Leading Indian Filmmakers Team For Coronavirus Anthology

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Five of India’s leading filmmakers are joining hands for an as-yet untitled anthology film about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The project will be produced by filmmaker Anubhav Sinha’s Benares Mediaworks. Other filmmakers contributing to the anthology include Ketan Mehta, Sudhir Mishra, Hansal Mehta and Subhash Kapoor.

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“The past few months during the lockdown we have been speaking more regularly than ever before,” Sinha told Variety“. “Obviously a lot of those conversations have been about this pandemic that ground the whole world to a halt. We could see a lot change or unravel. I thought this must be recorded for posterity. We had to cherrypick the stories we would like to tell. It is a fascinating bunch we have put together.”

The filmmakers are all well-known chroniclers of the Indian condition. Sinha had a fruitful Bollywood innings, including big-budget sci-fi “Ra.One” starring Shah Rukh Khan, and then changed direction with religious intolerance drama “Mulk,” starring Rishi Kapoor and Tapsee Pannu; Indian caste system expose “Article 15,” starring Ayushmann Khurranna”; and marital drama “Thappad,” also starring Pannu.

Mishra, known for political drama “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi” and Mumbai mafia thriller “Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin,” has Netflix Original “Serious Men” due shortly. “Three friends meet again in these times, they had separated in anger and bitterness,” said Mishra, describing the project to Variety.

Ketan Mehta’s work includes colonial feminist drama “Mirch Masala,” and India-Pakistan partition satire “Toba Tek Singh.” Subhash Kapoor’s credits include legal comedy “Jolly LLB” and its sequel.

Hansal Mehta’s gay rights drama “Aligarh,” and “Omerta,” about the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journalist Daniel Pearl, received worldwide festival exposure. He describes his segment as: “A tragicomic tale set during the lockdown that explores themes of inequality, greed, poverty and privilege.”

Principal photography will begin at the end of the year.

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