Director Jayaraj addressing the gathering as Indian Business & Professional Network president K M Varghese, Chandramohan and Indian Cultural Centre president Gireesh Kumar look on. PICTURES: Jayan Orma
By C P Ravindran/Doha
A function in Doha has set the stage for the announcement of a new film that promises to blaze a trail in the Malayalam movie industry.
Plans for the film, based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, were revealed at the function, which was held at Gokulam Park Hotel to honour award-winning director, Jayaraj R Nair, who was on a visit to Doha.
The function was organised by Chandrakala Arts, a newly-formed film production company based in Qatar.
The Malayalam version of Macbeth is its first venture.
Jayaraj, who will be directing the film, called Veeram in Malayalam, said that most of the film’s technicians would be from Hollywood.
An English version of the Malayalam film is to be made for international release.
“As a tragedy of ambition, Macbeth is relevant for all times and places,” said Chandramohan, the force behind Chandrakala Arts.
The production company is set up by Chandramohan, a long-time Qatar expatriate, and a few of his friends.
The cast of Veeram will all be new faces. Shooting of the film is to begin in November this year with its release expected to be some time in the middle of next year.
Jayaraj, who has already directed two films based on Shakespeare plays, Othello and Antony and Cleopatra (Kaliyattam and Kannaki in Malyalam), has made a name for himself with his choice of novel themes in his works.
His latest film, Ottal, which won an Indian national award in the best environment film category, was selected as the best feature film in the 45th Kerala State Film Awards, announced this year.
During the Doha function, Jayaraj was felicitated by Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) president Gireesh Kumar. Indian Business & Professional Network (IBPN) president K M Varghese and K K Sudhakaran, a Doha-based stage and film actor, addressed the gathering.
Veeram will be set in the 13th century Kerala, according to Jayaraj who referred to the earlier screen adaptations of Macbeth like Akira Kurasawa’s Throne of Blood (1957) and Roman Polanski’s work (1971) during his interaction with the audience at the function.
Macbeth has often been called Shakespeare's most “film-friendly” tragedy. A Bollywood version of the play, called Maqbool, was released in 2003, winning its director Vishal Bhardwaj international acclaim.
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