Deimen and Jeremy Sim from Aurora along with Darpan founder and MD Sreyashi Sen. Casting is currently underway with the production set to begin in 2019's third quarter.

“This is very personal to me as I belong to Chharas, one of these so-called criminal tribes in India," Bajrange said, adding, "This will be an interesting yet entertaining realistic fiction film discussing an important untouched issue of colonial impact on the lives of certain tribes, the police brutality that they face and their struggle to bring the change within."

"Embarking on a co-production with India through our Southeast Asian routes has been a stated aim for us and Pilgrims in the Dark promises to bring us into the light in that respect," added Deimen.