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Ritesh Batra’s ‘Photograph’ to play NY Indian Festival

Nawazuddin Starrer ‘Photograph’ Heads to New York Indian Film Festival

Kaling, Chopra teaming on wedding comedy for Universal

LOS ANGELES, April 13, (RTRS): The New York Indian Film Festival has announced three of the films it will showcase during its annual week-long event in May.

 The festival, which will take place May 7-12 at the Village East Cinemas in Manhattan, will screen “Sir”, “Photograph” and “The Last Color” throughout the week, followed by Q&As with their respective directors.

 “We are proud to share a wonderful collection of new films from India,” festival director Aseem Chhabra wrote in a statement. “This selection of exceptional titles showcases the beauty, power and glory of film story telling at its best. Our audience will be excited by the protagonists and fall in love with their journeys.’

 The festival will open May 7 with Rohena Gera’s “Sir”. The critically acclaimed film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last May, follows a wealthy Indian man who falls in love with his widowed servant.

 “Photograph,” directed by Ritesh Batra, will serve as a Centerpiece screening May 10. Batra’s film, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival, is set in Mumbai as a struggling street photographer has a stranger pose as his fiancee after his grandmother pressures him to marry. Despite their vastly different upbringings, the two develop a surprising and heartwarming connection.

 The festival will close with Vikas Khanna’s “The Last Color”, which follows nine-year tightrope walker Chhoti and her friend Noor as they struggle to survive on the streets of the ancient city of Banaras, India. While Chhoti works to up enough money to attend school, Noor suffers from a strict family life that forces abstinence and disallows her from attending festivities.

 The Indo-American Arts Council will reveal the full lineup in the coming days.


LOS ANGELES:  Universal Pictures is developing a wedding comedy after winning an auction for a pitch by Mindy Kaling, Priyanka Chopra and Dan Goor.

 Kaling, who will write the screenplay with Goor, is attached to star alongside Chopra and will potentially direct. Kaling will produce for her Kaling International, Chopra for Purple Pebble Pictures, Howard Klein for 3 Arts, alongside Goor. Heather Morris and Nina Anand Aujla executive produce.

 Details of the pitch are being kept under wraps other than being described as “Crazy Rich Asians” meets “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”.

 Kaling will next be seen starring opposite Emma Thompson in Amazon Studios’ “Late Night”, which opens June 7. She previously starred in “Ocean’s Eight” and executive produced “The Mindy Project”.

 Chopra broke out in ABC’s drama series “Quantico”. She recently appeared in “A Kid Like Jake” and “Isn’t It Romantic”.

 Goor currently has an overall deal at NBCUniversal Television. He is co-creator and executive producer of NBC’s sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”. In addition to being the showrunner, he has also written and directed numerous episodes.

 The deal was completed prior to the Writers Guild of America instructing its members to fire their agents late Friday afternoon.

LOS ANGELES: “Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones and Kristen Bell are attached to star as Phoenix housewives in “Queenpins”.

The story centers on creation of a scheme to counterfeit coupons, leaving the housewives with $40 million coupon cartel. The team of Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, who directed “Beneath The Harvest Sky”, have been attached to direct from their own script.

Linda McDonough is producing.

Meanwhile, Universal has moved back Illumination’s “Sing 2” from Dec 25, 2020, to July 2, 2021, and placed DreamWorks Animation’s “The Croods 2” on Dec 23, 2020.

“Sing 2” is being directed again by Garth Jennings. Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Nick Kroll and Tori Kelly will reprise their voice roles.

“The Croods 2” had been slated to open in September 2020. The sequel will see the return of voice cast members Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman and Clark Duke. Leslie Mann and Peter Dinklage have been added to the film’s cast.

In another development, Sid Ganis and the H Collective are teaming on a feature version of the 2015 English-Chinese language short film “A Children’s Song” with production starting later this year.

The short film is being adapted by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs (“Chocolat”). Ganis will produce with his Out of the Blue Entertainment partner Nancy Hult Ganis and the Los Angeles-based production entity The H Collective.

Kenneth Huang is producing for The H Collective with Nic Crawley and Kent Huang executive producing. Executive producer Fiona Yang Li is coordinating for Shanghai Jinghang Puwan Entertainment, and James T. Warren is co-producing for Out of the Blue Entertainment. The producers are currently out to potential directors.

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