Director and screenwriter Michael Radford, who won BAFTA awards and Oscar nominations for his Italian language film “Il Postino: The Postman,” is set to co-direct “The Princess of Kapurthala” (aka “La Princesa De Kapurthala”). Directing duties on the 20th century romance will shared with Spanish filmmaker Manuel Estudillo (“El Eden Perdido”).
The Spanish language co-production between companies from Spain, the U.K., France and India, is part of the Co-Production Market at NFDC’s Film Bazaar 2022 in Goa.
“The Princess of Kapurthala” is a trilogy based on the true life story of Spanish girl Anita Delgado, who became the Maharani Prem Kaur of Kapurthala in India at the age of 16. “Not just a pretty face that the Maharajah falls in love with, Anita is also a strong and determined woman who learns everything needed to become a princess, and later uses these charms to leave her mark on the society of that time,” said producer Juan Antonio Casado (“The Chess Player,” “The Cosmonaut”) of Ibolca Films and Pok Production, which holds the adaptation rights for the books “The Princess of Kapurthala” and “The Dream of the Maharani” authored by Elisa Va?zquez de Gey.
Besides the love story, the film will trace the Princess’s popularity. She appeared on newspaper and magazine covers and was deeply involved with social causes. “The protagonist has all the ingredients to connect with the audience: beauty, youth, intelligence, along with glamour and a luxurious life. She helped soldiers fighting in World War I, travelled to the [war] front in France and built hospitals there. She also tried to stop the marriages of underage Indian girls and created a fund to support widows, among others,” said Casado.
With part of the finance in place (from private investors, soft money from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and a contribution by the producers themselves), Asado said, “If we close a good co-production with India during the Film Bazaar, we hope to start pre-production in early 2023. Radford, scriptwriter Charlotte Radford and co-director Estudillo have been working on the script during these last two years and have brought it to a very advanced stage.”
Co-producer Davide Cottarelli of Pok Production and founder of Varcale Capital Management said that the majority of the multilingual trilogy will be shot in India along with location shoots in Malaga (where Anita Delgado was born), Madrid, Paris and London.