Debut film “A Life, A Rose” has attracted a heavyweight international investor in France’s Backup Media.
The proposed film is by Kaushik Ray who has previously worked in film finance as a lawyer on projects such as “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Fish Tank.” His first two short films as director are only now in pre-production.
Paris-based Backup Media, represented by producer Jean-Baptiste Babin, is a vastly experienced co-producer and interface between the European and international film industries. It has previously backed Wim Wenders’ “Submergence,” Brian de Palma’s “Domino,” Carlota Pereda’s “Piggy” (Sundance Film Festival, 2022) and “Still Alice” which earned Julianne Moore a best actress Oscar in 2015.
A part of NFDC Film Bazaar’s Co-Production Market 2022, “A Life A Rose” is structured as a co-production between companies in India, France, the U.K. and Germany. It’s the story of a decades-long silent mutual love, told through the eyes of 70-year-old protagonist Namita Sinha, a retired professor who heads to Paris to track down her former lover and best friend. The film is set in modern-day Paris and partially told through flashbacks to 1960s Kolkata. It will be told in Hindi, English, French and Bengali.
Ray said he was inspired by people of his parents’ generation. “Whilst representation of younger queer people is increasing, I did not want to forget the stories of the elder generation of living Indians,” he told Variety.
Film Bazaar is the project’s first co-production outing. Currently in prearation, shooting is slated for the last quarter 2023. “We are looking at a mix of U.K., French and Indian funding. Specifically, we are looking to raise funding for the India production spend. The U.K. and French money will be a mix of grants, tax credits, public funding and private equity,” said Ray whose Taran Tantra focusses on LGBTQ+ content from South Asia, with a particular focus on stories about intersectional prejudice in minority communities.
Founded in 2020, Taran Tantra has co-produced two short films: “The Protector” directed by Pradipta Ray (BFI Flare, 2022) and director Nishant Roy Bombarde’s “Pariah” (New York Indian Film Festival 2022). “I am currently co-producing two other features and have a documentary in development,” Ray said.