Cannes: India and China are all set to see more of each other on the big screen in the years ahead. Trinity Pictures, a division of Eros International launched in February 2015 to focus on franchise feature films, is mounting a “big mad Indian wedding1” film about a girl who elopes with a Chinese man.
This was revealed here by Ajit Thakur, CEO of Trinity Pictures, in a panel discussion on “Indian cinema going global”, held in the India Pavilion at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.
Trinity Pictures has sealed a co-production deal with a Chinese entity in order to make big-budget films aimed at both markets, which together add up to an audience size of 2.6 billion people.
The yet-to-be titled film will feature a Bollywood actress cherry-picked to romance a well-known male star from China. “The screenplay is in place and the cast will be formally announced soon,” Thakur said.
“We initially suggested five-six names to our co-production partner. They have zeroed in on an Indian actress after a face-mapping process to ascertain what kind of look would work best in China,” Thakur said.
The identity of the actress is still under wraps, but Thakur let on that she might not be one of the biggest of the Bollywood divas. Prasad Shetty of the Chinese firm Strategic Alliance, which is partnering Trinity Pictures in the project, revealed: “Moviegoers in China are predominantly young. Their average age is 21 or 22. They have an affinity for baby-faced actresses.”
An in-house team of writers at Trinity Pictures, which is seeking to develop new franchises on the lines of Marvel, developed six scripts and shared them with their Chinese partner.
“They opted for one family drama and the upcoming wedding film. The latter will be first off the blocks,” said Thakur.
“Ek Tha Tiger” and “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” director Kabir Khan is set to helm another Trinity-backed Sino-Indian collaboration which will be headlined by an A-list Bollywood star and a Chinese actress.
“At least 80 per cent of this film will be shot in China and some script and logistical details are still being worked out,” says Thakur. Trinity Pictures, which will kick off its domestic production programme with a film about a child secret agent directed by Amole Gupte, is likely to deliver the first commercial release by the end of the year.
“Our target is to mount a Rs 1,000-crore film but it will not be viable in Bollywood’s current distribution model. The only way it can be done is in the form of a co-production with a country like China,” said Thakur.
Currently, screens available in China are five times more than the number in India.