U.S. Producer Lonestar Films Attaches Lead Cast for ‘Cancer’ Foray Into Bollywood

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U.S.-based production house Lonestar Films has signed Indian actors Sharib Hashmi (Amazon Prime Video’s “The Family Man”), and Aahana Kumra, (“Lipstick Under My Burkha” and Netflix’s “Call My Agent Bollywood”) for “Cancer” its foray into Bollywood film production. The high concept Hindi-language thriller will be directed by Faisal Hashmi.

Founded by Texas-based entrepreneur Pankaj Mamtora, Lonestar Films describes its maiden Indian production as a “mind-bending thriller.” Currently in pre-production, “Cancer” is expected to begin production early next year. A third lead actor is yet to join the cast.

“I have not seen anything like this on an Indian screen. I’m highly impressed by Faisal Hashmi who is a man of few words. I cannot wait to start shooting for this amazing, unique story,” said Sharib Hashmi.

Faisal Hashmi’s previous directing work has been in the Gujarati film industry. His credits include 2017 romantic comedy “Vitamin She” and 2019’s Short Circuit.” A mechanical engineer turned filmmaker, Faisal Hashmi is drawn to horror, sci-fi and thriller genres. “Short Circuit,” regarded as the first-ever Gujarati sci-fi movie, earned multiple awards nominations across Gujarat.

“I have stayed with the film [“Cancer”] for a very long time and now that it is about to take off, it almost feels surreal,” said Faisal Hashmi. “There are two types of stories. The first is what makes you calm, like bedtime stories. After reading or hearing it you fall asleep and have pleasant dreams. The second is what snatches your sleep away and makes you restless, makes you think. This film is the second kind.”

Lonestar Films has set up operations in Mumbai, India with journalist Devansh Patel on board as chief creative officer. “While we have backed a distinctive thriller, Lonestar Films is also backing a unique murder mystery, a true-life event film and [one in the] cyberpunk genre,” said Patel. The production company is also exploring web series, documentaries, short films and music video formats.