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Image of Ritesh Batra, Vikas Bahl, Vishal Bhardwaj and Cinestaan's Rohit Khattar for Microwave International: Shakespeare India

Cinestaan Film Company adds support to Microwave International

Date posted: 30.04.2015

India's Cinestaan Film Company has added its support to international feature filmmaking opportunity Film London Microwave International: Shakespeare India.

Cinestaan will invest up to £250,000 in the greenlit feature, which will draw from the work of William Shakespeare and be theatrically released in 2016 as part of Shakespeare400 – a year-long cultural programme marking 400 years since the writer's death.

In addition to the new business partnership, mentors Vishal Bharwaj (Maqbool, Omkara and Haider – three successful Shakespeare adaptions), Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox), Vikas Bahl (Queen, Phantom Films) have been announced as three of the expert industry mentors.

The deadline for applications from UK-based filmmakers is now closed, but filmmakers based in India are welcome to apply until 25 May. India-based filmmakers apply here.

About Microwave International: Shakespeare India

The scheme behind BAFTA-nominated films Shifty and Lilting, which both featured strong Asian voices, Microwave is excited to take its winning approach abroad. Microwave International: Shakespeare India brings Asian talent from the UK and India together to work on projects inspired by the playwright.

From the applicants, up to 16 successful filmmakers will be selected to attend Microschool. There, they will be put into teams and work together to develop five feature film productions.

Participants in the scheme receive:

  • Weeklong intensive training programme Microschool in London
  • Dedicated mentoring from industry professionals
  • The chance to produce their feature for worldwide release in 2016

As well as bringing together global filmmaking talent and building bridges between the two countries' industries, the project also seeks to address findings in Creative Skillset's latest census, which reported that in 2012 just 5.4% of the talent working in the UK's production industries was estimated to be of black, Asian or minority ethnic origin, a fall from 6.7% in 2009 and 7.4% in 2006. It seeks to address this lack of diversity.  

Partnership with Cinestaan Film Company

"Being able to partner with Cinestaan Film Company is a spectacular result for the project, particularly since they share our own aims when it comes to training and supporting homegrown filmmakers," says Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission.

Cinestaan Film Company will invest up to £250,000 in the greenlit feature. They will also join Film London and the British Council in contributing to the crucial training programme and play an important role in selecting the filmmaking teams and ensuring the selected project has the strongest possible chance of success.

Microwave International: Shakespeare India dovetails with Cinestaan's own ambitions to preserve and celebrates India's rich film heritage and will help forge valuable international links for Indian talent. 

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