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Jahnu Barua signs up with Priyanka Chopra’s banner

By PTI Updated: Sep 09, 2017 7:45 pm

The language palette of Priyanka Chopra’s Purple Pebble Pictures is all set for new additions – Assamese, Malayalam and Gujarati.

This was revealed by Madhu Chopra, the actor’s mother and head of the production company, on the sidelines of the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Friday.

Speaking exclusively to PTI after the world premiere at TIFF of Purple Pebble’s Nepali-language, Sikkim-set film “Pahuna: The Little Visitors”, written and directed by debutante Paakhi A Tyrewala, Madhu said, “We are delighted that we will be working with veteran Assamese filmmaker Jahnu Barua next.”

Having already produced films in Bhojpuri, Marathi and Punjabi, the banner is now in the process of giving finishing touches to the screenplay of its first Bengali film, “Nalini”, which tells the story of a 17-year-old Rabindranath Tagore finding his first love in Maharashtra during a stay there with his elder brother and ICS officer Satyendranath Tagore.

The banner is at the same time finalising plans for films in Malayalam and Gujarati as well, Madhu said.

Regarding the upcoming Barua film, the producer said, “We approached him for a collaboration with us. He asked for some time to make up his mind. He recently gave his go-ahead to the project.”

Purple Pebble Pictures, which plans to bankroll at least three films a year on an average, has submitted the script for the Tagore film to the vice-chancellor of Viswa-Bharati University for final vetting.

“The film is about a towering figure and deals with sensitive aspects of his life, so we cannot afford to slip up at all,” Madhu, a former Army doctor who now presides over her daughter’s film production activities, said.

Tyrewala has showered lavish praise on the production company for its approach.

“I had the desire and confidence that I could direct a film, but the film wouldn’t have happened had they not backed me to the hilt. They are hands-on but very non-interfering,” she told this correspondent.

At the premiere of “Pahuna”, Tyrewala had divulged how a string of Mumbai producers had rejected her script.

She was a woman and a first-time director wanting to make a children’s film in Sikkim. Nobody saw any potential in the project until she approached Priyanka.

“She said she would back my film for the very reasons that the others had rejected it,” the director said.

“Pahuna” tells the story of three children separated from their parents as the family flees political unrest in Nepal.

They end up in Sikkim and confront their fears and uncertainties with childlike innocence, hope and tenacity.


By PTI Updated: Sep 09, 2017 7:45:19 pm