U.K.'s Mara Pictures Acquires Pakistani Neo-Noir 'Tamanna'

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The thriller is based on British play 'Sleuth,' which has already had two Hollywood adaptations.

Britain-based independent distributor Mara Pictures has picked up British-Pakistani drama Tamanna.

Directed by Steven Moore and produced by Sarah Tareen of Concordia Productions, Tamanna is based on Anthony Shaffer's 1970 play Sleuth. Described as a neo-noir drama, the film is set against the backdrop of the dying days of Pakistan's Lahore-based film industry, Lollywood.

Sleuth has been adapted by Hollywood on two previous occasions, first in 1972, when Joseph L. Mankiewicz directed Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine, who were both nominated for Academy Awards. In 2007, a heavyweight lineup of director Kenneth Branagh, screenwriter Harold Pinter and stars Jude Law and Caine (playing the Olivier role of the previous film) was released to mixed reviews. 

Tamanna features Pakistani actors Omair Rana, Salman Shahid, Mehreen Raheel and Faryal Gohar. Mara Pictures will give the film a worldwide digital release in March.

"Pakistan's film industry and the art of storytelling has dwindled in the half century since partition from India [in 1947],” said Tareen. “Tamanna is one of a handful of films released in the last few years, in a period hailed as 'revival.' We are excited to bring Tamanna to a global audience.”

Tamanna won the best music talent Award for Rahat Fateh Ali Khan at its premiere at the London Asian Film Festival. Khan features on the film's soundtrack along with other names from Pakistan's music industry.

Previous Mara Pictures releases include Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Anurag Kashyap's acclaimed two-part epic Gangs of Wasseypur.